Elizabeth I was the daughter of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn. Born in September 1533, she did not have a happy or stable childhood. Her mother was beheaded when she was two and a half years old and she was declared illegitimate. Jane Seymour, Henry’s third wife was kind to her but she died when Elizabeth was six years old. After her father’s death in 1547, Elizabeth had been taken in by Henry’s sixth wife, Katherine Parr and her new husband Thomas Seymour. However, she had to leave their house when Katherine got jealous because Thomas was paying Elizabeth too much attention.
Elizabeth’s half-brother Edward VI had become king when Henry VIII died and had changed the religion of England to Protestantism but when he died the throne went to her half-sister, Mary, who was a Catholic. Mary saw Elizabeth, a Protestant, as a threat to her position and had her imprisoned in the Tower of London.
Elizabeth came to the throne in 1558 after her sister, Mary I, died.