Queen Elizabeth I
Queen Elizabeth I (7 September 1533 – 24 March 1603) is considered by all reliable unbiased sources to be the greatest monarch to ever reign over England. During her time on the throne, Elizabeth made England an economic powerhouse and gave the monarchy much-needed stability.
Her impact lasted for a generation; it would have lasted for much longer if it wasn't for a pompous man, Charles I, who came along in the 1600s and screwed it all up. Indeed, Elizabeth's leadership, intelligence, murderous rage, fashion sense and disregard for dental hygiene are proof that only a woman can be trusted to run a country properly.
Elizabeth Tudor was born in 1533, the daughter of King Henry VIII and his beautiful and honourable second wife, Anne Boleyn. Elizabeth's childhood should have been a perfect happily ever after life of privilege and power. Instead, her early days were an education in how all men are liars, perverts and cheats.
Henry VIII ruled over the entire kingdom of England. He was the head of his own church and stood as one of the most prominent figures in European politics. However, he, like most men, was ruled by his penis. As Anne was nursing her beautiful ginger baby, the king was nursing a boner and out shagging every lady in waiting in sight. All the love and affection he claimed to hold for Anne was a lie. His claims to love their female child were a lie. That time when he said he was popping down to the milkmaid's quarters to fetch some butter – that was a lie too. Their entire three years together was a lie. In 1536, Henry accused Anne of adultery, found her guilty of treason and sent her to the Tower to be beheaded. The marriage was over.
At two years old Elizabeth was left alone, motherless, neglected by her father, with only her army of governesses and servants to care for her. Worse still, Elizabeth was pronounced illegitimate and stripped of the title of princess. You try telling a little girl that she's no longer a princess. Only a heartless man could do it.
Life improved for Elizabeth in 1540 when Henry married his fifth wife, Katherine Howard. Katherine took a keen interest in her seven year old stepdaughter (who was also her cousin. Henry was disgusting). Katherine restored Elizabeth to the royal household. She could join family hunting trips, watch daddy sign death warrants and sit at the table for Henry's daily celebratory feast. With Katherine as Henry's queen, Elizabeth was made to feel part of a family for the first time since her dad killed her mum. Then Henry accused Katherine of adultery, found her guilty of treason and sent her to the Tower to be beheaded. Elizabeth learnt never to trust a man again.
Henry died soon after marrying for the sixth time. Elizabeth would then spend her teen years living with her fourth stepmother, Catherine Parr. Unfortunately, there was also a man in the household, in the form of Catherine's pervy new husband, Thomas Seymour. Catherine Parr had always wanted to marry Seymour, but, because of sexism, she married Henry instead of her true love. She couldn't wait to marry Seymour once Henry died. Shame it wasn't really true love. Seymour had his eye on the teenage Elizabeth instead. Despite Seymour's requests, Elizabeth refused to call him daddy. There were a lot of things Elizabeth refused to do for her stepfather. Seymour was a gigantic sleaze, and the experience of living with a predatory sex pest forced Elizabeth to build on her independent spirit and already healthy hatred of men. She also developed what would become a lifelong aversion to tickling. These qualities would combine to create one of history's strongest women and its greatest leader.
While Elizabeth was fending off the advances of a 40-year-old man, her little brother Edward was lording it on the throne. However, Edward did not have the strength for the role of king. He was a sickly child, suffering from smallpox, measles, housemaid's armpit, the dreaded cringe and all kinds of flu. Edward did milk it, though. He really didn't need to lay in bed all day. When Elizabeth had smallpox, she was walking around the house, ordering the servants to do the dusting, playing the lute, dancing the volta. All she had to do afterwards was put on a bit of make up to cover the scars and she looked even more fabulous than she did before. Smallpox is really nothing to make a fuss about. Edward's feigning of illness reached its ridiculous, over-dramatic peak when he caught tuberculosis. He died on 6 July 1553.
Edward was followed onto the throne by Elizabeth's sister Mary, who stands as an example of what can go wrong when a woman listens to a man. She listened to her father, she listened to her husband and, worst of all, she listened to her patriarchal medieval version of God. Mary embarked on five years of frenzied, unladylike, killing. Anyone who wasn't a Catholic was rounded up and burnt at the stake. This method was at least more civilised than beheading, but it still involved killing huge numbers of English women.
Elizabeth was not a Catholic. She did not subjugate herself in front of the pope and throughout her life she refused to eat Jesus in wafer form. Despite her Protestant beliefs, Elizabeth not only survived Mary's reign, she flourished. Her sizeable public popularity meant that Mary feared to plot against her. Moreover, Mary's alternatives in the line of succession were far from preferable. Through a combination of patience, virtue and not being French, Elizabeth emerged triumphant and was named heir to the throne. Mary died in 1558, finally putting Elizabeth into the position she had been born for. The English people now had a queen they could rely on, one who wouldn't impose a new religion on them on a randy whim, one who wouldn't abandon them due to ill health, one who wouldn't kill them all. The people were very happy. As her coronation procession travelled through London, Elizabeth was greeted by the laughing, singing, joyous faces of innocent children, unsullied by the realities of our chauvinist phallocentric society. For once, they had hope for a better tomorrow.
Elizabeth never married, partly because of men's pathetic macho "I'm the boss" insecurities and partly because she didn't need a husband dawdling in the background, getting in the way during state business, only ever venturing an opinion in the hope that they'll stop being asked questions and then get to go home and maybe get laid. She didn't need a man to oversimplify everything and misunderstand the complexities of human society. And if she ever found a spider in the royal bathtub, she still didn't need a man – she could always call the army. Unfortunately, Elizabeth's frequent protestations against marriage didn't stop these horny pervs from trying it on with her.
Philip II of Spain
The king of Spain was the most high-profile of Elizabeth's suitors. As a fellow head of state he held none of the hang-ups others had about marrying his superior. He could also sympathise with the stresses and strains that come with a hard day's work waving at commoners and signing death warrants. But there was something else Elizabeth and Philip had in common that was far more significant than their jobs. Philip had been married to Elizabeth's half-sister Mary. Some men have this weird thing for sisters, and while the Tudor girls weren't some kinky pair of twins they clearly stimulated this sick desire in Philip. Luckily, Mary's little sister wasn't a scheming, conniving little slut who takes pleasure in stealing other women's husbands, trampling all over the best years of their lives in the process. Of course, Mary was dead by the time Philip made his advances, so it wasn't actually such a moral issue. Elizabeth still kept well clear, though.
Lord Robert Dudley
Robert Dudley was an English nobleman whose family had held a great deal of power during the reign of child-king Edward VI. It could be argued that Dudley came closest to marrying Elizabeth, not least because she actually liked him. The pair met as teenagers at the Tower of London when they were both imprisoned there. Young Robert was kept there with his family, who had supported the doomed attempt to get Lady Jane Grey on the throne. Elizabeth was kept there because of sexism. While living in the Tower with none of the homely comforts to which they were accustomed, their every move scrutinised by the queen's guards, the threat of torture or execution constantly hanging over both of them, love blossomed – emotional love, not the physical love that only men care about. However, it proved to be the sort of love found on reality television – once they escape to the outside world, the man goes and shags the first plastic-boobed glamour model he meets. In this case, Dudley ran off and married Amy Robsart, the daughter of a Norfolk squire. But, once Elizabeth became queen, she had the last laugh. Soon after the coronation, Amy fell down a flight of stairs and broke her neck, the clumsy bitch. Dudley's love for Elizabeth was renewed and Elizabeth would thereafter use his devotion to get menial work done, employing him as keeper of her horses and later in the highly-sought-after role of political minion.
The Spanish Armada
As a woman, Elizabeth knew that war solves nothing and that diplomacy and rational discussion is always the best solution to the problems that face the world. She presided over a peaceful period in her country's history during which England fought wars only in France, Holland and one in Ireland. That was until she went to war with Spain. Having been rebuffed in his attempts to take England by marriage, in 1588 Philip II tried to take it by force. He collected a formidable group of warships, pretentiously called it "the armada" and pointed it at England. With her own force hastily assembled, Elizabeth rallied her brave sailors with a speech that would live long in the memories of historians and scriptwriters.
|“||... I know I have the body of a weak and feeble woman; but I have the heart and stomach of a king.||”|
You go girlfriend! These inspirational words proved Elizabeth's qualities as a war leader: the truest test of a great monarch. Note the use of metaphor and imagery in this section of Elizabeth's remarkable address. If it had been a man giving the speech, he'd probably just shout "Let's fucking do this!" and then perform some kind of ritualistic chest bump. That would not have been as good.
Philip's fleet boasted 34 galleons. These were huge behemoths of ships, bigger than any warships that had come before them and far bigger than the English boats. Philip was clearly overcompensating for something. In practice, however, it proved that it is how you use your warships that count. Showing an all-too-predictable lack of forward planning, the Spanish sent their fleet out into a barrage of vicious storms on the eve of battle. Many ships were damaged, while others got lost and none of the stupid men onboard would ask for directions. The rest were skilfully outmanoeuvred by Elizabeth's smaller, more mobile ships. Philip's mighty galleons blundered aimlessly through the battle and were unable to find the queen's flagship. The Spanish force had no choice but to retreat, leaving England victorious and Elizabeth a heroine.
The 45 years that Elizabeth spent on the throne has come to be known as the Elizabethan era. Only Victoria, another queen, got an era named after her. It took four consecutive King Georges to merit a Georgian era, while they named James I's time as king after some bloke called Jacob. Edward VII merited only a period. Clearly, epoch-defining governance is strictly a female domain.
A golden age for exploring
The Elizabethan era featured a golden age for British explorers, inspired by an open-minded, adventurous queen who welcomed a broadening of her nation's horizons. For men, "trying new things" means something disgusting. For Elizabeth, however, "new things" meant America and the potato. She delivered these by humouring Sir Walter Raleigh, a talented sailor, but also a monumental show off and all-round arse. A man might have let a personal dislike of someone affect their judgement and enter into a pointless rivalry over who has the bigger penis. Elizabeth, however, recognised that she needed Raleigh's expertise if England were to capitalise on the riches of the new world. He was a cock, though. Once, on a walk with the queen, Raleigh famously laid his cloak across a muddy puddle in a patronising attempt to save Elizabeth's shoes, as if they were all she cared about. (They were the red Italian ones with an understated heel and those cute little strappy bits at the top.) Elizabeth was forced to accept this gesture to protect the famed explorer's fragile ego. It did help that Raleigh had left his watch in his pocket. The result of the queen's diplomacy was an accidentally-on-purpose smashed timepiece and a controlling influence in the Americas for generations to come.
Unfortunately, Elizabeth's appeasement of Raleigh extended to allowing him to name a state after her. Virginia was named after her moniker of "the virgin queen", a vile epithet which implied that her unmarried status was a challenge to all the men in the land. It was as if their great leader was some prize in a teen sex comedy. Elizabeth was a prize that no one was going to win. Instead Raleigh would have to settle for shagging Baron Burghley's mom. Despite the connotations of juvenile fuckery, having such a respectable and refined state christened after her is a remarkable honour. It's much better than Georgia.
A golden age for culture
The Elizabethan era also coincided with a golden age for English literature, with William Shakespeare and Christopher Marlowe together producing the greatest plays ever written. There is a clear link between extraordinary literature and the presence of an intelligent, culturally literate female ruler. No one tops Elizabeth's record, with Shakespeare providing for her such timeless heroes as Juliet, Cordelia and Lady Macbeth. Elizabeth continues to inspire artists to this day with her unique blend of bravery, charisma and amazing dresses. For example, the series of Blackadder set in Elizabethan England is by far the best of the four. Elizabeth is also the only person to have had two people win an Oscar for playing her. It should be noted that the bloke from the godfather films doesn't count, because he was only based on a real person and because gangster films are stupid. Judi Dench and Cate Blanchett are better actors (not actresses!) than Pacino and Brando too, but they were overlooked for the role of Vito Corleone. Blanchett went on to secure a second Oscar nomination for playing Elizabeth, the only woman to do so for the same character. One film is not enough for a queen who keeps on giving inspiration to independent women everywhere and will continue to do so for as long as there are men around to look stupid in comparison.
- Just like my bastard ex husband, Graham.
- But I'm glad our kids don't see you, Graham. They deserve a father who is a role model, not a drunken, porn-watching, misogynistic liar.
- A lesson most women don't learn until they're selling their husband's golf clubs or posting dog shit through their mother in law's letterbox.
- Reminds me of Graham. Yeah, that's right, I saw you perving on our next door neighbour's daughter. Don't patronise me with all that "Isn't it amazing how quickly they grow up?" bullshit.
- He never caught gonhorrhea after a lads' holiday to Prague, though. You didn't think I knew about that, did you Graham?
- Yeah, that means you Charlotte, you tramp! I know you're reading this. You may think you're happy now, but in five years time, when you've had two kids, he's lost interest and his dick doesn't work anymore, we'll see who's laughing then!
- I know they're fake, Charlotte.
- My ex liked the all-male fourth series. Well, Graham, 35 per cent of voters in an online poll on www.fanpop.com have proved you pig-headed and wrong!
barmy British stuff