Elizabeth I is one of three female monarchs who have ruled longer than any male monarch in England's long history.
Elizabeth was bright, with a disposition like her father's. While the rest of Europe considered Elizabeth illegitimate and wondered if Henry was really her father, Henry always acknowledged Elizabeth as his child.
Upon his death, Elizabeth was imprisoned by her half-sister Mary. Elizabeth realized quickly that she needed her wits about her to avoid being embroiled in political intrigue. She was very good at this.
When Mary came to the throne, as a staunch supporter of Catholicism, she killed hundreds of Protestants, and earned the name of Bloody Mary. (England was happy when Mary died, mostly for this reason.)
Mary did not like Elizabeth (a Protestant), nor did she trust her, but she couldn't kill the princess (who had many followers), so she kept Elizabeth as a prisoner for several years. When Elizabeth was twenty-five, Mary died, and Elizabeth became Queen.
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