Many people believe that Elizabeth I was forced to marry Philip of Spain by her advisers. Was this truly the case? Let’s take a look at the evidence.
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Elizabeth II is the constitutional monarch of the United Kingdom and its overseas territories, with a realm that comprises four countries: England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. She has held numerous titles and honours, and is the world’s oldest reigning monarch as well as Britain’s longest-lived. Elizabeth was born in London as the first child of Prince Albert, Duke of York (later King George VI), and his wife, Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon.
Philip, Duke of Edinburgh is the husband of Queen Elizabeth II. After an education at various schools in the United Kingdom and serving in the Royal Navy during World War II he married Princess Elizabeth in 1947. He was created Duke of Edinburgh on his wedding day, nine months before she became queen on 6 February 1952 following the death of her father King George VI. Philip left active military service when Elizabeth became queen.
Elizabeth’s Early Life
Elizabeth was born in 1533 to Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn, the second of Henry’s six wives. By the time Elizabeth was two, her mother had been beheaded and her father had remarried. Elizabeth spent much of her childhood moving between palaces, living largely in isolation from the rest of court life. She received an excellent education, learning Latin, Greek, French, Italian, and Spanish. She also became a skilled musician and horsewoman.
Elizabeth Becomes Queen
On November 17, 1558, at the age of twenty-five, Elizabeth became Queen of England following the death of her half-sister Mary I. The only child of King Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn, Elizabeth succeeded to the throne after Mary’s brief reign as the last monarch of the House of Tudor.
Elizabeth’s accession was marked by considerable upheaval in the governing of England. In 1549, during the reign of her father, a change in religion had resulted in rioting and insurrection; these events were followed by further unrest during Mary’s reign. Elizabeth’s fifteen-year rule would eventually be considered one of relative stability and prosperity compared to what had come before.
Philip’s Early Life
Philip was born in Greece in May of 1868, the son of Prince Louis of Battenberg and his wife, Princess Victoria of Hesse and by Rhine. Philip’s four sisters all married into German royalty, but Philip himself was something of a black sheep. He spent much of his youth being shuffled between relatives, attending various schools in England, Germany, and Russia. In 1897, he entered the Naval College at Dartmouth, where he excelled.
Philip and Elizabeth Meet
Elizabeth and Philip met in 1934 when Elizabeth was just eight years old and Philip was thirteen. It’s said that Elizabeth fell in love with Philip immediately, but Philip took longer to grow fond of Elizabeth. The two bonded over their shared love of equestrianism and spent many hours riding together. By the time Elizabeth was thirteen and Philip eighteen, their relationship had blossomed into romance.
There is some evidence to suggest that Elizabeth’s father, King George VI, may have encouraged the relationship in order to keep Philip close to the royal family. At the time, there were concerns that Philip, as a Greek prince, would eventually return to Greece and leave Elizabeth behind.
While it’s impossible to know for sure what Elizabeth and Philip’s relationship was like during this time, it seems likely that they were at least good friends if notromantic partners. In any case, their relationship would change dramatically in 1939 when World War II broke out.
Philip and Elizabeth’s Wedding
In 1949, Elizabeth and Philip were married in Westminster Abbey. The wedding was a grand affair, attended by royalty and dignitaries from all over the world. Though Elizabeth was only 21 at the time, she had been groomed for her role as queen since birth. Her father, King George VI, had died just a few months before her wedding, making her the newly crowned Queen of England.
There has been much speculation over the years as to whether or not Elizabeth was forced to marry Philip. Some believe that she was pressured by her mother and advisers to marry him in order to solidify England’s ties with Greece and Denmark (Philip’s family). Others believe that she truly loved Philip and wanted to marry him.
Regardless of the reasons behind their marriage, Elizabeth and Philip have remained together for over 70 years. They have four children together: Charles, Anne, Andrew, and Edward.
Philip’s Role as Consort
From the very beginning, there were rumors that Elizabeth was forced to marry Philip. It was even said that she had been hypnotized into agreeing to the marriage! Of course, these rumors were spread by Elizabeth’s enemies, mostly Catholic countries who did not want to see a Protestant queen married to a Spanish prince. Nevertheless, the rumors persisted and many people believed them.
There is no doubt that Philip was an attractive man and Elizabeth was fond of him. She may have even been in love with him at one point. However, there is no evidence that she was ever forced to marry him against her will. In fact, it seems that Elizabeth herself was the one who insisted on marrying Philip. She believed that it would be good for both England and Spain if they were united through marriage.
Elizabeth’s Later Years
Elizabeth’s Later Years
In 1558, Elizabeth I succeeded her half-sister Mary as queen of England, beginning a remarkable 45-year reign during which she restored the Protestant Church of England and presided over a glorious era in the arts know as the English Renaissance. popularly known as the Virgin Queen because she never married, Elizabeth faced numerous suitors during her lifetime but resisted all efforts to pressure her into marry for political gain. In 1554, at age 18, Elizabeth was forced by her council to accept a marriage proposal from Philip II of Spain, but she quickly rejected him upon becoming queen. Philip continued to pursue Elizabeth with marriage proposals throughout her reign, but she consistently refused him.
It is unclear why Elizabeth never married, though historians have suggested a number of possible reasons. Some believe that she was secretly in love with Lord Robert Dudley, a close friend and courtier who was married to another woman. Others speculate that she may have been scarred by her father’s infamously tumultuous marriages and subsequent executions of Anne Boleyn and Catherine Howard. Still others believe that Elizabeth was simply too indecisive to commit to one man or that she viewed herself as married to her country and would not consider taking a husband without risking instability in the realm. Whatever the reason, Elizabeth’s single status allowed her to rule without having to defer to a husband or face opposition from jealous queen consorts, and many believe that this helped her maintain power for so long.
Philip’s Later Years
Elizabeth and Philip continued to live together at Windsor Castle, but their relationship was not always harmonious. In his later years, Philip was often criticized for his brusque manner and he was sometimes accused of being too controlling. Nevertheless, the couple remained together until Elizabeth’s death in 1603.
It is clear that Elizabeth was not forced to marry Philip and that she married him voluntarily. The main evidence for this is the fact that she had many suitors and could have chosen to marry someone else, but she chose Philip. There is also no evidence that she was pressured into marriage by her father or anyone else.