Preview Subtitle for Death Of A Nation


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(Starkey) 'In January 1559 Elizabeth I
was crowned Queen of England.

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'She was the last
of the great Tudor dynasty,

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'a bright star who dazzled
both the nation and the world.'

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The achievement of most stars
fades quickly

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but Elizabeth's has lasted for nearly
four centuries and it's easy to see why.

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She reigned for 45 tumultuous years.

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Her ships defeated the Spanish Armada
and sailed round the globe.

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In her time Shakespeare wrote plays
and Spenser wrote poems.

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English noblemen
and foreign princes wooed her

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but she, the Virgin Queen,

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made love to that loyalest
of audiences, the English people.

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'Elizabeth was one of the daughters
of King Henry VIII.

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'But the right of women to succeed
to the throne was still in doubt

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'and her path there would be perilous.

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'Her father would kill her mother
and she would be disinherited.

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'Her sister would imprison her in the
Tower and threaten her with execution.

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'Men would love her for her
royal status, not for herself.

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'She would be sexually abused
by her own stepfather.

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'Most monarchs are handed
their crowns on a plate.

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'Elizabeth got hers
by cunning and courage.

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'Elizabeth's sex
was a disappointment to Henry.

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'Astrologers had assured him

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'that the baby to be born
in September 1533 would be a boy.

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'He already had one daughter,
the 17-year-old Mary.

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'What he wanted was a son and heir.

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'Although Elizabeth was a girl,
the magnificent christening

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'planned for the longed-for
prince went ahead.

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'Every detail had been seen to, down to
the brazier to warm the water in the font.

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'She was even proclaimed "Princess",
the title of the heir to the throne.'

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Elizabeth, ego te baptiso
in nomine patris

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et filii et spiritus sancti, amen.

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(Starkey) 'According to
the French ambassador

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'the whole occasion was so perfect
that nothing was lacking.'

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Actually things were far from perfect
at Elizabeth's baptism

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because Elizabeth was the child
of a second marriage

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and Henry's second marriage,
like many second marriages today,

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aroused very strong feelings.

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For instance, the imperial ambassador
refused point-blank

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to attend the baptism.

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He even refused to recognise
Anne Boleyn, Elizabeth's mother,

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[...]
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