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    Marie Antoinette

    Effigy of King Edward III at the White Tower - the earliest European death mask. Edward III reigned from 1327 to 1377; his surplus of sons eventually led to the conflict between the houses of Lancaster and York for the English throne.

    "Yours as long as life endures..." This is the only surviving letter from Katherine Howard, Henry VIII's fifth wife. She wrote this ill-advised letter to Thomas Culpepper, a gentleman of her husband's Privy Chamber.

    Margaret of Anjou (1430 –1482) - wife of Henry VI; a key figure in the Wars of the Roses & at times personally led the Lancastrians. She lost her son Edward, Prince of Wales, at the Battle of Tewkesbury.

    King George V of Great Britain and King Alfonso XIII of Spain -1905

    Elizabeth I

    Anna of Austria, (1549-1580). Philip II of Spain is without a male heir when his son Don Carlos dies. Anna becomes his fourth wife, she is beautiful and young, they are married in 1570. She is connected to the powerful Habsbugs and this marriage unites the two most powerful empires in Europe. Both empires are Catholic, and this again puts pressure on the prevaricating Elizabeth to marry and secure the succession with a male heir. Maria has three sons but only one survives into adulthood.

    Portrait of Elizabeth I commissioned by Robert Dudley

    Juana of Spain, Queen of Portugal, granddaughter of Juana of Castile, Great-Niece of Catherine of Aragon by lisby1, via Flickr

    Infantin Isabella Clara Eugenia, age 13 (detail), Alonso Sanchez Coell, 1579

    Robert Dudley (1533–1588), Earl of Leicester

    Armor for the tilt of Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, c. 1575.

    Elizabeth I used 'text-speak' in a letter to her favorite, Robert Dudley ....

    Robert Sidney, 1st Earl of Leicester (19 November 1563 – 13 July 1626), second son of Sir Henry Sidney, was a statesman of Elizabethan and Jacobean England. He was also a patron of the arts and an interesting poet. His mother, Mary Sidney née Dudley, was a lady-in-waiting to Queen Elizabeth I and a sister of Robert Dudley, 1st Earl of Leicester, an advisor and favourite of the Queen.

    Robert Devereux, (1565-1601), 2nd Earl of Essex, son of Lettice Knollys, great-grandson of Mary Boleyn. Step son to Robert Dudley. He was a military hero and royal favourite of Elizabeth I, but following a poor campaign against Irish rebels during the Nine Years' War in 1599, he failed in a coup d'état against the queen and was executed for treason.

    Mary Zouche, Lady in waiting to Queen Jane Seymour

    Elizabeth I. and Robert Dudley Dated to 1575, a pivotal year in their relationship. "It is the year when Robert Dudley finally gave up his hope of marrying Queen Elizabeth I."

    Mary Fitzalan, Duchess of Norfolk, daughter of Lady Jane Gray's Aunt Catherine Grey, 1st cousin of Lady Jane Gray