"To be a king and wear a crown is a thing more pleasant to them that see it than it is pleasant for them that bear it." How does Elizabeth's reign reflect this statement?

Essay by mood_changerHigh School, 10th gradeA+, September 2006

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Queen Elizabeth I was born Elizabeth Tudor on 7 September 1533 at Greenwich Palace. She was the only daughter of the infamous King Henry VIII and his second wife, Anne Boleyn. From her birth, Elizabeth created much controversy, changed the political situation and shaped the future of the nation.

Elizabeth faced imprisonment and murder to ascend to her place as Queen of England.

When Elizabeth finally ascended the throne, England and the royal family was in a poor state. The kingdom's coffer was empty, the nobility old and lacking in funds, a lack of good captains and soldiers, the people did not obey the law and frequently justice did not prevail. Prices for goods were very high as droughts continually plagued farmers; there was war with France and Scotland and no steady alliances with countries overseas. England's currency value was still very low, a legacy from the reigns of Henry VIII and Edward VI and they were considered a poor credit risk on the Continent.

As soon as Elizabeth ascended the throne, she had to fend off claims to the throne by her cousin, Mary Stuart. Mary Stuart was Queen of England and the wife of the French dauphin and also was a Catholic with the French monarchy behind her.

Elizabeth was continually pressured to get married to a suitable man as no one expected her to rule alone. Her personal affairs were discussed and planned because she was a Queen. Her advisors did not care about the impact marriage would have upon her life and wanted a king and an heir.

She had no privacy at all as everything about her life was watched and even sexual activity be immediately reported. Even though she did not plan to get married, she did have favourite courtiers such as Robert Dudley...