Catherine of Braganza: Charles II's Restoration Queen | William and Mary | The Lost Kings: Lancaster, York & Tudor | The White King: Charles I, Traitor, Murderer, Martyr | Charlotte and Feodora | Scourge of Henry VIII | The Six Wives & Many Mistresses of Henry VIII | Red Roses | Anna of Saxony
Elizabeth Stuart's life was transformed when her father, James I, ascended to the illustrious throne of England. Her marriage to a German count far below her rank was arranged with the understanding that James would help her husband achieve the crown of Bohemia. Her father's terrible betrayal of this promise would ruin "the Winter Queen," as Elizabeth would forever be known, imperil the lives of those she loved, and launch a war that would last 30 years.
Forced into exile, the Winter Queen and her growing family found refuge in Holland, where the glorious art and culture of the Dutch Golden Age formed the backdrop to her daughters' education. The eldest, Princess Elizabeth, counted the preeminent philosopher René Descartes as her closest friend. Louise Hollandine, whose lively manner and appealing looks would provoke heartache and scandal, was a gifted artist. Henrietta Maria, the beauty of the family, would achieve the dynastic ambition of marrying into royalty, although at great cost. But it would be the youngest, Sophia, a heroine in the tradition of Jane Austen, whose ready wit and good-natured common sense masked immense strength of character, who would fulfill the promise of her great-grandmother Mary, a legacy which endures to this day.
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