Why Didn’t Elizabeth I Marry?

The ‘Darnley Portrait’ of Elizabeth I, c. 1575 (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

One of the most serious criticisms of Elizabeth I’s reign of England was her failure both to marry and produce, or indeed name, an heir. Her father had been so adamant to produce an heir (and preferably a male one) that he had established the Church of England, at least in part, to stand a better chance at getting one. Yet as time passed and Elizabeth’s years progressed beyond those at which she could realistically hope to produce an…