Elizabeth I belonged to the House of Tudor. Born in 1533 to Anne Boleyn, second wife of Henry VIII, she ascended to the throne in 1558 and died in 1603. She was preceded as monarch by Queen Mary I and was succeeded by James I.
Born at Greenwich Palace on September 6, 1533, Elizabeth lost her mother to the executioner in 1536. She was not much seen at court during the rest of Henry VIII's reign. After the death of her half-brother Edward VI, she took the side of her half-sister Queen Mary I against Lady Jane Grey and the Duke of Northumberland, but Mary was suspicious and Elizabeth avoided the block largely by her careful adherence to Catholic ritual.
On the death of Mary, she became queen. During the following decades, many proposals for marriage were put forward, but she remained unmarried.
Elizabeth's reign was a remarkable period in English history. There was relatively little trouble either domestically or overseas, religious persecution virtually ceased, and literature flourished.