“Your most assured sister”: Elizabeth I and the Kings of France

  • Glenn Richardson
Part of the Queenship and Power book series (QAP)


In July 1593, Elizabeth I wrote to Henri IV of France remonstrating with him over his conversion to Catholicism while promising to continue as his friend. Elizabeth signed herself: “Your most assured sister, if it be after the old fashion; with the new I have nothing to do.”1 Her words referred, of course, to Henri’s altered religion, but they also serve to remind us that Elizabeth was always acutely conscious of history in her dealings with France. Her own reputation as a strong monarch and a war leader, such as it is, would come to rest largely on the defeat of the Spanish Armada in 1588.2 Until then, however, the Tudor dynasty’s reputation and international status had been asserted most vigorously in “the old fashion” of war and peace with France.


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© Anna Whitelock and Alice Hunt 2010

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  • Glenn Richardson

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