Yet it is generally accepted that there was one man who, more than any other, tempted Elizabeth to relinquish her single state. When her close friend and attendant Lady Fiennes de Clinton helped Elizabeth escape court in disguise to meet Dudley at his house for dinner, Philip II of Spain’s envoy heard of it and immediately reported it to his master. In The Virgin's Lover, Philippa Gregory suggests as facts several things that historians have found reason to dispute, such as the cause of Amy Robsart's death as well as the exact extent of the intimacy between Robert Dudley and Elizabeth I. Elizabeth therefore had to prove that a female monarch could rule effectively, despite those contemporaries such as the ‘aggressive Calvinist divine, John Knox,’ publicising sceptical texts on Europe’s ‘Monstrous Regiment of Women.’ These events during her reign, rather than putting any doubt in Elizabeth’s mind of whether to enter into matrimony, more than likely confirmed her initial resolution made in early 1559 that it was wisest to ‘live and die a virgin.’. Now that the scrutiny of the court was even more intense, she was obliged to go to even greater lengths to conceal their meetings. Robert Dudley’s sojourn in the Tower coincided with that of the new queen’s half-sister, Elizabeth (who Mary suspected of plotting against her).
Now that his last-ditch attempt to persuade Elizabeth to marry him had failed, he took Lettice as his mistress. Ironically, the death of Dudley’s wife in 1560, at her residence Cumnor Place, removed any hope that Elizabeth may have privately cherished of one day marrying him. The duke had wrested power during the minority of Edward VI (who became king aged nine on Henry VIII’s death), but was executed for putting his daughter-in-law, Lady Jane Grey, on the throne after the young king’s death in 1553. But she would never commit to any of them. Scott Newport was born in 1984 in Reading, Berkshire and lives with his wife Katherine in Whitchurch, Hampshire.
Queen Elizabeth is rumored to have had an extramarital affair while she was still married to Prince Philip.
The obvious intimacy between them provoked endless speculation about just how close their relationship was. Elizabeth employed what would become her customary tactic of delaying, but eventually told Philip that she could not marry her sister’s widower, and that his Catholicism would not be acceptable to her people. If you subscribe to BBC History Magazine Print or Digital Editions then you can unlock 10 years’ worth of archived history material fully searchable by Topic, Location, Period and Person. The book's "Author's Note" cites the uncertainty as to the accuracy of her conjectures and lists her evidence for presuming them true for the sake of telling her story. When Elizabeth learned that her cousin had stolen the only man she had truly loved, she flew into a jealous rage, boxing Lettice’s ears and screaming that “as but one sun lightened the earth, she would have but one queen in England”. He continued to pursue her for several years and even made plans to visit her.
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