|Blogger: Amber Schamel|
|Elizabeth I Darnley Portrait|
This a question has fascinated people since Elizabeth the Great was alive. Considered one of the greatest monarchs in English history, an intelligent and pleasing woman, deemed a beauty during her time with a knack for fascinating men, it is a true curiosity. She had at least half a dozen men fall in love with her and had many offers of marriage from English poets to monarchs from allied countries, so a lack of suitors was certainly not the culprit. Why then did this woman choose to rule alone during a time when that was unthinkable? Elizabeth intentionally left a lot of ambiguity on this subject, never admitting a hard answer, but there are three main theories.
1) She couldn’t get over the fear.
We have to remember that Elizabeth came from a family where wives were stripped of their power, influence, and even their lives when their husband lost interest in them. Besides the six wives of her father, King Henry VIII, Elizabeth often witnessed women who were manipulated and destroyed by political marriages and controversies. It was shortly after the execution of King Henry’s fifth wife that Elizabeth first made her famous proclamation, “I will never marry.” While Queen Elizabeth seemed to enjoy the exciting phase of courtship, when it came down to the commitment, she reneged. It could be that she simply couldn’t get past the fear planted by the demise of her mother, her mother’s cousin, and other women she had known during her childhood.
2) Political Reasons
The second theory lies in the political clout held by a beautiful, intelligent woman who also happened to be the queen of a great country. As long as Elizabeth was single, the possibility of a political marriage remained an option that could tempt other countries into amicable relations, a card the queen played many times. Elizabeth entertained suitors from Sweden, Spain, Denmark, Austria, France, and Italy as well as many nobles from her own country. Interestingly, none of these worked out.
|Francis Duke of Anjou (France)|
One of Elizabeth's most likely suitors
It is apparent that she held the hearts of her countrymen. She always claimed that she was married to England and therefore could have no other husband. Perhaps she felt that if she married, her countrymen’s affection for her would be cooled.
But if this theory was true, wouldn’t Elizabeth have married once she approached the age that would be deemed too old for marriage and procreation? She played the courtship game up into her forties, but even that match didn’t come to consummation. Some believe that she teased too long and when that last match didn’t pan out, she was out of luck.
3) She was in love with a man she couldn’t marry.
|Robert Dudley, believed by many to have|
been the man Elizabeth loved.
I personally believe that Elizabeth’s singleness was the result of all these reasons combined, but regardless, she remained the “Virgin Queen” and the closest thing to an explanation were the words she gave her Privy Council; “When my God and country so require, I will marry.” Apparently, they didn’t.
Queen Elizabeth I is one of the twelve women featured in my new release, Twelve Sisters Who Changed History.
In celebration of the release of Twelve Sisters Who Changed History, I'm giving away an ebook copy! Leave a comment below to get your name in the drawing. Don't forget to leave your email address so I can contact you if you win.
Historians paint pictures of amazing men and women who influenced the world, but seldom do we hear about sister duos that forever altered the course of history. Whether fighting together—or against each other—these twelve women transformed countries and religious systems. Join us on an inspirational journey through time as we explore the extraordinary lives of Sisters Who Changed History. Find it on Amazon.