“But then came the Stuarts…” First test for whether you’re giving your popular ruler too much power: imagine the same power in the hands of someone less popular (or less on your side of things politically) and see how much you cringe.
It is worth pointing out that the Pope had issued a decree stating that her subjects had no duty to obey her and the Spanish had mustered a huge armada to transport an army from the Netherlands.
Ah, the Stuarts. It’s interesting to note that while most people think of the English as taking over the Scottish to form Great Britain, in actual fact the Stuarts (which is where the Union started) were Scottish kings first.
Of course, the actual formation of Great Britain as a unified crown wasn’t for another century- at this point, the Stuarts were kings of England and Scotland. And Ireland.
“But Daaaaaaaaaaad! I want the chain gun! Mary got a flamethrower! It’s not faaaaaaaaaaair” “Oh, alright…”
A large part of Elizabeth’s popularity was that she did a fine job for England as a whole. Under her, the French and Spanish had to stop their conquest of Europe.
Why is that such a good thing for England? We didn’t have any territory in Europe by that point.
When considering Elizabeth’s starting popularity, one can’t overlook the fact that she instituted laws to control the press. Turns out you can do a lot of stuff as a monarch, if all people hear about is how great you are. . .