Thursday, 15 January 2015

A Golden Age Has Arrived!

                        The Coronation of Elizabeth I 

It was almost a month, following the burial of Mary, that Elizabeth, the daughter of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn, was crowned queen of England, her coronation took place on the 15th January 1559.
The day before the crowed streets of London saw the fourth of five pageants take place where Elizabeth was seen by the public carried through the streets on a golden litter.

This fourth pageant represented the contrast between the previous reign of Mary's and the forthcoming one of the new queen. During the penultimate event a bible was presented to Elizabeth, by the representation of Truth. Taking the bible, Elizabeth kissed it and laid it on her breast causing much whooping within the large crowd. This action would lead to the fifth pageant where Elizabeth would be portrayed as Deborah, an old testament prophet, who 'rescued the House of Israel' and went on to rule for forty years.
During this final festivity, Elizabeth said to the Lord Mayor:
......"And whereas your request is that I should continue your good lady and be Queen, be ye ensured that I will be as good unto you as ever Queen was unto her people. No will in me can lack, neither do I trust shall there lack any power. And persuade yourselves that for the safety and quietness of you all I will not spare if need be to spend my blood. God thank you all."
Elizabeth had always been popular with the English people and this event, which turned out to be very successful, proved how happy the English people were to see her take the throne.
Elizabeth's coronation took place on the Sunday in Westminster Abbey, and was said to be a
"clever compromise between the Catholic practices that existed and the Protestant ones that she intended to introduce."
Although Elizabeth was crowned by a Catholic bishop in Latin, other parts of the service were read twice in both Latin and English. Following this Elizabeth stepped out from the abbey and faced her people with her crown, orb and sceptre as Queen Elizabeth I of England.
The original 1559 coronation portrait has been lost, but in the first image here we can see what Elizabeth looked like in her coronation robes in copy dated 1600. It is in miniature form by an unknown artist which is held in a private collection.

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