Elizabeth I of England
Elizabeth I of England was the Queen of England from 17 November 1558 until she died in 1603. She has also been called The Virgin Queen or Good Queen Bess.
Elizabeth was born in the Palace of Placentia in Greenwich, England. She was the daughter of King Henry VIII of England and his second wife, Anne Boleyn. When she was very young, she lost her right to be called a princess, because her mother was found guilty of having lovers and was executed. After Anne's death, the king said she should no longer be treated as his daughter. Her half-sister Mary was in the same position. Mary was much older than Elizabeth, but her mother had been divorced by King Henry and she was also being treated as if she was not the King's daughter.
After Anne Boleyn died, King Henry married Jane Seymour, who became queen. Jane had a baby son, who was named Edward. Men were thought to make better rulers than women, so Edward became heir to the throne as soon as he was born.
Elizabeth was taken away from the royal court and was looked after by other people. She was given a good education. Elizabeth could speak and read six languages: her native English, as well as French, Italian, Spanish, Greek, and Latin.
When she was thirteen years old, King Henry died. Elizabeth's younger half-brother, Edward, became King even though he was only a child. He was called King Edward VI of England. Because King Henry had no other children, he left a will saying that, if Edward had no children of his own, Mary would be queen after him, and Elizabeth would be queen after Mary. At the time no one thought this would ever happen, but Edward died when he was only fifteen. Mary then became queen, and was called Queen Mary I of England.
During Mary's reign, life became difficult for Elizabeth. When King Henry VIII divorced Mary's mother, he had quarreled with the Pope and most people in England had turned away from the Roman Catholic religion....