During a long reign of 44 years, the daughter of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn contrived to steer a middle course in religion between the beliefs of her Catholic subjects on the one hand and clamorous Puritans on the other, evade fatal entanglements (whether marital or military) on the continent, see off would-be foreign invaders, and rule on the whole with remarkable acumen, clemency and tact. She also presided over and encouraged a spring flowering of literature and the arts that has never been surpassed.
She was the first English Renaissance leader to exploit fully the importance of spectacle, grandeur and awe as tools for the propagation of power. She was helped along on this path by her father, of course, but she was the one who actually did most with the idea. The myth she created is still doing its job, although in a radically different and etiolated way, by keeping the fascination alive. (x)