I was thirteen years old when I discovered Elizabeth I. To my eager young mind, she was an amazing woman – the first (and only) English Queen to rule her nation without marriage, on her own merit. She kept hold of her kingdom even when Rome and Spain threatened it, restored it to its former glories after her father bankrupted it, and died the most famous “virgin” in history. As a girl who never much fancied marriage, she was my heroine.
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