Queen Elizabeth I, The Ditchley Portrait, by Marcus Gheeraerts the Younger, circa 1592, National Portrait Gallery.
The following is my opinion. I skipped some historical details, to make it not too long. (btw sorry for my english!)
The Tudors… They just wanted to be happy. They wanted power, of course. But unlike others monarchs, they wanted too love and be happy.
Let take the example of King Henry the Eighth. European monarchs married to seal alliances to others European powers. Besides Catherine of Aragon and Anne von Cleves, he married with women of not royal blood, with commoners. Why? Because he wanted love (and a son, of course!) And when his marriage did not work out, he tried again with another woman. I do not agree with his way to treat women, but I am just saying that he looked for happiness in his marriages. He married for love.
Now let talk about his daughter, Elizabeth… (my favourite Tudor, btw). She had a childhood that was not happy, for our 21st century standards. But in the 16th century, and as a royal child, she had a good childhood. Letting aside the fact that she lost her mother being just a little girl and the terrible way that she lost her, she has a relatively quiet childhood.
So, her childhood was quiet. Elizabeth grew up with people whom she loved as her true parents. Her teens were more complicate. But, in the 16th century world, a teen was almost an adult. Those years were hard, she had to fight for her life, the lives of the people she loved and her name and her honour. But…. At the age of 25 she became queen. All the restrictions she had in her life disappeared. Elizabeth became master of her own life and she wanted to be happy, as she herself said once “in this world she had had so much sorrow and tribulation and so little joy”. And in this point is when Robert Dudley appears. As I said before, the Tudors wanted to be happy. And Elizabeth was not the exception. And Robert brought her happiness, there is no doubt of that. When they were together, it appeared that all her problems disappeared. She was happy, and he knew that. Of course, Elizabeth never stopped to be queen, despite to be in love. And that was the major problem in their relationship. She wanted to be happy, she wanted love. And she wanted the power too. The Tudors were contradictory, they were humans. And when the whole court was shocked with her behaviour, she just acted like a happy woman. Doing what she wanted, but with the whole world watching her. Elizabeth was a very contradictory woman, and how she did some things is hard to understand. But this contradiction was the struggle of a woman who tried to do her duty and be happy, all at the same time.
Perhaps this is one of the things that make them so interesting, their struggle to be as normal as their royalty allowed them to be.