Lisa Punter

Lisa Punter

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Robert Dudley was made Regent of the Realm in Elizabeth's Act of Succession in 1562, when she contracted smallpox and expected to die. The Act of Succession, was ratified by the Privy council and passed by a vote of Parliament. Cecil, Walsingham and Elizabeth I all wanted to make sure that the Catholic Mary, Queen of Scots, who was a Tudor through her grandmother and the most legitimate claimant, would not become Queen of England. When Elizabeth recovers, she refuses to marry Dudley.

A detail from a portrait of Elizabeth I's dashing 'Sweet Robin', Robert Dudley, the Earl of Leicester.