Good morning, we are continuing our way through the Women who Made History series with a look at Queen Elizabeth I. it will be interesting to see how the Germans interpret England’s Greatest Queen. The run time is 48:34, a little shorter than the other Women Who Made History documentaries.
She was a woman who fought since she was born. Men, queens, and half of Europe fought her. Queen Elizabeth I was the Queen of England and the head of the church. She had faced many storms along the way. Two queens wanted her dead. Men wanted to marry her to have the throne. The Spanish declared the war on her. The Pope wanted her dead as well. How could this lone woman navigate such stormy waters?
The episode kicks off with the Spanish Armada and the attempted invasion of England. The Spanish Armada consisted of one hundred and thirty ships and these ships had thirty thousand soldiers on them. Elizabeth is afraid that England is lost. However, she prepares her speech to give to the troops. She talks about how she dislikes war and how it is a waste of money.
Elizabeth’s story flashes back to her father’s rule: King Henry VIII. Her birth was a disappointment to him as she could not rule. Towards the end of his life, Henry had three children. This section explores how she grew up in the country. She learned everything that a royal princess needed to learn. However, she was a child thirsty for knowledge and got the best teachers. She was an extraordinary child who had a sharp mind. She had the best education and was better educated at fifteen than most men. She was prepared to fight for England’s crown.
Things started to change when Mary I became queen. Mary went after the heretics hard and wanted hundreds burned. She was determined to purge the land of Protestants. The church discouraged her from doing the killing and wanted to persuade the people to return to the Catholic faith. Elizabeth was eventually locked in the Tower. Eventually, Elizabeth got an audience with Mary and plead her case. I found this portrayal of Mary Tudor a bit simplistic and rather harsh. There was not any nuance to the story of Mary and Elizabeth.
After Elizabeth was freed, she moved to the country and it was in the county she learned that she was Queen of England. Now she faced new challenges. Elizabeth inherited a county that had no money that was divided by their faith. Elizabeth immediately put an end to the heretic trials and freed the prisoners. She wanted to go on a tour of England, she wanted the people to see her and to see her people. However, there would be threats against her life by the Catholics. She planned a tour of England.
There was a little sticking to her reign: marriage. King Philip proposed marriage to Elizabeth, however, she wanted to remain single. That brought up questions of who would inherit England when she died. Those inheritance thoughts angered Elizabeth. Even talks about marriage angered Elizabeth. She did not want public debates on the heir to the throne. She refused to marry King Philip.
During this time, Francis Drake searched the world and attacked Spanish ships. It was an open secret that Elizabeth profited from piracy. Francis Drake brought her treasures. There was a cute little discussion on Elizabeth’s suitors including Ivan the Terrible, King Philip, Prince Francis, and King Erik of Sweden. It even explored a little bit of her relationship with Robert Dudley. Her relationship with Robert Dudley fueled rumors all over Europe.
Then Elizabeth received news that Mary Queen of Scots had a son. This next section focuses on Mary, Queen of the Scots. How would Elizabeth react to this news of Mary’s son? What would Elizabeth do when Mary asked Elizabeth for help? Continue to watch this episode to find out.
This was a different documentary exploring Tudor England. It approached Elizabeth as a woman who wanted what was best for England. It also showed her fiery temper which was well documented in history. If you want a different interpretation of Elizabeth I’s reign then show this documentary to a history classroom.
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