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William Cecil, Lord Burghley, Elizabeth I's chief councillor and friend and one of the most powerful and successful political figures of the Tudor Period.

Portrait of Queen Elizabeth I, c.1560, around the time she was being courted by 12 "suitors", most of whom she never met. The marriage negotiations were a very serious matter undertaken by Cecil and Walsingham and debated by her Council. The Queen now 27 years old was considered "mature" for a first marriage, but the English throne was a prize. Cecil and Walsingham badly wanted to secure a Protestant dynasty through Elizabeth's marriage and her children who would be heirs to the English…

Princess Elizabeth’s, later Queen Elizabeth I, letter to her sister Queen Mary I. Written just before she was taken to the Tower.