"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