The premiere of Becoming ElizabethStarz will soon have this series. The series will chronicle the rise of Elizabeth and her growing pains. Not Queen Elizabeth IIBe careful, Queen Elizabeth I. It may sound obvious to learn the two are related, but it’s actually rather complicated.
How Elizabeth became Queen
Elizabeth I should not have been crowned queen. She was the second child of King Henry VIII and stood by her older brother Edward VI as well as her older sister Mary. The modern facsimile would be if Prince Louis became king: it’s cosmically unlikely for the third in line to ever ascend.
But she did ascend. King Edward VI was 15 when he died from a mysterious illness. Historians debate whether it was tuberculosis, or poisoning. He was able to leave the kingdom to Lady Jane Grey but the Catholic Queen Mary made sure she didn’t ascend the throne.
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Mary I, who had been fighting bitterly against Parliament for the removal of the Church of England for many years, succumbed to cancer in 1558. Elizabeth I was coronated, and she spent 45 years on her throne. She died without any direct heirs.
From Tudor to Windsor
Here’s where the family tree gets complicated. The Stuarts took control of the realm because Elizabeth I did not have any direct heirs. Elizabeth I’s grandfather’s sister Queen Margaret of Scotland bore Mary, Queen of Scots. Mary’s son, James I, had a daughter also named Elizabeth. Sophia, Sophia’s daughter, didn’t live to see her son King George I, but did have a son.
From then on the family tree starts to look a bit more tidy. George I, the first to be ruled by the House of Hanover, was followed by his direct descendants through Queen Victoria. From there, the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha eventually made way for the house of Windsor when Elizabeth II’s grandfather, George V, became king in 1936.
To review: Queen Elizabeth II is the great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, granddaughter of King Henry VIII’s sister Margaret. That’s 13 greats. Elizabeth I is a cousin of Margaret, Elizabeth II’s direct descendent. Although they share very little blood, the truth is that Elizabeth I and Elizabeth II are related. Becoming ElizabethStarz launches a new series that explores the life of a teenager Elizabeth I on June 12th.