Saturday, November 17, 2012
On November 17, 1558, Queen Mary I (“Bloody Mary”) of England died and was succeeded by Queen Elizabeth I (the Virgin Queen), daughter of Henry VIII and Ann Boleyn. She was 25 and had survived bastardy, calumny, plots, imprisonment and accusations of treason while navigating the sundry dangers of the treacherous Tudor court. She inherited a bankrupt nation, torn by religious strife, a weakened pawn wedged between the powers of France and Spain. Her spectacular coronation at Westminster Abbey in January presaged an Elizabethan era marked by a great flowering of literature and the theater, the repulse of the Spanish Armada, colonization of the New World, and much-needed domestic tranquility. Pictured: Elizabeth Regina in her coronation robes, patterned with Tudor roses and trimmed with ermine.