Let’s Look Up To… Queen Elizabeth I

One of the longest reigning monarchs of the United Kingdom, Queen Elizabeth I, was a kickass female. As a student of history and an anglophile, Good Queen Bess really floats my boat. She inherited the throne from her philandering father, Henry VIII, who chopped off the head of her mother, Anne Boleyn. Needless to say, Elizabeth’s succession to Queendom was tumultuous. But once she ascended that golden throne, damn did she do some good things.

Although, never expressly said, Elizabeth did a lot to calm the religious unrest that was set aflame during her half sister, Queen Mary’s reign, by famously stating that she refused to “make windows into men’s souls”, meaning she didn’t want to know what your religious affiliation was. So basically, she was like do your own thang. Elizabeth secured the Church of England during her time, a move that is generally considered as one that saved England from many of the bloody religious wars that were occurring in other European countries during the 16th century.

Also…she never got married! How amazing is this? Coming to the throne in 1558, in a time when women were basically considered nothing without a title they got from a man, it is phenomenal that Queen Elizabeth I never took a husband. Historical reports show she felt plenty of pressure to do so, but she was steadfast in remaining a single lady and showing her critics that she could rule the kingdom by her damn self, garnering her the nickname of the Virgin Queen. (Her chasteness or lack thereof is widely hypothesized on and debated, so the nickname mainly refers to her non-married status. Get it girl.)

45 years of navigating her country and her people through military conflicts, political scandal AND fostering the arts, Queen Elizabeth I is an iconic historical character who I think deserves to be looked up to as a powerful feminine figure. Remember how beautifully Cate Blanchett portrayed her in the movie Elizabeth? I like to think that Queen E really was that elegant. I mean she was known to stock up on brilliant jewelry and decadent clothing to take with her on her royal progresses. And she totally put in vogue painting her face with thick layers of white makeup. Fashionista.

So let’s give a shout-out to this fancy royalty and channel her essence when times get tough or we need a little pick-me-up in knowing that we can do it, jump over that obstacle or just plain be awesome. And without a husband to boot!

You can read more from Ally Garner on her blog.

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