Picture of Queen Elizabeth I
 

Childhood of Queen Elizabeth I

  • Interesting Facts and information about the Childhood of Queen Elizabeth I
  • The Childhood of Queen Elizabeth I
  • Her Early years as Queen of England
  • The Later Years of the Virgin Queen
  • Timeline of Queen Elizabeth I of England

Picture of Queen Elizabeth I

The Childhood of Queen Elizabeth I

 

The Childhood of Queen Elizabeth I
The Childhood of Queen Elizabeth I was a difficult one. Elizabeth was born 7 September 1533 at Greenwich Palace. The child of King Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn. Her much awaited birth was a huge disappointed to King Henry who longed for a male heir. Everyone had predicted the birth of a boy - the King had expected it. The attitude from Queen Anne Boleyn showed great courage and was basically 'a fine healthy girl this time, a lusty boy will be next'.

 
 
 

The Christening of Princess Elizabeth
Princess Elizabeth was given a lavish christening but her father, King Henry did not attend. She was christened in the Chapel of the Observant Friars. Her Godfather was Thomas Cramner and her Godmother was the Duchess of Norfolk. Following the christening Princess Elizabeth was tended to in the royal nursery. She was attended buy a wet nurse who fed her and a dry nurse who attended to her other needs.

Hatfield - the home of Princess Elizabeth
When Princess Elizabeth was just three months old she was given her own household, as was required by the etiquette of the Elizabethan era.

 

She was escorted in a procession through the streets of London by her great-uncle to her new home and household at Hatfield House - a palace in Hertforshire.

Mary Tudor the Half-Sister of Princess Elizabeth
Mary was the half-sister of Princess Elizabeth, the daughter of King Henry and Katherine of Aragon - the wife he had discarded for Ann Boleyn. Mary was 17 years old when Elizabeth was born. The birth of Elizabeth heralded the demotion of Mary. King Henry demanded that she gave up her title of the Princess of Wales and was to be known as the Lady Mary - she was also declared illegitimate. When she was ordered to pay respect to the new baby she burst into tears and replied that she knew of no Princess of England but herself. To add insult to injury she was ordered to leave her mother and move to the household at Hatfield, in a subservient role to her half-sister. She was also expected to acknowledge the annulment of her father's marriage to her mother, Katharine of Aragon, and the validity of his new marriage to Anne Boleyn. Not surprisingly Mary hated Anne Boleyn and her relationship with Elizabeth was marred throughout their lives.

 
 

Mary Tudor the Half-Sister of Princess Elizabeth
Mary was the half-sister of Princess Elizabeth, the daughter of King Henry and Katherine of Aragon - the wife he had discarded for Ann Boleyn. Mary was 17 years old when Elizabeth was born. The birth of Elizabeth heralded the demotion of Mary. King Henry demanded that she gave up her title of the Princess of Wales and was to be known as the Lady Mary - she was also declared illegitimate. When she was ordered to pay respect to the new baby she burst into tears and replied that she knew of no Princess of England but herself. To add insult to injury she was ordered to leave her mother and move to the household at Hatfield, in a subservient role to her half-sister. She was also expected to acknowledge the annulment of her father's marriage to her mother, Katharine of Aragon, and the validity of his new marriage to Anne Boleyn. Not surprisingly Mary hated Anne Boleyn and her relationship with Elizabeth was marred throughout their lives.

The Early Childhood of Elizabeth
Mary was very unhappy living as a member of Elizabeth's household. She was refused access to her mother Katharine of Aragon, who stubbornly refused to acknowledge Anne as the Queen.
Meanwhile Elizabeth was afforded all the courtesy due to a Princess of the royal blood. Her mother and father paid great attention to the running of the nursery. Anne Boleyn choose the materials and colors for the clothes of the Princess. This was extremely important as the clothes worn during the Elizabethan era reflected the status of the wearer. Elizabeth had her own dress maker called William Loke, who would have been well aware of the importance of the clothes made for Princess Elizabeth.

The Childhood of Queen Elizabeth I - Lady Bryan
Princess Elizabeth's first governess was the noble Lady Margaret Bryan, a baroness whom Elizabeth called "Muggie". Lady Margaret Bryan was experienced in this post as she had also helped with the early childhood and upbringing of Princess Mary. The early childhood of Queen Elizabeth was therefore taken care of, not by her parents, but by Lady Bryan. Elizabeth would see her parents on special occasions and festivals such as Christmas.

The Childhood of Queen Elizabeth I - Matthew Parker
Matthew Parker ( 1504 - 1575 ) played a special role in the early childhood of Princess Elizabeth. He was educated at Cambridge University and in 1535 became the Chaplain of Anne Boleyn. Anne Boleyn entrusted Matthew Parker with the spiritual well being of her daughter. Elizabeth always trusted Matthew Parker - her sister Mary hated him due to his Protestant beliefs. When Elizabeth eventually became Queen she appointed Matthew Parker as the Archbishop of Canterbury.

 

The Childhood of Princess Elizabeth - the Death of Anne Boleyn
So during the first two years of the Childhood of Princess Elizabeth she was treated with the utmost care and respect. But her fortunes fell with the downfall of her mother, the tragic Anne Boleyn. Anne Boleyn became pregnant again by January 1534 but she miscarried. Another pregnancy followed but the child, which was reported to have been a boy, was stillborn. Anne's failure to produce a male heir proved to be her downfall. Henry believed that their union was cursed and his attentions turned to one of her ladies-in-waiting, Jane Seymour. Anne was arrested and condemned to death on the charges of treason, adultery and incest (with her brother George Boleyn).

On May 19th 1536 Queen Anne Boleyn beheaded on Tower Hill. Anne's body and head were buried in an unmarked grave in the Chapel of St. Peter ad Vincula. Within 24 hours of Anne Boleyn's execution, Jane Seymour and Henry VIII were formally betrothed. Elizabeth was not yet three years old. On the 30th of May 1536 King Henry, and the already pregnant, Jane Seymour were married.

 
 

Early Childhood - Princess Elizabeth becomes Lady Elizabeth
The household of Princess Elizabeth was in confusion and turmoil. Lady Bryan did her best to protect Elizabeth from the terrible events which had befallen her mother. Elizabeth, like her half-sister before her, was stripped of her title of Princess and was to be referred to as the Lady Elizabeth. When Elizabeth was told of this change in status she replied "how haps it governor, yesterday my Lady Princess, today but my Lady Elizabeth?" Her father was wrapped up in his marriage to Jane Seymour who gave birth to the much awaited son and heir for King Henry. At this time Elizabeth suffered with some neglect and Lady Bryan was forced to write to Secretary Thomas Cromwell stating that Elizabeth was outgrowing her infant clothes and there was no household money to properly clothe her and no direction on how her upbringing or social status was to change. She complained that Elizabeth "hath neither gown, nor kirtle, nor petticoat." Queen Jane Seymour showed some sympathy towards the daughter of the disgraced Anne Boleyn and King Henry treated her with more affection and kindness on the few occasions Elizabeth was called to attend court. When Elizabeth was just four years old she was removed from the care of Lady Margaret Bryan. The birth of Edward was of supreme importance to Henry and Lady Bryan was entrusted with his care as she had for his half-sisters Mary and Elizabeth.

The Childhood of Princess Elizabeth - Kat Ashley
Lady Margaret Bryan was replaced with a new governess for Elizabeth. Her name was Katharine Champernowne. In 1545 Katherine Champernowne later married a distant cousin of Anne Boleyn called John Ashley. She therefore became related to Elizabeth through marriage which strengthened their close ties. She was commonly known by the name of Kat Ashley. Kat came from Devon and was a well educated, loving and affectionate governess. Kat was completely devoted to Elizabeth. Elizabeth came to love Kat dearly and she played an important role in her life as a friend and confidante. Elizabeth praised Kat’s early devotion to her studies by stating that she took “great labor and pain in bringing of me up in learning and honesty”. The household had been reorganised and the number of servants reduced to thirty-two.

The Childhood of Princess Elizabeth - Thomas Parry
Thomas Parry (1505 - 1560 ) was a Welshman and was appointed steward to Elizabeth in her teenage years. He also became a loyal and devoted servant to Elizabeth and was a friend of Sir William Cecil. When Elizabeth became Queen she rewarded Thomas Parry's services with a knighthood, a seat on her Privy Council and the appointments of Controller of her Household and of Master of the Court of Wards and Liveries.

The Childhood of Princess Elizabeth - Where she lived
Although Hatfield House was the main residence of Princess Elizabeth her household often moved around to other locations. These included Hunsdon, Enfield Palace, Westminster Palace, Whitehall, Richmond Place, Hampton Court and Windsor Castle. She became quite close to her half-brother Edward, who called her 'Sweet Sister Temperance', but her relationship with her older sister was always strained.

The Childhood of Princess Elizabeth - Her Stepmothers
The Childhood of Elizabeth must have been extremely confusing. People came and went with alaming regularity. Not least her stepmothers. Jane Seymour died in 1537 following the birth of Edward. Anne of Cleves came next in 1540 but the marriage was quickly annulled. On July 28th 1540 - 49 year old King Henry married 19 year old Catherine Howard. Catherine Howard was the cousin of Anne Boleyn and therefore kin to Elizabeth. Catherine showed considerable favour to Elizabeth - they had close family ties and were also clos in age. Elizabeth must have been devastated when Catherine followed the fate of Anne Boleyn and was beheaded for treason and adultery
on 13th February 1542. On 12th July 1543 King Henry married his sixth wife, Katherine Parr,  who also had a near brush with death when she was linked with 'heretical' religious reformers. Unlike her predecessors Katharine Parr survived. Katharine Parr had taken a great likeness to Elizabeth and encouraged Henry to become closer to all of his children. King Henry VIII died in 1547 and Princess Elizabeth (who had had the title restored to her) moved into the household of her stepmother Katharine Parr.

 

Interesting Facts and Information about the Childhood of Queen Elizabeth I
Some interesting facts and information about the Childhood of Queen Elizabeth I can be accessed by clicking the following link:

The Education of Queen Elizabeth I

The Childhood of Queen Elizabeth I

  • Interesting Facts and information about The Childhood of Queen Elizabeth I
  • People, events and The Childhood of Queen Elizabeth I
  • Her Early years as Queen of England
  • The Later Years of the Virgin Queen
  • Timeline of Queen Elizabeth I of England
 
 

Queen Elizabeth's Coat of Arms

 

Queen Elizabeth's Coat of Arms

Childhood of Queen Elizabeth I

 

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