History : Jul-Aug 2018
58 JULY/AUGUST 2018 ORONOZ/ALBUM Reign of the Virgin Queen September 7, 1533 Elizabeth is born, the second surviving, legitimate child of Henry VIII. Her mother, Anne Boleyn, is executed when Elizabeth is two years old. 1553 On the death of her Protestant half brother, Edward VI, Elizabeth’s half sister accedes as Mary I, intent on returning England to the Catholic faith. 1554 On Mary I’s decision to marry Philip of Spain, Elizabeth is implicated in a Protestant plot. She is imprisoned, but Philip intercedes to save her. 1580 The pope declares that to kill Elizabeth would not be a sin. Amid many Catholic plots against her, Elizabeth sanctions piracy raids on Spanish ships. 1558 After Mary’s death, Elizabeth becomes queen, and Philip II sees her as an ally against their common foe, France. She will refuse his offer of marriage. POISED FOR POWER A year before Henry VIII’s death, Flemish artist William Scrots painted young Elizabeth (below) in 1546. Queen’s Drawing Room, Windsor Castle D uring the summer of 1588, England prepared to face the full might of the Spanish Empire, its most dan- gerous foe. The indomitable Span- ish Armada was sailing toward Al- bion’s shores, carrying soldiers set to invade. Anticipating the attack, Queen Elizabeth I pre- pared to address her troops stationed at Tilbury Fort in England. Accounts describe her like a goddess of war: white plumes in her hair, a metal cuirass over white gown, and astride a warhorse as she delivered a rousing speech to her men: “I know I have the body of a weak and feeble wom- an,” she said, “but I have the heart and stomach of a king, and of a king of England too, and think foul scorn that . . . Spain, or any prince of Europe, should dare to invade the borders of my realm.” The ultimate defeat of the Spanish would ce- ment Elizabeth’s position as a formidable leader of a world power, strong enough to rival Philip II of Spain. But Philip had once been Elizabeth’s family, then a potential mate and uneasy ally. 1588 After Philip crushes Protestant rebels in Holland, Elizabeth’s deteriorating relations with Spain culminate in her stunning defeat of the Spanish Armada. March 24, 1603 Elizabeth dies at Richmond, age 69. She is succeeded by the Protestant James VI of Scotland, who is crowned James I of England in July.