Queen Elizabeth I’s Greatest Accomplishments

Greatest Accomplishments of Queen Elizabeth I

Elizabeth’s reign, termed the Elizabethan Era, marked a golden age of exploration, arts, and literature, with Shakespeare being a notable figure| Portrait: The “Darnley Portrait” of Elizabeth I (c. 1575)

During the reign of Queen Elizabeth, from 1558 to 1603, England witnessed a lot of improvement, from the military, especially the navy, to the economy. Barring her slight use of violence and executions to restore England to Protestantism, Queen Elizabeth I’s reign is fondly remembered for guiding England into its golden age.

ALSO READ: Exact Relationship Between Queen Elizabeth I and Queen Elizabeth II

Other feats chalked during her 44-year reign include:

  • Queen Elizabeth I of England brought under control the bloodshed and executions that were so often a feature of her predecessor’s reign. In order to do this, she used parliamentary acts such as the Act of Uniformity and the Act of Supremacy (passed by Parliament in 1559) to arm herself with enough power under the Church of England.
  • She rallied her Royal Navy to defeat the fierce and powerful Spanish Armada in 1588. Following the victory over the Spanish Armada, Queen Elizabeth I in effect announced to other European powers that England was a force to be reckoned with.
  • Queen Elizabeth I was a massive admirer of the arts and culture, promoting the development of new theater houses which in turn helped some of the greatest English playwrights like William Shakespeare, Edmund Spenser, and Christopher Marlowe to flourish.
  • With a lot of foresight, this powerful female monarch was able to transform England’s military and make her country a real major power in Europe. Prior to the attempted invasion of England by the Spanish Armada, Elizabeth had spent quite a lot in the previous decade revamping her naval strength. She had given the order for very maneuverable and steady ships to be constructed. Her foresight, as well as the inspirational speech she gave to her commanders, helped England secure victory over Philip II of Spain’s Armada.
  • England’s economy soared in the first part of her reign. This was buoyed on by the growth of commercial activities in urban areas. To put things into perspective, at the time of her death (in 1603), the capital London could boast of almost quarter of a million inhabitants.
  • Having established herself in her kingdom and in the Church of England as an authoritative female figure, Queen Elizabeth I was able to carefully position herself as one of the leading monarchs in all of Europe. She was certainly the most powerful woman in the world at the time. This was buoyed on by the fact that she quelled an invasion of England by Spain in 1588,
  • Praised for her massive amounts of self-confidence, courage and wits, Elizabeth was able to hold her kingdom together, preventing it from getting torn apart by massive conflict between Catholicism and Protestantism. She was able to rise to the occasion by building a strong personality which reflected the stellar progress England was making at the time.
  • In the centuries that have passed since her reign, Elizabeth I constantly gets ranked as one of the most influential British monarchs of all time. She shares that distinguished podium with monarchs such as Queen Elizabeth II and Queen Victoria.
Elizabeth I

Queen Elizabeth I of England

Facts about Queen Elizabeth I of England

Queen Elizabeth I's Facts and Achievements

Under her leadership, England witnessed an era of relative peace, prosperity, and artistic brilliance. Her reign laid the foundation for the British Empire, and her legacy as a powerful, wise, and just ruler endures. Portrait commemorating Elizabeth I’s victory over the Spanish Armada

Born on: September 7, 1533

Place of birth: Greenwich, England

Baptized: September 10, 1533

Died on: March 24, 1603

Place of death: Richmond, England

Father: Henry VIII of England

Mother: Queen Anne Boleyn

Godparents: the Marquess of Exeter, the Dowager Marchioness of Dorset, and the Duchess of Norfolk

Half-Siblings: Mary (later Queen Mary I), Edward (later King Edward VI)

Religion: Protestant

Nicknames: Good Queen Bess, the Virgin Queen

Coronation: January 15, 1559

Reign: 1558-1603

Predecessor:  Queen Mary I (“Bloody Mary”)

Successor: James I (also known as James VI of Scotland) – her cousin and the son of Queen Mary of Scots

Length of reign: 44 years

Godchildren: 102, including Sir John Harington

Elizabeth I of England

Difference between the Spanish Armada and the English Armada

Frequently Asked Questions

Queen Elizabeth I was certainly one of England’s most iconic monarchs. She has intrigued historians and the general public alike for centuries.

Below, we present some frequently asked questions about her:

Who were Elizabeth I’s parents?

Elizabeth I was the daughter of King Henry VIII and his second wife, Anne Boleyn.

Why was she called “The Virgin Queen”?

Elizabeth never married nor bore children, leading to her epithet, “The Virgin Queen.”

How long did Elizabeth I reign?

She reigned for 45 years, from 1558 until her death in 1603.

Crowned on January 15, Queen Elizabeth I had an illustrious 44-year reign on the English throne. “The Virgin Queen” is perhaps the most famous nickname for Elizabeth I, referencing her decision to never marry and remain “virgin.”

Who succeeded Elizabeth I after her death?

Elizabeth I was succeeded by James I (James VI of Scotland), her first cousin twice removed.

Did Elizabeth I ever marry?

No, Elizabeth I never married, despite having many suitors throughout her life.

Why didn’t she marry?

Various theories suggest reasons ranging from political strategy to personal traumas. Elizabeth herself stated that she was married to England.

What was Elizabeth I’s relationship with Mary, Queen of Scots?

Mary was Elizabeth’s first cousin once removed. Their relationship was fraught due to religious and political tensions, culminating in Mary’s imprisonment and eventual execution.

What was the Spanish Armada, and how was Elizabeth I involved?

In 1588, the Spanish Armada was a fleet sent by Spain’s Philip II to invade England. Under Elizabeth’s leadership, the English navy famously defeated the Armada.

How did Elizabeth I impact English culture?

Her reign, known as the Elizabethan Era, was a golden age for arts, literature, and exploration. William Shakespeare and other playwrights thrived during this period.

Was Elizabeth I popular among her subjects?

Generally, yes. Though she faced various challenges, many of her subjects viewed her as a strong and just ruler, as reflected in epithets like “Good Queen Bess.”

How did Elizabeth I handle religious tensions in England?

Elizabeth aimed for a middle path, establishing the Elizabethan Religious Settlement that sought a compromise between Catholicism and Protestantism.

Where is Elizabeth I buried?

She is buried in Westminster Abbey, London, in a tomb she shares with her half-sister, Mary I.

Unbeknownst to Elizabeth, the mercury-and lead-mixed beauty products that she used on a daily basis caused those toxic substances to sip straight into her skin. As those substances ate away her flesh, she continued to use more and more of those poisonous substances to hide the corrosion and wrinkles. It was a classic case of a vicious cycle. Image: Tomb of Elizabeth I in Westminster Abbey, London

Aside “the Virgin Queen”, what other nicknames did Queen Elizabeth I go by?

Queen Elizabeth I, one of the most celebrated monarchs in British history, went by several nicknames and epithets during her lifetime:

  1. Gloriana: This nickname is derived from the Latin term “Gloriana,” which means “Glorious.” Edmund Spenser dedicated his poem “The Faerie Queene” to Elizabeth using this name.
  2. Good Queen Bess: A more colloquial and affectionate name, “Good Queen Bess” conveys the fondness many of her subjects felt towards her.
  3. Oriana: This was another poetic epithet used for Elizabeth, particularly in songs and ballads.
  4. The Faerie Queen: Inspired by Spenser’s poem, this name emphasizes her mythical and larger-than-life stature.
  5. Eliza: A more casual diminutive of her name, used in some literary works.

These nicknames, among others, reflect the multifaceted nature of Elizabeth’s reign and her enduring influence on art, culture, and the perception of monarchy in England.

Queen Elizabeth I - Family tree

Queen Elizabeth I, reigning from 1558 to 1603, was the last monarch of the Tudor dynasty, which began with Henry VII in 1485. Under the Tudors, England underwent significant religious, political, and cultural changes.

Was Elizabeth the last Tudor monarch?

Yes, Elizabeth I was the last Tudor monarch. Upon her death, since she had no direct heirs, the crown passed to her first cousin twice removed, James VI of Scotland. He became James I of England and initiated the Stuart dynasty.

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