Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Was Queen Elizabeth Actually the Earl of Leicester in Disguise?

Look at the pictures below. Is this one person or two? Do they look similar? Do they look almost identical?

Was Elizabeth I actually a man? Yes it is an old theory and many women believe this has been said because men don’t like powerful women. I'm not saying that I agree with this theory myself, but I stumbled across it and thought I’d put it here for us all to think about.

Was Queen Elizabeth I actually a man? And more than that was Queen Elizabeth I actually Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester? Look at the next picture. On the left we see Elizabeth as a girl - as a princess – and on the right she is a woman – a queen. The two really look nothing alike. The girl on the left looks feminine but the lady on the right looks rather masculine, don’t you think?

Robert was Queen Elizabeth’s closest advisor and friend (and arguably, lover) and she even attended his wedding to Amy Robsart. Robert’s father, John Dudley, was the man who attempted to make Lady Jane Grey Queen of England, instead of Mary Tudor. The plot failed and John and his brother, Guildford Dudley, were executed along with the tragic Lady Jane Grey.

Robert Dudley was imprisoned in the Tower of London for his part in the conspiracy and he only narrowly escaped death. Whilst he was imprisoned, in the Tower of London, he was joined by another prisoner, the future Queen Elizabeth. It was there where a friendship began.

Both were eventually released and Robert Dudley sold some of his lands to help Elizabeth, who was in need of financial help. Elizabeth never forgot the help that Robert had given to her and rewarded his loyalty when she became Queen. At this point, some believe Robert was involved in a plot to take the throne for himself, a plot in which he and his supporters murdered Elizabeth and hence Robert Dudley took on her appearance. This sounds ludicrous, but the likeness between the Queen and the Earl is remarkable. Both had high foreheads, they had the same eyes and if you remove his moustache they are almost identical. Look at the picture at the top of the page. Can you tell which is which?

You could say it was due to the style of paintings of the time and maybe that’s true, but there are other reasons to back up the claims. Robert Dudley had many death threats and maybe this was the only way to protect himself. He was also bitter about the death of his father and uncle and he craved the power his forebears tried so hard to get. Maybe he would have tried anything to get to the top?

Elizabeth and Robert were extremely close but were never publically lovers and they had a very odd and complex relationship. Is the real reason why they never became lovers and married, because they were one and the same? Were they so close throughout their lives because whenever Robert spent time with her, instead of getting intimate with her, he was actually acting as her? It has been claimed that the two of them shared the same birthday, the exact dates being a cause of debate ever since. This comes from Dudley's contemporaries in the 16th century who said he 'shared the same nativity' as the Queen - which means he would have been born on the same day and perhaps even the same year as Elizabeth (7th September 1533). The word 'nativity' at the time would have been understood as an astrological reference - that they would have shared the same placements of Sun and Moon etc. At times when Robert Dudley was out of the country, it appears that Elizabeth was also out of the country, on others matters of course. When he was “Robert”, did somebody close to him impersonate the queen, a decoy perhaps? Dudley was also given extremely high honours and real powers so even when he could be himself, he was a powerful man. Between his two personalities, Robert Dudley had such immense power, more than just a monarch alone.

Did Robert’s wife, Amy Robsart die in mysterious circumstances (falling down the stairs) because she opposed what her husband was doing? Was she a problem to be sorted? Did Robert murder her like he murdered the queen? Did she know too much and was therefore a threat? In 1578, Robert married Lady Lettice Knollys, widow of the Earl of Essex and Queen’s Elizabeth’s cousin. Apparently Elizabeth was furious with Robert but she eventually ‘forgave him.’ Were there suspicious minds? Did Robert try to distance himself from his character of Queen Elizabeth I by marrying her cousin? Were the people looking too closely at his presumed ‘relationship’ with the Queen that he was worried? Did he want to deflect the attention elsewhere?

When Robert Dudley eventually died in 1588, the Queen was oddly close to Robert’s son and was until she died. Now there is a possible explanation - that maybe Robert didn't die after all.

After the death of Robert, and after the death of the Queen, the town of Leicester, the town Robert was Earl of, adopted a slogan. This wasn’t Robert’s slogan though; it was Queen Elizabeth I’s slogan – ‘semper eadem,’ which translates to ‘always the same.’ Did Robert as the Queen leave a motto to his town as a cryptic message of his true identity?

The theory says that Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, and Queen Elizabeth were semper eadem. They were always the same. Look at the picture at the top again - on the left is Queen Elizabeth on the right is Robert Dudley, minus a moustache.

Well it's an interesting theory and would need a lot more evidence. Like I said at the top, I'm not sure how credible it is, but is worth a debate. What do you think readers?

by Matthew Sibson

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