"The Ermine Portrait" of Elizabeth I of England. Painted in 1585 by Nicholas Hilliard. Maintained by private collection. Image online courtesy Wikimedia Commons.
I have the heart
of a king ...
We shall shortly have
a famous victory..
Thinking it best to marry a different woman (twenty-year-old Anne Boleyn was his choice), the King wanted to divorce Catherine (whose nephew was king of Spain). The current Pope (Clement VII), however, would not give Henry permission to divorce his wife.
Taking matters into his own hands, Henry VIII declared the Pope was no longer head of the church in Britain. Parliament agreed, passing an act (in 1534) that the King (not the Pope) was head of the Anglican Church.
However, to make such a significant change, the Church of England had to be Protestant, not Catholic. Even a king cannot “fire” a pope.
Britain’s Protestant Reformation, therefore, had some of its roots in Henry VIII’s desire to have a son. But it was a daughter - named Elizabeth - who became the strong heir her father fervently desired.
And it was Elizabeth who successfully led her people in their defense against the Spanish Armada.
Original Release Date: October, 2007
Updated Quarterly, or as Needed
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