"The Virgin Queen" is one of the most famous names in history. She is not only known

for her stubbornness to remain single, she was also probably the greatest ruler of England. She

used her beauty and femininity to get what she wanted. And it worked.

A large part of her success were her relations with her subjects. It was extremely

important to her to be on good terms with them. Her accessibility increased their adoration of

her. When the country suffered from high inflation due to debt, she cut down on the expenses of

her court by making constant visits to the nobility. They cared for her entourage as well as her,

and gave her gifts such as gems, jewelry, cloth, dresses, shoes furniture, and food. Gifts that the

England's taxes need not pay for. She also encouraged English pirates to raid Spanish ships for

treasure. The Spaniards were practically loaded with gold, jewels, spices and cloth from the New

World. When asked by the Spanish ambassadors to stop the pirating, Elizabeth told them the

pirates were acting on their own will and she had absolutely no control. All that mattered to her

was that England was gaining money.

Elizabeth used every card in her hand to keep control of the government. The little actress

would cry, scream, bully, and threaten until she got her way. When this didn't work, she used the

ace: her single status. The ministers would agree to anything if only she would allow marriage

negotiations. And she did. She just never followed through with them.

Elizabeth's unmarried state may have been shocking back then, but it proved to be more

useful than not. No country would invade England while she was free to court their royalty. The

desperation of her courtiers to see her married off led to the first era of peace in years. During

the quiet, Elizabeth began setting up the foundation for court. She was to be the center of the

court and its functioning. The court slept, ate, and breathed when Elizabeth did. She could go to

three in the morning and get up at four and the entire court had to follow suit. She was

comparable to a queen bee, with the workers dependent on her every move.

Elizabeth united the people by refusing to make religion an issue, unlike past and future

rulers of England. Her availability in marriage prevented costly wars and cat-fights. Her drama in

the kept them in check and made them available at her every beck and call so as to prevent

another emotional outburst. She may not have been a truly virgin queen, but she was one of the


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