Thursday, November 12, 2015

Q is for Quene GLORIANA! The ABC's of the Reign of Our Most Gracious Sovereign, Elizabeth

Quene.
Queen.
Regina.
Reina.
Reine.
Wrong Queen. Greatest rock band EVAR, but not the focus of this post . . .
In Tudor England, the expectation for a queen was more 'consort' than 'ruler.' 

And then along came Mary I.
After Mary I, sister Elizabeth I.
'Consort' was not in their Tudor-genetics; 'ruler' was.
Neither sister allowed a man to take her job from her.
as seen on Pajiba.com: Wonder Wonderwoman, Wonder Women, Wonderwoman B00, Wonderwoman Alterego, Awwhellno Wonderwoman, Wonderwoman Jpg 480 283, Wonderwoman Gifs 554 554, Sassy Wonderwoman, Wonderwoman Hells

Mary I married, and her husband was *technically* king, but no fool she, Mary put the 'you don't get to rule my country' clause in her pre-nup.
Elizabeth I, no fool she, never married.
Whenever her advisers, who were batshit crazy at the thought of a female ruler, suggested a potential husband, Elizabeth I's reaction was, "I will give it my utmost consideration," but what she meant was:
Don't Care, Lol Bye! Gif 
She backed away from all suitors when push came to shoving a ring on her finger. 
Giving up her power was not in her DNA.
Toddler's won't naturally share
Give it BACK! It's ALL MINE! lol, and you're a big baby!!
Elizabeth I didn't suffer gladly (or at all) any fool with ideas about flicking her off the throne - which, given her 'bastard' status, never truly revoked, was a very real possibility.
Bastards were a touchy subject when it came to one wearing the crown; with that in mind, Elizabeth I left the subject of religion in England under her rule open to interpretation, within certain guidelines.
If she championed Protestantism too enthusiastically, her Catholic subjects had reason to rebel - and vice-versa. 

What was a queen to do?

A smart queen (and Elizabeth I was a very, very, very smart queen) would set out her mission statement on the subject, and it wouldn't hurt to make it a memorable statement.

"I have no desire to make windows into men's souls" worked a treat.

In one phrase, Elizabeth I accomplished distancing herself from her half-sister's reign of terror and burning alive Protestants, settled religious feathers that were ruffled, and - bonus! - the inherent 'quote-ability' of her position on religious differences positioned her as an ally of both sides. 
Catholics knew they could clandestinely practice their faith in private, and Protestants knew theirs was the official religion in England. 
Both sides gave, and both sides got.

As queen, neither Elizabeth I, nor her half-sister Mary I, shied away from the possibility of dying for a cause; both women famously suited up to lead their loyal subjects into battle, if need be.
In 1553, Mary I, when informed her half-brother Edward VI had passed the throne to their cousin, Jane Grey, Mary I's reaction was 
"Yeah,  I don't THINK so, Lady Jane Grey."
to gear up, hop on the back of her battle charger, and lead her troops to London to claim her throne.
A queen fights for what's rightfully hers.
That's how Mary I got it done. 



When, in 1588 the Spanish Armada, a fleet of 130 (or so) ships carrying 18,000 (or so) battle-ready men set sail for England, bringing a fight right to the front door of Elizabeth's realm, Elizabeth's reaction was
"Yeah,  I don't THINK so, Philip II of Spain."

to get geared up, hop on the back of her battle charger, and told her troops she'd live - or die - among them.
 
"My loving people, we have been persuaded by some, that are careful of our safety, to take heed how we commit ourself to armed multitudes for fear of treachery, but I assure you, I do not desire to live to distrust my faithful, and loving, people. 
"Let tyrants fear, I have always so behaved myself, that under God I have placed my chief strength, and safeguard in the loyal hearts and goodwill of my subjects. 
"And therefore I am come amongst you as you see at this time, not for my recreation and disport, but being resolved in the midst, and heat of the battle to live, or die amongst you all, to lay down for my God, and for my kingdom, and for my people, my Honour and my blood - even in the dust.
"I know I have the body, but of a weak and feeble woman, but I have the heart and stomach of a king, and of a King of England, too, and think foul scorn that Parma or Spain, or any prince of Europe should dare to invade the borders of my Realm, to which rather than any dishonour should grow by me, I myself will take up arms, I myself will be your General, Judge, and Rewarder of every one of your virtues in the field." 

A queen was not afraid of her people.
A queen faced armed enemy troops with her people.
A queen willing to die with her people.

That's the behavior of a fearless, unbridled, Tudor queen. 
That's how Elizabeth I got it done.