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Elizabeth I consulted the court physician, saying that every time her musicians were preparing to play, she developed a rash. His diagnosis was that she was suffering from pre-minstrel tension. Anon
But if Elizabeth put out the fires of religious fanaticism, she lit them in the breasts of patriotic Englishmen and women ... The reinstatement of a truly English way ... It was above all a Protestant Englishness ... Now Protestantism and patriotism were one and the same. Simon Schama, A History of Britain: Burning Convictions, BBC 2000
It doesn’t do to be too starry eyed about the Virgin Queen. Elizabeth I was only too obviously made of flesh and blood. She was vain, spiteful, arrogant, she was frequently unjust, and she was often maddeningly indecisive. But she was also brave, shockingly clever, an eyeful to look at, and on occasions she was genuinely wise. Simon Schama, A History of Britain: The Body of the Queen
She simply adored being adored. ibid.
Dudley was everything Cecil was not: flashy, gallant, a noisy extrovert and not least incredibly good looking, especially on a horse. ibid.
Mary Stuart, Queen of Scots: throughout the whole tortured history of their relationship Elizabeth was eaten up by curiosity about her cousin Mary ... Mary was next in line to the English throne. ibid.
The cult, the religion of Elizabeth, was spectacularly created. ibid.
In Rome the Pope declared that Elizabeth was to be considered a heretic. Whoever sends her out of the world, the Pope decreed, does not only not sin but gains merit in the eyes of God. ibid.
A mother dressed in a breast-plate of steel. Everything Elizabeth had ever learned came together at Tilbury. ibid.
Elizabeth and Mary Stuart never met. ibid.
Down with the cult of the Virgin Mary and up with the cult of the Virgin Queen. Simon Schama’s Shakespeare I, BBC 2012
The ultimate drama queen – Elizabeth I. Simon Schama’s Shakespeare II: Hollow Crowns BBC 2012
Shakespeare could see the ageing queen up close. ibid.
Elizabeth I’s Rainbow Portrait: This one pulls you into a labyrinth of signs and symbols. Face of Britain by Simon Schama, BBC 2015
Matters came to a head in the parliament of 1556 which attempted to force Elizabeth to name a successor and by implication to exclude the claim of Mary, Queen of Scots. Monarchy by David Starkey s2e3: Shadow of a King, Channel 4 2005
The first to move against her was Rome. ibid.
Elizabeth was one of the most remarkable individuals ever to wear the crown. Monarchy by David Starkey s3e3: Rule Britannia
Elizabeth had an incredibly fiery temper inherited I think from both her father Henry VIII and her mother Anne Boleyn. And she was capable of lashing out at those around her ... She one day stabbed one of the ladies in the back of the hand with a fork for serving her ill at dinner. And she broke another lady’s finger in a fit of temper when the said a lady had married without Elizabeth’s consent. Tracy Borman, author Elizabeth’s Women
They called her the Virgin Queen: Elizabeth I. Her reign is said to have produced a golden age. But behind the legend lies many secrets and an enigma that’s obscured over the centuries. Why didn’t Elizabeth marry and provide an heir to the throne? Elizabeth I: The Secret Life, National Geographic 2011
One sensational theory ... The desperate servants substituted a local child for the princess ... The substitute was a boy ... The tale has endured. ibid.
It seemed Elizabeth was a forsaken child. ibid.
The young princess moved in with her step-mother who quickly married a close friend, Thomas Seymour. The relationship between the princess and her step-father sparked another scandal that may have put her off marriage for good. ibid.
On her deathbed reports claim that Elizabeth firmly decreed that under no condition should her body be embalmed. Did the Queen have something to hide? ibid.
Her One True Love: he was of course Lord Robert Dudley. ibid.
Her letters to Dudley hint at intimacy. ibid.
To many the death of Dudley’s wife wasn’t a coincidence ... Did Elizabeth have anything to do with it? ibid.
She wore heavy white make-up in ever thicker layers. ibid.
In 1560 an English nobleman’s wife is found mysteriously dead. But this is no ordinary Elizabethan housewife. She is Amy Robsart, wife of Robert Dudley. Reputed lover of Elizabeth I. Mystery Files: The Virgin Queen, National Geographic 2011
Elizabeth will never be able to marry Dudley because of one rather inconvenient fact: he is already married. ibid.
Ultimately, the jury’s verdict is accidental death. They determine that she died from a broken neck after falling down the stairs. ibid.
In 2007 the original Coroner’s report into Amy’s death was uncovered in the national archives. It reveals in addition to her broken neck there were two lacerations to her head. (England & Elizabeth I) ibid.
Elizabeth is not above suspicion. ibid.
There are reasons for both Cecil and Dudley to be suspects. ibid.
With so much rumour around the death the two were unable to marry. ibid.
3September 8th 1560: the discovery of a young woman’s body is about to shock Elizabethan England. The death of Amy Robsart will threaten Elizabeth’s reputation and it will ultimately destroy the Tudor dynasty. Amy is found dead at the foot of a staircase. The authorities claimed she broke her neck accidentally falling down stairs. Now by extraordinary chance the Coroner’s report has been unearthed after 450 years. It suggests foul play. The document contains the explosive revelation that Amy had other serious injuries. Elizabeth I: Killer Queen? National Geographic 2010
Aged just twenty-five Elizabeth had to take control of her country. Ruthless and fiercely protestant William Cecil became the most influential man in the country. Persuading Elizabeth to choose the right husband is one of Cecil’s chief concerns. Foreign suitors circle the Queen like vultures. ibid.
Her thoughts are elsewhere: she had fallen for the wild charms of Robert Dudley. ibid.
Dudley was playing high stakes to woo the Queen. ibid.
In desperation Cecil plots against the relationship. ibid.
The reports also say she had two massive head injuries. ibid.
England was rife with rumours. The Queen was linked with murder! ibid.
Elizabeth now turned to William Cecil to help her ride out the storm. ibid.
Why not simply annul his marriage? ibid.
But what if Dudley’s henchmen took matters into their own hands and killed Amy? ibid.
Could the Queen have ordered the death of her rival? ibid.
Would Elizabeth have remained the virgin queen if Amy hadn’t been murdered? ibid.
The one thing that he [Dudley] wants – which is to marry Elizabeth – becomes absolutely impossible to him because Elizabeth’s reputation cannot be damaged. Philippa Gregory
I believe Cecil murdered Amy. Philippa Gregory
Dudley’s reaction when he hears his wife has died is very very interesting. Because really his reaction then is the strongest evidence we have for his innocence. Sarah Gristwood, author Elizabeth & Leicester
There is no doubt that Cecil is an astute political operator ... But I don’t think that implies he arranged for Amy’s death. Chris Skidmore, Elizabethan researcher
3Present me to Her Majesty the Queen. The Virgin Queen 1955 starring Bette Davis & Richard Todd & Joan Collins & Jay Robinson & Herbert Marshall & Dan O’Herlihy & Robert Douglas & Romney Brent & Leslie Parrish & Lisa Daniels & Rod Taylor & Nelson Leigh et al, director Henry Koster, Raleigh
Heavy with gold and spices, I’ve swelled the coffers of the realm. Give me these ships, madam. ibid. Raleigh