Remember that the ruler of a country
could change the meaning of a word whenever they wanted to. It was that
way until dictionary writers took that power away from kings and queens.
may come as a surprise to you but she was married twice. Her first
husband died I think so she married again. I think her second husband
was a commoner, one of her guards who later became involved in the
treasury. She probably knighted him so he would garnish more respect..
that she was not only the ruler of England but also the head of the
Church of England and could even perform her own marriage
Secret marriages are uncommon today but they were
not back then. There are many examples and especially among
rulers. The principal example in England was her own father King Henry
VIII who had been secretly married to both Catherine Howard
and Anne Boleyn
. In turn his widow Katherine Parr
secretly and scandously married Thomas Seymour. Another English precedence was Edward IV
who was secretly married to Elizabeth Woodville and King James IV of Scotland who was secretly married to Margaret Drummond
. Then there was Owen Tudor
and Ferdinand II of Austria
. Later there was King George IV
. who secretly married Maria Anne Fitzherbert. He was probably following the examples set by his two uncles
Henry, Duke of Cumberland, who had secretly married Anne Horton and
William, Duke of Gloucester who had secretly married Lady Waldegrave.
On the continent Louis XIV secrtly married Madame de Maintenon
these are just the secret marriages that got exposed! Of course there
are a whole lot of secret marriages that remained just that....secret
to beyond this day.
She had lots of reasons to have a
secret marriage. I think the primary one was that she was not a
Catholic and all non Catholic marriages were seen as illegal by the
Catholic Church. If she had admitted to being married it would have
been seen as invalid and the Catholic Church would have essentially
judged her a whore (in addition to their other judgment of her).
Secret marriages were quite common so this should not surprise you at all.
in her court I was complaining about my husband the Earl of Oxford as
wives often do and the Queen said, 'One more complaint and I'll give
you a divorce.' It would have taken her all of ten seconds!