The long reign of Elizabeth, who became known as the "Virgin Queen" for her reluctance to endanger her authority through marriage, coincided with the flowering of the English Renaissance, associated with such renowned authors as William Shakespeare. By her death in 1603, England had become a major world power in every respect, and Queen Elizabeth I passed into history as one of England's greatest monarchs.
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King Henry VIII ruled England for 36 years, presiding over reforms that brought his nation into the Protestant Reformation.
Victoria was queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, empress of India and the last ruler of the House of Hanover.
British history stretches back to prehistoric times and reflects the region's far-reaching influence.
Did You Know?
Throughout Elizabeth's reign, a number of European rulers were considered--and rejected--as potential husbands for the queen, including Russia's Tsar Ivan IV, known today as Ivan the Terrible.
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This Day in History
Star Wars opens, 1977
On this day in 1977, Memorial Day weekend opens with an intergalactic bang as the first of George Lucas' blockbuster Star Wars movies hits American…
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