The Coronation of Queen Elizabeth

The Coronation of Queen Elizabeth

Rowse, A.L.

History Today, Vol: 53:5 (2003)


The coronation of the first Elizabeth is of considerable interest to us and of greater historical importance than most. Not only was it the last occasion on which the Latin service was used, as throughout Plantagenet times, and with the Roman mass, but what happened on the occasion was a portent of the policy the new Queen would pursue, a pointer to the Elizabethan religious settlement which has subsisted essentially unchanged ever since. It is precisely that that has given rise to some controversy among historians as to what precisely happened. Did the Queen remain present throughout the Mass or did she withdraw to her traverse – or private closet in St. Edward’s chapel – at the crucial point of the consecration and elevation of the Host? Did the officiating bishop elevate the Host? Did the Queen communicate or not? We shall see – as well as we can see, from the curious confusion of the evidence.

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