The most famous Queen Elizabeth is Elizabeth I of England, the last Tudor monarch. Her modern day namesake is Elizabeth II who ascended the throne of Great Britain, the British Empire and the Commonwealth on 6 February 1952.
There was also an ocean liner, 'Queen Elizabeth", but Cunard;s "QE2" is not named after the present Queen as some may think. Rather, it is the 'second' version of the first ship, which is, let's face it, named after the first Gloriana herself.
Elizabeth I was arguably the greatest monarch in English history, a capable hunter, brilliant orator and intellectual (she translated ancient latin and greek texts in her spare time). Her greatest achievement was staying in power for over forty years despite the plots of Mary, Queen of Scots, the Pope, the Spanish and her own lovers. She also commissioned the great explorer and privateer Sir Francis Drake and was a patron of Shakespeare. Her most famous speeches were delivered at Tilbury where she rallied her troops against the Spanish Armada, and in Parliament where she declared in her 'Golden Speech' that the 'greatest prize' of her reign had been to rule 'with your loves'. Elizabeth I also attempted to settle the religious question by declaring she did not 'seek a window into mens souls'.
Ironically, Elizabeth II has witnessed the end of that same empire, but has also proved enduringly popular with her subjects, as witness by her Jubilee celebrations, though being in now way an orator or wit along Elizabethan lines. Her reign was heralded in the1950s as 'a second Elizabethan Age', but notice how quickly that one died out.
"God Save Queen Elizabeth!"
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