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7-Queen Elizabeth I (1558 - 1603) Queen Elizabeth I with Spanish Armada in background Elizabeth I ruled England and Ireland from 1558 to 1603. The daughter of Henry VIII, the "Virgin Queen" rose to the throne at age 25 and was beloved by her subjects. Her navy famously defeated the Spanish Armada in 1588. She reigned over a golden age for art and science. commons.wikimedia.org
The Armada Portrait of Queen Elizabeth I, painted by George Gower in 1590 - one of three versions of this allegorical panel painting depicting the Tudor queen surrounded by symbols of imperial majesty against a backdrop representing the defeat of the Spanish Armada in 1588. Currently hangs in the art gallery of Woburn Abbey near London, England.
It was on November 17, 1558 that Elizabeth I, of the House of Tudor, became “Queen of England, Ireland and France”. There was a time, years ago, when I was a struggling university student pepped up on classes in British literature, Tudor history and the like that my admiration for “Good Queen Bess” was so complete as be approaching idolatry.
Elizabeth I, England's greatest ruler ever (1533-1603), was a brilliant, canny and determined woman who steered her country into a "middle path" of consensus-building and tolerance after decades of religiously-fueled terror, gruesome executions and overspending by her predecessors -- especially her sister, Queen Mary. By avoiding war, sending expeditions to the Americas, and resisting the tyranny of the Catholic Church, Elizabeth brought peace, prosperity and greater freedom to England.