A-Z Challenge

20130419-235303.jpg is for Queens of England.

With the exception of Empress Mathilda and Lady Jane Grey who reigned only few days. There are six real Queens who ruled England – Mary I (Bloody Mary Tudor), Elizabeth I (Tudor), Mary II (Stuart), Anne (Stuart), Victoria (Saxe-Coburg-Gotha) and the present Queen, Elizabeth II (Windsor)

20130420-000603.jpgMary 1 (Reign 19 July 1553 – 17 November 1558) Known as Bloody Mary because of her merciless persecution and burning of Protestants and religious dissenters. In 1554 Mary married Phillip of Spain which caused a right royal rumpus around the country. Calais, our last possession in Europe was lost during her reign causing Mary to lament that;
“When I am dead and opened, you shall find ‘Calais’ lying in my heart”.

20130420-120833.jpg Elizabeth 1 (Reign 17 November 1558 – 24 March 1603) Known as ‘Gloriana’ or ‘Good Queen Bess’. On August 8th 1588 she made this rousing speech at Tilbury after the Spanish Armada had limped back home after its defeat on July 29th;
My loving people, we have been persuaded by some that are careful of our safety, to take heed how we commit ourself to armed multitudes for fear of treachery; but I assure you, I do not desire to live to distrust my faithful and loving people … I know I have the body but of a weak and feeble woman, but I have the heart and stomach of a king, and of a King of England too, and think foul scorn that Parma or Spain, or any Prince of Europe should dare to invade the borders of my realm”

20130420-123541.jpg Mary 11 (Reign 13 February 1689 –
28 December 1694) Mary reigned with her husband William of Orange who was also her cousin. William & Mary reigned as King & Queen regnant following the Glorious Revolution which resulted in the deposition of her father, the Roman Catholic James 11. William became sole ruler on the death of his wife in 1694. Historians usually refer to their joint reign as that of William & Mary Her funeral service was the first of any royal attended by all the members of both Houses of Parliament. For the ceremony, composer Henry Purcell wrote Music for the Funeral of Queen Mary.

20130420-130411.jpg Anne (Reign 8 March 1702 – 1 May 1707) Anne was the sister of Queen Mary and the second daughter of King James 11. When she ascended the throne she was immediately popular with her subjects. When she addressed her first Parliament on March 11th she said;
“As I know my heart to be entirely English, I can very sincerely assure you there is not anything you can expect or desire from me which I shall not be ready to do for the happiness and prosperity of England” Anne was married to Prince George of Denmark but, despite having seventeen children, she died without surviving issue (her son, Prince George died aged 11) At her death John Arbuthnot, one of her doctors, thought her death was a release from a life of ill-health and tragedy; he wrote to Jonathan Swift, “I believe sleep was never more welcome to a weary traveller than death was to her.”

20130420-141401.jpg Victoria (Reign 20 June 1837 – 22 January 1901) Known as Empress of India and The Grandmother of Europe, Victoria was a slip of a girl of eighteen at the time of her succession. On hearing that she was queen she wrote in her diary that, “I was awoke at 6 o’clock by Mamma, who told me the Archbishop of Canterbury and Lord Conyngham were here and wished to see me. I got out of bed and went into my sitting-room (only in my dressing gown) and alone, and saw them. Lord Conyngham then acquainted me that my poor Uncle, the King, was no more, and had expired at 12 minutes past 2 this morning, and consequently that I am Queen.”
Victoria married her cousin, Prince Albert of Saxe-Coberg-Gotha on the 10th February 1840 and they had nine children. When Albert died of Typhoid Fever in December 1861 Victoria was devastated and retired from public life for many years. When Victoria herself died aged 81 and after reigning for 63 years she was and still is, the longest reigning monarch and queen regnant in world history.

20130420-143502.jpg Elizabeth 11 (Reign 6 February 1952 – present) When Princess Elizabeth succeeded her father, George V1 to the throne in 1952 she was twenty five years old, the same age as Elizabeth 1 was at her succession. At her birth, no one could have guessed that she would ever be queen. But, on the abdication of her uncle Edward V111 and her father becoming king, the young princess became heir to the throne. Elizabeth married Prince Phillip of Greece in 1947 and they have four children, Charles Prince of Wales, Anne The Princess Royal, Prince Andrew Duke of York and Prince Edward Earl of Wessex.
When she became queen she said that;
“I declare before you all that my whole life, whether it be long or short, shall be devoted to your service and the service of our great imperial family to which we all belong”. She continues to fulfil that promise to this day.

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