The Scandalous Relationship That Rocked A Young Elizabeth I

When we picture Queen Elizabeth I, we think of the powerful woman with the shockingly pale face and carefully sculpted red hair. We also can't help but associate her with thick, heavy gowns, furs, and jewels that put her wealth and power on display. In many ways, Elizabeth led a charmed life — according to some sources, that is. On the other side of the coin, though, it’s believed that the young queen’s life was marred by scandal, intrigue, and misery. And one particular episode during her teenage years was especially devastating.

The most dysfunctional family in the country

Even with just the vaguest glance at her circumstances, it’s easy to recognize the delicate position Elizabeth was born into. Her parents were the notorious monarchs Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn, after all. Nobody gets out of an upbringing like that without picking up a few, well, quirks along the way.

Divorced, beheaded, died...

Lest we forget, Henry VIII is probably known for the outrageous state of his love life — and his nasty temper — more than anything else. He married six times, of course, with each of the women meeting a variety of gruesome ends, usually at Henry's hand. These are best summed up by a well-known rhyme: “divorced, beheaded, died, divorced, beheaded, survived.”

She had a front row seat to the drama

Anne Boleyn, Elizabeth’s mother, was one of the unfortunate two women who lost their heads. Marred by accusations of adultery, Anne was sentenced to death by her own husband. But Henry, ever the hypocrite, soon carried on with his own sordid love life. Elizabeth, meanwhile, had a front row seat to all the bloody events instigated by her father.

Beyond complicated

Given the example set by her family, Elizabeth could never really have been expected to lead a normal life, or to foster healthy romantic relationships. And sure enough, she got caught up by a few romantic scandals of her own. The most complicated, no doubt, was her involvement with her own stepfather.