EC4, Fleet street.”
The address I couldn’t stop looking for. What it had treasured was an epitome of vim, dynamism and undaunted soul. Entry in the church brought me closer to the phrases in my book. Every lecture of my professor seemed familiar and every word was meaningful. One glance at Queen Elizabeth 1 resolved all the histories. Yes, a woman who became the Queen of England at 25, from 1558 for the next 44 years .
Looking at the beautiful paintings and scriptures it was assured that her power, sneer, victories all may have decayed but her liveliness is beautifully kept alive by the artists. Just as i say walked ahead, father Wilson came across – exactly in a black cape, white beard and a bible in the hand with a curious intention to welcome the guest. Obviously I expected a warm greeting from his side but the fire in him triggered before it set.
“Elizabeth 1, Fortune sometimes doth conquer kings and rules and reigns on earth and earthly things.
Oh this honorable lady left no stone unturned to unnerve thy world, thy lady ruled..”
There was a tinge of amazement, anguish and a story in his eyes. I gloated into his eyes, almost hypnotized and he turned his back towards me, compelling to follow him. There was just something I, you and all of us were missing out on this lady. Serving me with a cup of coffee, father made it warm finally ,of course.
Starting with the most surprising fact I came across :
Elizabeth might have been a man!
Although she has gone down in history as the Virgin Queen, it was widely expected that Elizabeth would marry. But as she continued to resist pressure from her councilors to take a husband, rumors began to circulate that there was some secret reason why she was so determined not to marry. One of the most popular was that Elizabeth had some ‘womanish infirmity’ that prevented her from conceiving. This gained such currency that a foreign ambassador bribed the queen’s laundresses to report on the state of her sheets so that they might discover whether her menstrual cycle was normal.
Not only this, much of her supremacy was a result of…
2. Elizabeth used dirty tactics to outshine her rivals
Elizabeth exalted in being the queen bee at court. She employed dirty tactics to make sure that she kept all of the male attention to herself. Thus, while Elizabeth appeared at court bedecked in lavish gowns of rich materials and vivid colours, her ladies were obliged to wear only black or white.
No matter how attractive they might be in their own right, the plain uniformity of their dress would draw all eyes to the star of the show.
To test the effect that this created, the queen once asked a visiting French nobleman what he thought of her ladies. He immediately protested that he was unable to ‘judge stars in the presence of the sun’. This was exactly the response Elizabeth required.
Elizabeth was a mumma’s girl
Well, there was some kind of a false story of Elizabeth hating her mother (who was executed by Elizabeth’s father allegedly because she slept with another man). This is far from truth proved by Elizabeth’s gestures.
Elizabeth was a great pragmatist. She had no wish to alienate her cover of her subjects by openly voicing her love for her mother who was still reviled as the ‘Great Whore’. Instead, Elizabeth chose more subtle ways to demonstrate her affection. For example, when posing for a portrait during her teenage years, she wore her mother’s famous ‘A’ pendant around her neck – an audacious stunt that would have landed her in hot water if her father had spotted it. As a queen she made sure that all her late mother’s relatives were allotted with a higher status in the court.
Elizabeth – An actress?
Sometimes an actor, sometimes a daughter, always a queen. She not only kept it to television but big screens. Elizabeth made it her mission while in power to patronise the theatrical arts. Her devotion to stage led to an assortment of musings regarding her relationship to William Shakespeare. Some scholars surmise that the
Queen had a personal kinship with the playwright, who alludes to her (quite amorously) in the second act of A Midsummer Night’s Dream:
That very time I saw, but thou couldst not
Flying between the cold moon and the earth,
Cupid all arm’d: a certain aim he took
At a fair vestal throned by the west,
And loosed his love-shaft smartly from his bow,
As it should pierce a hundred thousand hearts;
But I might see young Cupid’s fiery shaft
Quench’d in the chaste beams of the watery moon,
And the imperial votaress passed on,
In maiden meditation, fancy-free.
5. Jack of all languages
Elizabeth could understand several languages: English, Latin, Greek, Italian, French, Spanish, Welsh and apparently even Cornish, a language which is now only spoken by about 2,000 people in Cornwall.
6. She cursed like a sailor!
Elizabeth was known for her proclivity for colorful language, a characteristic she is said to have inherited from her father, King Henry VIII.
A curation by Priyal Bhatiya
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