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Elizabeth I

Queens seem to be made of stronger stuff than their male counterparts, with three of them appearing on this list (not a bad ratio, considering there have only been 6 official queens since 1066) and Elizabeth herself was keen to prove this point, famously saying “I know I have the body of a weak, feeble woman; but I have the heart and stomach of a king”. She was the daughter of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn and consequently fell in and out of favor with the King depending on who he was married to at the time. The chances of her becoming monarch were always slight, with Henry constantly trying to produce a male heir and even when the line of succession was allowed to run through Henry’s daughters, she was still second in line behind her older sister Mary (their brother Edward had also taken his turn on the throne but had died young). Still, Elizabeth’s reign is rightly known as a glorious one, with the defeat of the Spanish Armada led by her brother-in-law (these brother-in-laws are not to be trusted!) as well as exploration of the New World and, of course, the works of Shakespeare and Marlowe. She died in 1603 at the age of 69, after 44 years, 127 days on the throne.

Elizabeth I is found in...

Top 10 Longest Reigning British Monarchs
( 10 items )
Item Position (rank): 9