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November 14, 2011 @ 9:15 am

40. Elizabeth I


After the short and troubled reign of Mary I, Elizabeth came to the throne in 1558 facing numerous challenges: a country deeply divided on religion, threatened by France and Scotland (via Mary Queen of Scots), an awkward relationship with Mary's widower, Philip II of Spain, plus great uncertainty as to who was next in line to rule the country. Elizabeth survived all these challenges, outlasted her rivals and has become one of the most revered monarchs in English history, but is her beloved status deserved or is there more to find than the traditional mythology?

If all the names get a bit confusing, check out our handy who's who guide to the episode:

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