Queen Elizabeth I of England is known to have been a great monarch. She promoted English power all around the world and supported the propagation of arts. But all of her leadership prowess hasn’t protected her from being subjected to numerous conspiracies.
She is known to have been a born leader with an inclination to promote theatre, literature, and music, and the arts flourished under her reign. Her reign was called the Golden Age of England, and her leadership was remembered for prosperity and stability.
With royal responsibility comes power, and with a dominant position comes popularity. And conspiracy thrives on popularity. While Queen Elizabeth II is supposed to be a reptile with a mask, the conspiracy theories that surround Queen Elizabeth I are less otherworldly but equally bizarre.
Some of these conspiracies have been circulating since the time of her rule. As much as people admire the royals, they admire scandals too. Let’s look at the surprising plots that continue to amaze and astonish.
1. She Was A He
When the bubonic plague arrived in London, Elizabeth was ten. As the threat of the deadly disease increased, she was sent to Bisley as a protective measure. As per this theory, Elizabeth soon became seriously ill of an unknown illness and succumbed to it.
The governess feared the wrath of the King, who had a history of executing his wife and Elizabeth’s mother, Anne Boleyn. As this theory goes, she chose an alternative to her impending execution and found a boy who resembled the princess. Dressing up the boy in the princess’ clothes, she managed to fool the King and the entire world as ‘Elizabeth’ ruled for over forty years.
Bram Stoker, famous for his novel ‘Dracula’, posited in his book ‘Famous Imposters’ that Elizabeth was Henry VIII’s illegitimate grandson. The supposed evidence to support the theory that she was indeed a he was the Queen’s long fingers and dense stubble. This theory gained momentum when Queen Elizabeth I decided against marriage and never gave birth.
2. She Was Shakespeare
The bard is famously challenged for the legitimacy of his work. There have been allegations of Shakespeare having a sister, but it is also said it was the ruling monarch herself who wrote his plays.
This claim is based upon Shakespeare’s rural roots. Given his limited exposure, his writing of life in courts seems exceptionally realistic. His plays served Tudor propaganda, and the author of the works had to have an in-depth knowledge of the Tudor dynasty.
Well-educated Elizabeth I thus becomes a strong candidate for writing Shakespeare’s plays. With a passion for poetry, the Queen was known for her wit. And as for the crude language in the bard’s works, she was known to curse like a sailor.
3. She Had A Child And Was Secretly Married
When Elizabeth and Robert Dudley were imprisoned by the then Queen Mary, a monk allegedly married them. The marriage was kept a secret as any marital relation would have been disadvantageous to her position on the throne. She remained a virgin in the public eye, but her marriage continued.
Their secret marriage achieved its fruition, and they had a child. With the fashion of that time, the outward signs of pregnancy were easy to hide. However, keeping the child was never an option.
The child, Francis, was given away to Elizabeth’s close friend Anne Bacon who raised her child with her husband Sir Nicolas Bacon as their own. The child went on to become a successful scientist and philosopher, Francis Bacon.
The real reason behind Queen Elizabeth I’s decisions is for us to speculate. Whatever the truth may be, it died long ago with the Queen. All that remains are these conspiracy theories that gain weight only with belief.