So Ends Gloriana
Today marks the anniversary of the death, in 1603, of Queen Elizabeth I of England. The last of the Tudor monarchs, it was under them, and particularly under Elizabeth, that England moved from being a relative backwater to a European power; her father Henry VIII’s view that England was a power able to shift the European stage by joining with alternatively Spain, France and/or the Holy Roman Empire was not based upon reality (with the Holy Roman Empire and Spain being linked in Charles V, there were two powers in Europe; that combined kingdom and France). Not bad for a family whose claim upon the throne was at best tenuous; the great Tudor historian G.R. Elton described that Tudors as being “a political solution to a dynastic problem.”
Elizabeth was succeeded by James I (being already James VI of Scotland), the great-grandson of her aunt Elizabeth Tudor who had married James IV of Scotland.