By Simon Adams
No one thought that Elizabeth would live to become Queen of England. Her father, Henry VIII, beheaded her mother, Anne Bolyn, for treason in 1536. He then disowned his daughter, declaring her illegitimate. But in 1544, Parliament reestablished the young princess in the line of succession after her half brother and her half sister. Endowed with immense personal courage and a keen awareness of her responsibility as a ruler, Elizabeth commanded throughout her reign the unwavering respect and allegiance of her subjects.