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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Elizabeth's Suitors

With all the buzz over Prince William and Kate Middleton's recent engagement, I thought it oh-so befitting to mention the many suitors of Elizabeth. Many men vied for her hand for several decades, even as the ability for her to have children became less and less sure. Marriages tended to be political, in order to create alliances or strengthen nations, and Elizabeth played the game exceptionally well (consider this: Elizabeth was born in 1533 and her first offer of marriage was in 1534, when she was one years old!). She was able to juggle numerous suitors, and use them to her advantage in order to use their country for a purpose without officially declaring an engagement. Here is a list of her suitors who were considered to be Elizabeth's husband:

1534: Duke of Angouleme (third son of Francis I)

1544: Prince Phillip of Spain (Phillip II)

1547: Sir Thomas Seymour

1553: Edward Courtenay

1554: Emanuel Philibert, Duke of Savoy

1554: Prince Frederick of Denmark

1556: Prince Eric of of Sweden

1556: Don Carlos (son of King Phillip II)

1559: Phillip II

1559: Sir William Pickering

1559: James Hamilton, Earl of Arran

1559: Henry Fitzalan, Earl of Arundel

1559: Lord Robert Dudley, Lord of Leicester

1560: King Eric XVI of Sweden

1560: Henry de Valois, Duke of Anjou

1563: Lord Darnley

1568: Archduke Charles of Austria

1570: Henry, Duke of Anjou

1572: Francois, Duke of Alencon and then Anjou

But alas, in the end Elizabeth declared that she was married to England.

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