In fact, royal children were commonly betrothed at a very young age.Mary, Queen of Scots, Elizabeth's first cousin, was first betrothed at age 5.The simplicity factor was one reason why the time between proposal to marriage could be very short.For most couples, the two weeks waiting for the three readings of the Banns was plenty of time. For example, she was one of a handful of English monarchs who never married.When pressed on the matter, she would answer that she was wedded to England. Even as a monarch, she would have been expected to submit to an arranged marriage, a practice that dated back to the Anglo-Saxons.
Love is a common theme in Shakespeare's comedies, with the action of the play often following a similar pattern: love is declared, is challenged in some way and is finally reasserted in the act of marriage.(See II Corinthians 5:7, Psalm , Romans , Psalm 13, and I John 4:8.) Because each individual, family, and set of circumstances is unique, each courtship will be unique.While those who choose courtship will hold to general guidelines for the relationship, their specific choices about when, where, and how to court may differ according to their needs and circumstances.One of them was her father, Henry VIII, who endured a succession of failed marriages.The purpose of a royal marriage was not love and affection but the cementing of an alliance with another country.This was a firmly entrenched tradition that would last well into the 19th century.