Inspired By…The Original Single Girl

I was catching up on reading last weekend’s Times magazine (and listening to some Laura Branigan, but that’s another story!) and I dipped into a column that I have not read for quite sometime – Things You Only Know If You’re Single written by the fabulously single Hannah Betts.

(For those of you who don’t know, I am, once again, a single girl – again, another story, and unrelated to Laura Branigan.)

Anyway, the topic of singledom was this – that “Elizabeth I was the original career single”. Intrigued, I read on.

Betts includes some supporting quotes (which I will share here as if you want to read the column on-line for yourselves, The Times in their commercial wisdom, will now make you pay to read their stuff) such as,

“Better beggar woman and single than queen and married”

which, while I don’t subscribe to being the marrying kind, seems a little blinkered and/or extreme; and one which is entirely up my street:

“I will have here but one mistress and no master”

There is a lot written about Elizabeth, her life and her reign during the Golden Age – a lot of which I’ve read.  But I was inspired to go-a-googling to see if I could find a statement that would sum up how much this frivolous yet wily and conservative political genius achieved during the 44 years of her reign…

When she ascended the throne in 1558, England was an impoverished country torn apart by religious squabbles. When she died at Richmond Palace on the 24th March 1603, England was one of the most powerful and prosperous countries in the world.  (

So the Virgin Queen pretty much rocked her world. But I have to admit, I don’t think I’d have ever been prepared to forego potential sexual misadventures for it (be honest, would you?!!)…and let’s face it, THAT horse bolted a long time ago.

But Betts is right – Elizabeth I is absolutely a true hero among ‘lone ranger’ icons.

ps…it’s exactly 3 weeks ’til Christmas today…and while the beloved widget thingy (which is on my blog for those of you receiving this by email) is still marching festively towards the 25th, the advent calendar will be marking its annual pilgrimage towards the big day in a communal fashion on the office filing cupboard… 

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