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However, some believe this was the result of a young boy being forced into the role of a powerful woman. Not because of the belief that women are weak but, because of the interesting theory brought to attention by an acclaimed and famous author, Bram Stoker (Author of the novel Dracula). He thought this because women in Queen Elizabeth’s time could be killed for such a rebellion against British norms, values and traditions but a man would not.
How does the theory go?
According to legend, Princess Elizabeth (or rather the Lady Elizabeth) was sent to Over Court House in Bisley sometime around 1543/1544 to avoid the plague.
Unfortunately, disaster struck, and the ten-year-old princess was taken ill. As the princess lay gravely sick, her governess (the title for a woman employed to teach the children of the household) received word that the King was on his way to visit his daughter. While the house was preparing for the royal visit, the princess died from acute fever.
Fearing for her life, the governess searched the local village for a suitable girl to replace Elizabeth so that they could delay this bad news. There was no female that appeared like the now dead girl. Then she saw a red headed, pretty boy that had a blindingly pale skin tone. The governess took the boy and disguised him as the recently deceased Elizabeth, starting the deception.
The King did not notice the substitution. The plan worked and worked so well that the King was never told the truth and Elizabeth’s body was never moved from the stone coffin in the garden at Over court where it had initially been hidden. Over 300 years later, the Reverend Thomas Keble told his family of the discovery of the remains of a girl’s body in a stone coffin at Over court while building work was being carried out at the manor house.
So why would anyone believe this?
- Elizabeth had a HUGE stock of various WIGS
- Elizabeth REFUSED to see any other doctors, EXCEPT her own
- She REFUSED to marry
- She could NOT have CHILDREN (A Spanish nobleman once wrote “I understand that she will not bear children”)
- She was EXTREMELY SECRETIVE (Robert Tyrwhitt wrote to Protector Somerset in 1549: “I do verily believe that there hath been some secret promise between my Lady [Elizabeth’s governess]...” “...never to confess to death...”)
If this is true... who was the boy?
There’s very little evidence pointing towards who the boy was but, many conspirators believe they have dwindled down the very few options from very little proof.
Theorists and the originator of the theory (Bram Stoker) believed the boy to be the Duke of Richmond’s and Mary Howard’s son—Henry FitzRoy. As the Duke of Richmond was Henry VIII’s (Elizabeth’s father) illegitimate son, this would explain the boy’s skin tone being like Elizabeth’s as well as the resemblance and the intelligence.
To Round Everything Up...
Is the theory fun to think about? Sure is.
Is the theory likely to be true? Probably not.
Nonetheless, I encourage anyone who reads this to research this more and please create even more thought-provoking, exciting conspiracy theories.
(Themes expressed in this article are not meant to offend or be insensitive towards transgender individuals. This article explores the idea that Elizabeth was an innocent kidnapped boy that was forced to imitate a female, not an individual thats gender did not match that of the sex/gender they were assigned at birth. If you feel as though this article is still insensitive, feel free to contact myself or Vocal.Media to take it down. Thank you for reading.)