Sunday, July 2, 2017

Sisters That Changed History: Mary & Elizabeth Tudor Part II

Blogger: Amber Schamel

Last month we began with the elder half-sister, Mary Tudor. If you missed that post you can find it here:

Elizabeth I as Princess
(Public Domain)
Elizabeth Tudor was the first and only child of Henry VIII and his second wife, Anne Boleyn on September 7, 1533. The political uproar surrounding her birth and the marriage of her parents made her a celebrity before she was even born, especially when the physician and astrologer predictions failed and she was a daughter rather than the longed for son. This was especially a problem for Elizabeth’s mother since King Henry was willing to do almost anything to secure a male heir. 

 A comment by Venetian ambassador Giovanni Michiel intimates that Elizabeth looked much like her father, and for this reason, he favored her, despite her not being the anticipated prince. He claims this was the reason she was exalted above her half-sister and given the title of Princess of Wales. But this security was not to last. 

Elizabeth’s mother, Anne,  soon fell from the king’s favor and was executed. When he remarried, Elizabeth’s fortunes became the same as her elder half-sister’s. She grew up in her brother Edward’s household watching from a distance as her father pedaled through marriage after marriage. It’s no wonder she never gave into romantic notions and chose to rule alone.

To me, one of the most amazing facts of the Tudor era is that Elizabeth survived all of the upheaval and became Queen after Mary’s death.

When Elizabeth I ascended to the throne at 25 years of age, she had quite a mess on her hands. She was only the third queen to rule England in her own right and the previous two, her half-sister Mary and her cousin Lady Jane Grey, did not paint a promising picture. I can only imagine her stress and anxiety as she wondered if she would end up buried at the Tower of London next to her mother.

For a young woman of only 25, she had no easy task. The country was weak, bankrupt, and torn by religious tension. Her supporters and councilors believed the only way she would succeed would be to quickly find a husband to help her rule. She disagreed, and did manage to pull off a successful unmarried reign. To this day she is considered one of the greatest monarchs in English history. Her influence on the Reformation and the prosperity of England are monumental. 
Elizabeth I as shown on her grave.
Photo: Public Domain
by Jacob Truedson Demitz for Ristesson History
The end of Elizabeth’s reign was not as glorious. Public affection for her began to wane as costs of war and poor harvests depleted the economy. In 1603, following the deaths of several close friends, Queen Elizabeth fell into severe depression. It is this melancholy that accounts for her death more than the illness that befell her.

In the end, Elizabeth was buried next to Mary in Westminster Abbey. Despite their differences and contrasts, they share the same epitaph which translated from Latin reads, "Consorts in realm and tomb, here we sleep, Elizabeth and Mary, sisters, in hope of resurrection.”

Queen Elizabeth (And Jane Grey as well) have been favorites of mine since I was very young. Who is your favorite Tudor lady?


Amber Schamel writes riveting stories that bring HIStory to life. She has a passion for travel, history, books and her Savior. This combination results in what her readers call "historical fiction at its finest".  Her title, Dawn of Liberty, was awarded the 2017 CSPA Book of the Year award in Historical Fiction. She lives in Colorado and spends half her time volunteering in the Ozarks. Visit her online at and download a FREE story by subscribing to her Newsletter!
Join Amber for the cover reveal of her September release and a Christmas in July FB party on July 24!


  1. Amber, this was a great post about Elizabeth Tudor. Elizabeth definitely had characteristics to admire with her determination to reign as an unmarried Queen of England, along with her influence for the reformation. I do not have a favorite Tudor lady. Have a happy and safe 4th of July.

  2. Hello Marilyn! Thanks for stopping by this fine Sunday morning. I'm glad you enjoyed the post on Queen Elizabeth. She is certainly an interesting character that has captured imaginations for centuries.

    You have a blessed and safe 4th of July too!

  3. Thanks for such great information! I really like Jane Grey, too.

    1. Hey Paula!
      Jane is fascinating. I need to find more books on her. :)

  4. Thank you for sharing your interesting post, Amber. I find Queen Elizabeth quite fascinating.

    1. Happy Sunday, Melanie! Thanks for stopping by.

  5. I have heard alot about the both sisters. However, the information that you have shared here, gives an interesting reading to get know about both in details.
    Emma Charlotte |

    1. Hello Emma,
      I'm glad you enjoyed the post! The research sure was fun. :)

    2. Hello Emma,
      I'm glad you enjoyed the post! The research sure was fun. :)

  6. I really enjoyed this post!! I love history of the kings and monarchs of England.