Marriage is a complicated thing that is effected by many things. People let things stand in the way of marrying the person they love. Circumstances sometimes determine whether marriage is appropriate or even possible. The same is true with Queen Elizabeth. She did was she thought was best for herself and her country. Queen Elizabeth I was tempted by many things but refused to marry for the good of her country.
Elizabeth never really wanted to marry which stemmed from her father?s many marriages. (Hanff, 12) She viewed love and marriage as bad because it led to the ax, as it did with her mother Anne Boleyn, and Catherine Howard. (Hanff, 17) Elizabeth did not want to be ruled by her husband, therefore she remained unattainable. (Weir, 52) She thought that if she stayed in control of her relationship, she would also stay in control of her country. (Weir, 52) A woman rejecting marriage was seen as being against the laws of nature, but Elizabeth was only concerned with the rule and dominance she had as the headship of England. (Weir, 45) It has been argued that the reason for her singleness was rooted in religious conservatism, but by more extensive evidence, it is more clearly shown that she was only concerned with the good of the country. (Warnicke) Wives were expected to be submissive and obedient to the husband, which did not appeal to the Queen. (Weir, 46) Elizabeth did not want to lose her newly gained freedom, which she had never had before. Her childhood years were dominated with rule from her father, and stepmothers. (Weir, 45)
Queen Elizabeth I was offered many gifts. The suitors found that they would be in her favor if she received presents from them. It was said that she received such things as a gold purse, garnished with jewels, a round clock set with diamonds hanging from the pendulum, and a ruby diamond bracelet with a clock clasp. (Hanff, 161) Elizabeth loved flowers as well as jewels. (Hanff, 161) Minor suitors caused a financial drain because they could not bring as many, or as nice of gifts as those who were more well off from the larger countries or places. (Warnicke) She was vain and liked flatteries so these gifts were always welcome. (The New Book of Knowledge, 178) It was once said that she became ?greedy of marriage proposals.? (Weir, 52)
Catholic and Protestant suitors from all over the countryside, went to ask for Elizabeth?s hand in marriage. Catholic rulers wanted to marry Elizabeth and add England to the Catholic bloc, while Protestants wanted to marry England and add England to the Protestant bloc. (Hanff, 71) French and Austrian candidates both competed for Elizabeth?s hand. Neither of them had much to offer to her. One of the suitors was rather young, and the other was much to devoted to Catholicism. (Warnicke) It was at one time said that Elizabeth was interested in a fellow by the name of Anjou.
He was also ruled out because of his youth and extreme Catholicism. This marriage would have caused political tension. (Warnicke) Kind Phillip of Spain was greatly interested in the so-called ?prize? of England. Elizabeth refused his offer, knowing that he just wanted to control English Policy. (The New Book of Knowledge, 178) A foreign husband might offer protection, but might also drain resources in wars of his own. (Weir, 45)
Answers to the question of marriage were complex, but yet simple. Elizabeth would never say ?yes? nor ?not,? but instead, just smiled and listened to each man as they presented their own proposal. (Hanff, 69) This was a very smart move by the Queen. If ?no? had of been her answer to all of the suitors, they would have seen that no strong prince was to share her thrown, therefore, any country might invade England. (Hanff, 71) She reasoned with herself that if she said ?yes? to Phillip of Spain, the Protestant bloc might make war, and if she said ?yes? to the King of Sweden, the Catholic bloc might make war. (Hanff, 71) She was very wise to pick the word ?maybe.? Elizabeth kept each king hanging on until he finally gave up and married someone else. (Hanff, 71-72) Each court was made to feel as though she liked his king a little more than the others. (Hanff, 69) For apparent reasons, the Queen passed a law to give both Catholics and Protestants the right to live in peace. (Hanff, 71)
Elizabeth was always questioned about having an heir to the throne, but she did not specify an heir because she did not want uprisings against them. (Weir, 42) Some believe that her reasoning behind not having a son was because she barren. (Weir, 47) This was a much talked about subject among the court, and the suitors. Spaniards offered bribes to the Queen?s laundress to find out whether or not she menstruated regularly. (Weir, 48) The French Ambassador?s nephew also decided to question the Queen?s doctor about her ability to bare children. (Weir, 48) William Cecil was also known to question Elizabeth?s physicians, laundress, and ladies. (Weir, 48) She once implied that ?any son of her body might conspire to overthrow her.? (Weir, 44) Many say that Queen Elizabeth was not very fond of children, which is supported by her saying, ?Princes cannot like their children, those that should succeed unto them.? (Weir, 44) She decided to leave the matter of her successor to Providence. (Weir, 44)
Robert Dudley played a large role in the Queen?s life. Robert and Elizabeth had been born at the same hour and under the same star, which formed a unique bond between them. (Hanff, 60) The courtship between Queen Elizabeth and Rob made the Kingdom politically unstable. (Warnicke) England wanted her to be happy and would have let her marry Rob if she so wished. (Hanff, 60) Robert asked the Queen to marry him, but she could not do so with the effect that it would have on her rule, and the stableness of her country. It was said that if she could not marry him, she would not marry anyone.
Queen Elizabeth I was tempted by many things but refused to marry for the good of her country. Suitors brought many types of gifts to persuade her into taking their king for marriage. She stood strong and looked at what was best for the country by never saying yes, or no to any of the men. Elizabeth did not have any heirs to the throne. Although she loved Robert Dudley, she did not marry him. Circumstances prevented Elizabeth from happiness such as marriage, but through the complete powerful rule that she held in England, she felt it was worth it to forfeit this right. Some people do not marry for many different reasons, partly because they do not find someone that they truly love. There are always obstacles to stand in the way of marriage.
Warnicke, Retha. ?Find Articles.com? www.findarticles.com/cf_o/m2082/1_61/53461541/pl/article.jhtml (November 26, 2000)
Jenkins, Elizabeth. Elizabeth the Great. New York. Coward – McCann, Inc. 1958
?Elizabeth I.? The New Book of Knowledge. 1970. New York, Grolier Incorporated.
Weir, Alison. The Life of Elizabeth I. New York. Ballentine Books.
Elizabeth I. Shekhar Kapur. Michael Hurst. PolyGram, Channel Four Films, Working Title Films.