Elizabeth I was a Tudor

Elizabeth I and the Golden Age

A "bastard" on the throne

When Elizabeth (German spelling: Elisabeth) was born as the second daughter of Henry VIII on September 7, 1533, no one believed that she would one day become Queen of England. She was considered a "bastard", an illegitimate child.

Her father was not officially divorced from his first wife, Catherine of Aragon, when he married Elizabeth's mother, the lady-in-waiting Anne Boleyn. Three years later, Henry VIII had Boleyn beheaded for not having given birth to a male heir to the throne.

After her father's death, 15-year-old Elizabeth moved to the court of Catherine Parr, the sixth wife of Henry VIII.

In 1558 Elizabeth succeeded to the throne after her half-brother EduardVI. and her half-sister Maria I. had died. The fact that Elizabeth had moved up to third place in the line of succession was mainly due to Catherine Parr, who had also campaigned for the good education of the future queen.

During the reign of Mary I there had been bloody clashes between the Protestant supporters of the Anglican Church and the Catholics.

While Elizabeth's Catholic predecessor Mary had rigorously persecuted Protestants to bring Catholicism back to England, Elizabeth stood on the side of the Anglican Church.

Her father founded the "Church of England" after the Catholic Church had not approved the divorce from his first wife Catherine of Aragon.

Elizabeth's plan worked: a year after her accession to the throne, the Anglican Church officially became a state church. Even so, Elizabeth did not try to completely exclude the Catholics, for example by allowing some Catholic customs and rituals to persist.