Stills from the movie Elizabeth I    (with extracts from Microsoft Encarta)


Queen Elizabeth I

Elizabeth I (1533-1603), Queen of England and Ireland (1558-1603), and the last ruler of the Tudor dynasty. She succeeded her sister, Mary Tudor, on November 17, 1558. Elizabeth chose not to marry, and declined to settle the succession. Her reign was punctuated by clashes with Parliament over the succession, and her reluctance to deal with Mary, Queen of Scots. Within two decades of Elizabeth's death, the Elizabethan period had come to be known as a "golden age", a period of great literary achievements, the age of William Shakespeare, Sir Philip Sidney, and Edmund Spenser, but at the time, the regime often felt beleaguered at home and abroad. Internally, Elizabethan England was marked by religious divisions, as "official" Protestantism was consolidated in the local communities, and there was intense commercial rivalry and expansion abroad. The Religious Settlement of 1559 was the defining moment of the English Reformation, while the late 1580s and the 1590s were dominated by war with Spain and the French Catholic League, and by rebellion in Ireland. The iconography associated with the Queen herself, however, as Gloriana and the Virgin Queen, together with the length of her reign, has made her one of the most dominant characters of British history, a source of fascination to historians and the general public alike.

Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester

Leicester, Robert Dudley, Earl of (c. 1532-1588), English soldier and statesman, and a favourite of Queen Elizabeth I. The son of John Dudley, Duke of Northumberland, he was sentenced to death with his father in 1553 but was pardoned by Queen Mary I, who made him master of the ordnance. He later caught the fancy of Queen Elizabeth. The mysterious death of his wife, Amy Robsart, cast suspicion upon him. It was believed he had ambitions to marry the queen, who continued to show him high favour and created him Earl of Leicester in 1564. Leicester later involved himself in a legitimate marriage, which he kept secret, and then in a legitimate marriage to the widow of his rival, Walter Devereux, 1st Earl of Essex. As a result, he suffered the queen's displeasure, but in 1585 she relented and appointed him commander of an expedition to the Low Countries to assist them in their revolt against Spain. The following year he was appointed governor of the Low Countries, but he was recalled in 1588 because of differences with the Dutch governing body. The queen, to whom he was reconciled, made him a lieutenant general of the forces sent to resist the Spanish Armada. He died shortly after the Spanish defeat.

More about Elizabeth the movie with photos...

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