In this week in which we celebrate 450 years since the death of Queen Mary I, and of Queen Elizabeth I ascending the throne (November 17), it is worth remembering the inscription on their shared tomb in Westminster Abbey:
Partners in throne and grave, here we sleep, Elizabeth and Mary, sisters, in hope of the Resurrection.
They shared the same father. One had a protestant mother, the other a Roman Catholic one. Both were crowned in the Abbey in which they are now buried. Both lived in turbulent religious times. The history, symbolism, and inscription provides much food for thought – even in this age.
Image: (L to R) Queen Mary I by Master John, Queen Elizabeth I attributed to Nicholas Hillard (National Portrait Gallery)