The early teen-aged years may well rank as the toughest time of all to mourn a parent; no longer a child, and not yet fully adult - so not yet capable of compartmentalizing the event and moving on.
|Elizabeth, aged fourteen years. Note the red hair (Dad) and the black eyes (Mom.)|
When Elizabeth was fourteen, she and her nine-year-old half-brother, Edward, received the news that their father was dead.
The siblings, according to accounts, hugged one another and cried.
Both were, at that point, orphans - Elizabeth's mother having died at sword-stroke within the walls of the Tower of London, and Edward's mother died shortly after his birth of suspected infection following childbirth.
Almost immediately, Elizabeth's little half-brother had to prepare to take over as king; basically a fourth-grade aged kid running the country.
And at that age you thought the lunchroom at school was daunting!
Elizabeth, unlike their half-sister Mary, was firmly Protestant in her beliefs, and that cemented the relationship with her half-brother, the new king.
An appropriate home for the newly-orphaned Elizabeth was deemed to be with her step-mother and Dowager Queen Catherine Parr.
As Catherine Parr had shown a loving interest in all of the step-children that came to her with her marriage to Henry VIII, Elizabeth was in the best possible place in which to live. . .
Or so one might think . . .
Enter: Thomas Seymour - the Dowager Queen's love interest, and uncle to Edward VI.
Thomas Seymour proved to be very instructional to the young Elizabeth, although in a "horrible warning" versus "good example" kind of way.
Thomas Seymour was self-serving, a user of anyone socially inferior to him (women and children) and an all-around cad and opportunist.
|"Oh, was that your skirt I just shoved my hand up?" Thomas Seymour, noble turd.|
|Yeah, that feeling you get when your step-mother's new husband tries nasty shit with you.|
|Mary I: "That throne? It's mine. Shove over, Lady Jane Grey."|
|Thank you, http://tudorhistory.org/letters/ for this picture of 'the Tide Letter.'|
|"Hatfield House - the Old Palace - geograph.org.uk - 1839366" by Andrew Hackney. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Hatfield_House_-_the_Old_Palace_-_geograph.org.uk_-_1839366.jpg#/media/File:Hatfield_House_-_the_Old_Palace_-_geograph.org.uk_-_1839366.jpg|