Holy cow, Weekend Warriors, it’s been since July that I last updated our glorious Sunday history segment here! You’ll see why next month, when the fruits of our recent efforts are displayed in London Relocation‘s website redesign. (It’s gorgeous, so check back in October when it’s launched!) Without further ado, last time we met Queen Elizabeth I, who defied her father’s expectations for a strong male heir by instead proving to be a dominant female successor and one of England’s most influential monarchs.
I’d just started to delve into how Elizabeth I asserts England as a Protestant state despite her half-sister Mary I‘s attempts to restore Catholicism. It isn’t because Elizabeth herself is hard-core religious, but, rather, due to outside forces that provoke her. For starters, she encounters some major family drama with yet another Mary, the Queen of Scots. A strong contender for the English throne, Mary Queen of Scots is Elizabeth I‘s cousin and a staunch Catholic. Mary is an enemy of extreme Protestant groups and Scottish citizens who are otherwise dissatisfied with her, so she exiles herself to England in 1568, where she finds safe refuge under Elizabeth’s protective custody. Over the years, however, evidence stacks against Mary as involved in plots against Elizabeth’s throne and her life. Um, nice going, Mary! Talk about biting the hand that feeds you! Ultimately, Elizabeth is compelled by her advisors to execute the Scottish princess. This isn’t something she takes lightly; the whole affair has been an emotional ordeal for her, and it is with great sorrow that she sentences her cousin to death in 1587.
Beyond that family friendliness, Elizabeth also ceases her resistance against war when religious persecution erupts throughout Europe. When over three thousand French Huguenots (Calvinists) are killed in 1572, she sends in an army to aid them. She likewise sends reinforcements to other continental Protestent factions and agrees to help Belgium win its independence from Spain. To add insult to injury, the Virgin Queen rejects the King of Spain’s marriage proposal in 1588, thus culminating tensions between their two countries. King Philip II is pissed as it is, given British strides in exploring the New World, so he sends his Spanish Armada to invade England.
But he clearly underestimates our Elizabeth. Join me next weekend to learn the outcome of this skirmish and how Elizabeth lives up to her nickname as the Virgin Queen. If you’re making the international relocation to London, learning its history is all part of the process. 🙂