Before Elizabeth Becomes Queen

Before Elizabeth Becomes Queen

  • The fact that she's a woman is approved by the general public, which is unusual due to the reactions that previous queen's got given.
  • 800 years earlier-recieved a very different response as she was chased away from the capital by the angry public.
  • Women and power have generally made an uneasy combination.
  • In the middle ages, monarchy was forged in battle and it was taken for granted that men were to rule.
  • In 1553, the only heirs were female, the next three monarchs were female but power did not lie well in their hands.
  • Royal women were condemned

She Wolves:

  • The old Royal Naval College- 500 years ago, a royal palace was built there.
  • 6th July 1553- Edward VI was dying, the male heir.
  • Extraordinary politial crisis- all the contendors for the crown were female.
  • The prospect of being ruled by a woman was deeply troubling to men.
  • It was belived that women were not equipped to rule, weaker than men, less rational, more sinful, unable to fight and unable to make law.
  • Over the past 400 years, women who had tried to take power were condemned to be unnatural or monsterous.
  • Through inheritance or force- the crown of England had always been worn by a man.
  • Henry VIII went to great extents to ensure that he would have a son to succeed him.
  • Henry VIII prioritised a son greatly.
  • Henry declared that his daughters were bastards, after he disposed of their mothers.
  • Daughters would not be good enough, only a king could succeed him.
  • All of his hopes rested on Edward's shoulders, following his death.
  • 9 year old Edward would then be crowned the King of England.
  • He knew it was his destiny, but a few months after his 15th birthday, he fell seriously ill. He was confined inside the palace walls and by the spring of 1553, it was clear he was dying.
  • The deteriation of Edward lead England to an uncertain future.
  • As well as his half sisters, he had 7 cousins, but they were all women too.
  • For the first time since the Norman Conquest, there were no male heirs to the throne.
  • Whatever happened, it would be a woman, and the question was who.
  • Both Mary and Elizabeth knew that if Edward died, the crown should pass to Mary, then Elizabeth.
  • Although, there was a more difficult factor, which was Edward's faith. He was a protestant whereas Mary was a Catholic.
  • Mary was scared that faith would interfere with bloodline.
  • Mary watched her father, Henry VIII break from the church of Rome and make himself head of the church of England.
  • Edward made sure that England went under a Protestrant reformation.
  • Edward was intelligent, and was educated by protestant tutors. He was determined to make people believe his faith.
  • Mary's beliefs were taken away and replaced more simply - no stained windows, just plain.
  • For Edward, it was unthinkable that his death could cause people to refer back to Catholism.
  • Housed…


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