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Queen Elizabeth I
Elizabeth ascended to the throne in 1558 at the age of 25, and reigned for 45 years. She was arguably the greatest of all English rulers. It was under Elizabeth that England grew in prosperity and power. There was relative peace and enormous cultural growth. Her refusal to marry kept open all possible options of alliance as she kept her suiters vying against one another. She was known for her international diplomacy, beauty and wisdom.
She knew Greek and Latin, French, and Italian, traveled extensively and supported the arts. She initiated the right to a fair trial, and organized social welfare programs for the old, infirm, and the poor.
She lived to the age of 69 years old and ruled for so long and so well that the second half of the sixteenth century was named after her: the Elizabethan Age.
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