The True Story Behind <i>Becoming Elizabeth</i>

The miniseries Becoming Elizabeth will premiere on Starz this Sunday. It’s about the teenage years of Queen Elizabeth I, and will consist of eight episodes. You might wonder what could be so exciting about a 16th-century teenager who wasn’t expected to become queen. You’ll be quite surprised. Sure, we know she was embroiled in a political free-for-all after her father, Henry VIII, died, which resulted in all three of his surviving children eventually reigning as the British monarch. But Elizabeth, the “virgin queen,” was a teenager with her own needs and desires, and was sought for marriage by many men, one of whom was her stepfather.

Considering how convoluted the royal family relationships were, you might want a primer before watching the show. Elizabeth was the daughter of Henry VIII and his second wife Anne Boleyn, whom Henry had beheaded. When Henry died in 1547, his sixth wife, Catherine Parr, was named as 15-year-old Elizabeth’s guardian. Elizabeth had already been approached for marriage by Thomas Seymour, brother of Henry’s third wife Jane Seymour. Elizabeth, then thirteen, had previously decided to never marry. Instead, Thomas Seymour married Catherine, Henry’s widow, very soon after the king died (they had been romantically connected before her marriage to the king). Thomas, however, didn’t stop pursuing Elizabeth, as the teenager lived with him and his new bride. Elizabeth, as teenagers do, was both intrigued and repelled by Thomas’ attentions, until Catherine sent her away. After Catherine’s death, he continued to push himself on Elizabeth. The history is much more salacious than this synopsis, and you can read it at Smithsonian. 

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Source: neatorama

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