queen elizabeth lover

In The Virgin's Lover, Philippa Gregory suggests as facts several things that historians have found reason to dispute, such as the cause of Amy Robsart's death as well as the exact extent of the intimacy between Robert Dudley and Elizabeth I. But towards the end of Dudley’s life, they grew close once more.
Close in age, Elizabeth and Dudley had shared the same tutor, Roger Ascham, who had been greatly impressed by his precocious young pupils. But in private, the queen refused to give up her favourite. The scandal caused by her death was enough to prevent Elizabeth from marrying the newly widowed Dudley. He has been a keen amateur historian from a young age and specialises in the Tudor and Stuart era. The marriage was not successful though, ‘for although Mary fell deeply in love with Philip, he found her repellent.’ Unsurprisingly, the marriage produced no children, despite Mary’s expectant hopes during her phantom pregnancies that she would produce the longed for Catholic heir. This early encounter with love and flirtation, and all the dangers that came with it, were an early sign to Elizabeth of how marriage could lead to self-destruction. You have successfully linked your account! We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. There is no solid evidence that she ever slept with Dudley, the presumption that she did is a product of court gossip.

He besieged her with protestations of his undying affection, all of which his royal mistress received with obvious pleasure but with no firm promises.

Elizabeth therefore had to prove that a female monarch could rule effectively, despite those contemporaries such as the ‘aggressive Calvinist divine, John Knox,’ publicising sceptical texts on Europe’s ‘Monstrous Regiment of Women.’ These events during her reign, rather than putting any doubt in Elizabeth’s mind of whether to enter into matrimony, more than likely confirmed her initial resolution made in early 1559 that it was wisest to ‘live and die a virgin.’. Elizabeth’s chief rival, Mary, Queen of Scots, was in no doubt that Elizabeth and Dudley were lovers, and later told the noblewoman Bess of Hardwick that he had visited the queen’s bed numerous times.

He walked beside her horse as his royal mistress delivered her famous speech at Tilbury on 8 August 1588, while inspecting the troops that had been assembled to defend the Thames Estuary against any incursion up-river towards London: “I know I have the body but of a weak and feeble woman, but I have the heart and stomach of a king and of a king of England too.”. However, Elizabeth was careful not to make the same disastrous mistake as her sister, that of marrying a Catholic foreign prince. The scandal reverberated not just around the kingdom but across the courts of Europe, so that Elizabeth was obliged to distance herself from Dudley in order to avoid being implicated any further. Therefore, within this article I will analyse several key events before Elizabeth’s succession to suggest why it was ‘sufficient’ for a young woman of 25 to make such a bold statement within months of succeeding, especially when her very role of monarch was to marry and produce an heir. In reality, they were shortly released. Please enter your number below.

His loyalty was rewarded when Elizabeth became queen in 1558, at the age of 25. Of those beheaded of treason and adultery was that of her own mother, Anne Boleyn, on 19th May 1536, when Elizabeth was not quite three years old. His age placed his conception at 1561, which coincided with Elizabeth being bedridden with a mysterious illness that caused her body to swell. [2], Learn how and when to remove this template message, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=The_Virgin%27s_Lover&oldid=970333460, Articles needing additional references from September 2014, All articles needing additional references, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 30 July 2020, at 18:02. For years afterwards if anyone mentioned Robert Dudley’s name her eyes filled with tears.

The novel also suggests that a year into her reign, Elizabeth ordered the assassination of Mary of Guise, mother of Mary, Queen of Scots, when in reality, Mary of Guise died of dropsy.

Before long, their relationship was causing a scandal not just in England, but in courts across Europe. One of the last recorded sightings of the pair together was at a palace window, watching a celebratory parade staged by his stepson, the Earl of Essex. In the days immediately after his death, she kept to her room, unable to face her court or council. Mary, Queen of Scots  quipped that the queen of England was about to marry her “horsekeeper” who had killed his wife in order to make way for her. He remained loyal to her throughout, even when it risked his own safety. When Elizabeth eventually succeeded on 17th November 1558 it was Philip who was the first to offer his hand in marriage, although a dispensation would have been needed for Elizabeth to marry her deceased sister’s husband.

Elizabeth I’s love life: was she really a ‘Virgin Queen’? He stayed with the queen in the immediate aftermath of the Armada, wishing to be certain that the danger had passed. Elizabeth was by then a skilled enough politician to know that her people would revolt if she married Dudley, due to the popular belief that he has ‘instigated the death of his inconvenient wife.’ Ironically, a similar turn of events occurred seven years later when Mary, Queen of Scots, married James, 4th Earl of Bothwell, whom the Scots believed had murdered her second husband Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley, only weeks earlier. The book is told from four main perspectives: Elizabeth I's; William Cecil's, the queen's main advisor; Robert Dudley, the queen's favourite; and Amy Robsart's, who is Robert Dudley's wife.


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