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Not to be confused with "Elizabeth I: Red Rose of the House of Tudor" (film).

"I am a forgotten Princess. At times my father, King Henry VIII, needs to forget me. When the King needs to forget, the whole court follows suit and I am usually exiled to Hatfield. I don't mind. Hatfield is lovely. It is more of a mansion than a Palace, cozy, red brick with a huge forested hunting park. But when one is in exile, one is not treated the same. Everything is different."
Elizabeth I[3]

Elizabeth I: Red Rose of the House of Tudor is a historical fiction novel written by Kathryn Lasky. It is the first book in The Royal Diaries and was followed by Kristiana Gregory's Cleopatra VII: Daughter of the Nile. The book was first published in June 1999 by Scholastic. A short film adaptation aired on HBO in 2000. The book has also been published in My Royal Story as Elizabeth.

The book chronicles four years in the life of Princess Elizabeth, the future Queen Elizabeth I of England, at the tumultuous court of her father, King Henry VIII.

Book description[]

"November 10, 1544
I have been living with this constant fear of exile now for two days. So far I have heard nothing. Plans seem to proceed as normal for our move to Ashridge. This palace, too, is becoming quite filthy, what with all the banqueting and people and gaming between Michaelmas Feast and the feast of All Saints' Day. The roses bloom in our garden with such vigor, but the stench from the courtyard over the wall outside the kitchens is unbearable.
Kat is mumbling something about baths again. The woman is becoming a fanatic. I think we have had half a dozen baths since summer...

"It's 1544, and Princess Elizabeth, the daughter of ill-fated queen Anne Boleyn, has just been banished to yet another country house. Her step-sister hates her, and her father indulges and ignores her by turns. In and out of favour as her father's wives come and go, what does the future hold for an inconvenient, invisible princess...?"


Eleven-year-old Princess Elizabeth is the daughter of King Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn, whom was beheaded eight years prior on the King's orders. She has two half-siblings, twenty-eight-year-old Mary and six-year-old Edward. When their father dies, Edward will inherit the throne and then Mary if he has no children. Elizabeth is currently third in line and secretly hopes to be Queen someday, despite thinking it unlikely. In July 1544, Elizabeth returns to court after being banished by her father for nearly a year. Unfortunately, she soon makes another misstep just before her father goes off to battle France. Elizabeth is sent again to Hatfield with her dear governess, Kat. She finds Hatfield particularly boring.

Elizabeth writes to her stepmother Queen Catherine Parr, whom then writes to the King. He grants his permission and soon Elizabeth arrives back at Hampton Court. She is delighted to be reunited with Edward and their good friend, Robin Dudley. Their days are passed blissfully until Elizabeth and Robin her the ghost of Catherine Howard, the fifth wife of King Henry. The pair play nine-pins, hoping to quiet her ghost. Before Michaelmas, Elizabeth's cousin Lady Jane Grey comes to court. Elizabeth dislikes Jane until she comforts her about Mary's mean-spirited comments. King Henry returns to court in time for Christmas after laying siege to Boulogne. He is in good spirts and treats Elizabeth kindly.

Elizabeth has the chance to visit the Tower of London and speaks to one of the yeomen warders about her mother's execution. Mary somehow learns of this visit and makes a cruel comment about Elizabeth's mother, causing her to faint. Everyone frets over her, including Mary. The children go on to Ashridge House, where Elizabeth meets her new tutor Master Grindal. After the holidays, Kat marries John Ashley but stays on as Elizabeth's governess. Over the next few months, there is talk of a French invasion. King Henry decides to send the children away. Elizabeth accidentally leaves her diary at Greenwich Palace. She is finally able to retrieve it when they return four months later in September 1545.

Elizabeth later sees Mary conspiring with Lord Chancellor Thomas Wriothesley. Their plot, however, seems to go awry when the Duchess of Lexford is found poisoned. The children are sent elsewhere forcing everyone at court to flee to different places. When Elizabeth returns to court some months later, she worries about Queen Catherine, whom she believes Wriothesley is plotting against. Thankfully, she warns her in time and the King forgives Catherine. Everything seems alright for the following months, but King Henry's health begins to fall rapidly. On January 31, 1547, Elizabeth receives word that her father passed away two days prior. Her brother, Edward, is crowned King and Elizabeth feels that she is safe for now.


Catherine Parr married Thomas Seymour shortly after King Henry's death. Thomas's brother Edward Seymour served as Regent for the new King Edward VI. After Catherine died 1548, Thomas was arrested for treason and allegedly plotting to marry Elizabeth. She was interrogated for her association with him and Kat was even arrested briefly. In 1553, after Edward died, Mary became queen. She became known as "Bloody Mary" for burning so many Protestants at the stake. Mary had Elizabeth arrested due to the possibility that she would be used to remove her from the throne. She was under house arrest at Woodstock until Mary's death in 1558. At age twenty-five, Elizabeth was crowned queen.

Elizabeth had Protestantism restored but assured her people that she left their own private beliefs up to themselves. She remained good friends with Robin. Her councilors failed to convince her to marry, leading her to be dubbed the "Virgin Queen." Elizabeth reigned for forty-five years in what became known as the "Elizabethan Age." A highlight of her reign was the defeat of the "supposedly invincible" Spanish Armada in 1588. Elizabeth died on March 24, 1603 as the "ultimate image of [a] majestic and powerful female authority."

Historical Note[]

The historical note begins with discussing Elizabeth's grandfather Henry VII, whom founded the Tudor dynasty in 1485. He was succeeded by his son Henry VIII. Unlike his father, Henry spent money easily and drained the royal treasury. During his reign, the Protestant Reformation was spreading across Europe. The conflict had a "unique twist" in England due to Henry severing ties with the Pope and Catholic Church to divorce Catherine of Aragon. He subsequently declared himself supreme head of an independent national church. Henry would go on to marry five more times. After his death, his son Edward VI succeeded him. Him and his council pushed for more "radical" Protestantism.

Following Edward's death, Mary I ruled for five years before dying in 1558. Now queen, Elizabeth faced great challenges with England's old enemies, France and Spain. She helped the Scottish Protestants drive out the French from Scotland in 1559 and defeated the Spanish Armada in 1588. During her reign, there was also a flourishment of the arts. Elizabeth died in 1603. She had refused to name an heir, but her advisors arranged a peaceful transition to the Scottish King James VI and I. He was the Protestant son of Mary, Queen of Scots, whom Catholics had plotted to put on the English throne years earlier. The section includes a Tudor family tree, a diagram of Henry's wives, and ten pictures of the era.


Main article: List of Elizabeth I: Red Rose of the House of Tudor characters
  • Elizabeth I, the eleven-year-old daughter of Henry VIII and the late Anne Boleyn. She seeks her father's approval, but often draws his ire instead due to his frequent mood swings.
  • Henry VIII, the King of England and Elizabeth's father. Due to his falling health, his moods are unpredictable, which often leaves Elizabeth feeling insecure in her position.



Elizabeth on VHS

Main article: Elizabeth I: Red Rose of the House of Tudor (film)

Elizabeth I: Red Rose of the House of Tudor was adapted into a short television film for HBO. The film aired on September 18, 2000. It was released on video tape the same year and on DVD in 2008. Tamara Hope starred as Elizabeth.


Main article: Kathryn Lasky

Kathryn Lasky is an American best known for her children's series, Guardians of Ga'Hoole. Lasky penned five books in The Royal Diaries, including Marie Antoinette, Mary, Queen of Scots, Jahanara, and Kazunomiya. She is also the author of four books in Dear America, three in My America, and one in My Name Is America. Lasky spent numerous hours researching English life for Elizabeth. She particularly enjoyed learning the "gross details," such as "wig bugs" and rats in the palace. She also said that she tried to "responsibly imagine the loneliness, the fears, and the joys of a Princess."


  • Narrator: Josephine Bailey
  • Publisher: Tantor Media
  • Published: January 10, 2005[10][11]
  • Running time: 4 hours and 16 minutes
  • No. of discs: 4
  • ISBN: 9781400101351


  • NCSS/CBC Notable Social Studies Trade Book for Young People (2000)[12]
  • IRA Young Adults' Choices Reading List (2001)


  • The cover illustration of Elizabeth was done by artist Tim O'Brien, whom illustrated all of the covers for The Royal Diaries.
  • Richard Jones illustrated the cover of the My Story edition of Elizabeth.


See also[]

Arts & Crafts, File:Elizabeth Word Find.pdf, File:Elizabeth Word Find Solution.pdf

My Story

The Hunger | Voyage on the Great Titanic | The Crystal Palace | Blitz | My Tudor Queen | Twentieth-Century Girl
The Great Plague | The '45 Rising | Civil War | Trafalgar | The Trenches | Battle of Britain | Mill Girl | Transported
Armada | Crimea | Bloody Tower | Indian Mutiny | Zulu War | Mayflower | Agincourt | Suffragette | Waterloo | Slave Girl
Flying Ace | Anne Boleyn and Me | D-Day | Victorian Workhouse | Spy Smuggler | Desert Danger | War Nurse
U-Boat Hunter | The Queen's Spies

1st relaunch

Princess of Egypt | Pompeii | Road to War | Roman Invasion | Viking Blood | Highway Girl | Sophie's Secret War
The Storm to Come | The Sweep's Boy | The Fall of the Blade | Pyramid of Secrets | Factory Girl | Dodger!
No Way Back | Wartime Princess | London Stories | Berlin Olympics | Lady Jane Grey | Nowhere to Run

2nd relaunch

Codename Céline

3rd relaunch

Noor-un-Nissa Inayat Khan | Ignatius Sancho | Princess Sophia Duleep Singh | Mary Prince

My Royal Story

Victoria | Anastasia | Cleopatra | Marie Antoinette | Elizabeth | Mary, Queen of Scots | Henry VIII's Wives

My True Story

What If They Find Us? | Hero at Dunkirk | Standing Alone | Give Us the Vote!

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Henry VIII's Wives Bloody Tower

External links[]