Queen Elizabeth I was the daughter of King Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn and the last representative of the Tudor Dynasty. Two years after Elizabeth's birth King Henry VIII executed Anne Boleyn on the grounds of adultery and treason which later proved unconvincing. Following her mother's execution Elizabeth was declared illegitimate. During her older sister's reign (Queen Mary I, also known as the "Bloody Mary") Elizabeth had been imprisoned for almost a year on suspicion of supporting Protestant rebels.
Despite all the hurdles that led her to the throne Queen Elizabeth (called by many as "The Virgin Queen," "Gloriana," or the "Good Queen Bess") became one of the most prominent monarchs in history. Her several accomplishments include successful raids against the Spanish Armada, establishment of the Church of England that had shaped the national identity, as well as raising the status of England abroad.
It was Queen Elizabeth who granted Walter Raleigh a charter to explore and plant a colony in the "new world", what is known now as the United States of America. The name of the newly discovered land "Virginia" may have been suggested by Raleigh to give tribute to the "Virgin Queen."
Watch a clip from the famous 1998 "Elizabeth" movie directed by Shekhar Kapur.