Notes from Elizabeth I and Her Circle by Susan Doran

p. 41 Elizabeth also took more positive lessons from the reigns of her siblings. From both monarchs she learned much about the art of self-representation. Like Edward, she presented herself as a learned, godly protestant monarch, who was well versed in the classics and the scriptures. From Mary, she learned how to project authority and power while ‘circumcenting masculine stance and military symbols’. So for example, Elizabeth appropriated the images of the biblical women Deborah, Judith and Esther, who had previously been associated with her immediate predecessor. Furthermore, Elizabeth carried out royal rituals that had fallen into abeyance under the protestant Edward but had been restored by the Catholic Mary: the exchange of gifts on New Year’s Day; the touching for the king’s evil to cure scrofula; the royal washing of paupers’ feet on Maundy Thursday; and the celebration of the Feast of St George. Even though some protestants criticized these rituals as superstituous, Elizabeth continued them because they added to the charism of the monarchy. Protestant propagandists, however, would not admit to any borrowings from Mary. Instead, they worked hard to distance and disassociate the new queen from her half-sister.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.