I am Tudor-fixated in the way that many of my friends are Jane Austen fans. Sure, I love Jane Austen and have read all of her books (with the exception of Mansfield Park, which I've started a number of books) and seen many of the adaptations, but despite my difficulty with keeping exact dates in my head, I gravitate toward anything to do with the history of Tudor England. I believe that Catherine of Aragon got the short end of the stick and Mary Tudor would not have earned such a ruthless reputation as "Bloody Mary" had she not been forcibly separated from her mother and made to endure a number of emotional humiliations under her father's reign. In terms of bloodlines, Mary Stuart was indeed the rightful successor to Mary I. Yet, despite her flaws, Elizabeth I is my favorite queen of all time. I have read a number of historical novels, seen the adaptations and cheerfully shook my fist as I called out, "It didn't happen that way, you fools!" It's a small detail, but I'm a little disgruntled that in both The Tudors and The Other Boleyn Girl (which I have not seen), Henry VIII doesn't have red hair. Red hair is important. Whenever Henry VIII wonders if Elizabeth I is really his daughter, it's supposed to be laughably apparent that she resembles him so closely, especially with the hair.
Recently, a portrait of the young Elizabeth I with her family was discovered. You may read the article here: Rare Elizabeth I portrait uncovered. Here's the painting:
What I like best about this portrait, which is a copy of an original thought to date back to the early 1550's, is that Will Somers [also spelled "Sommers"], Henry VIII's fool (i.e. court jester), is in the portrait with the family. Fool would have been the occupation for me, perhaps. As Ringo Starr sang on the "Help" album, "All I've got to do is act naturally."