This week in Mash History: Elizabeth I decides she's done with dating, 1568

THE final monarch of the Tudor dynasty, Queen Elizabeth I of England was known for her intelligence, diplomacy, and virginity. But the last was not entirely by choice. 

Earlier in her reign the Virgin Queen endeavoured mightily to find a match and birth an heir before declaring herself ‘sick to unending with all the bullock-ordure of the dominant sex.’

While historians previously focused on the post-Reformation tumult and the delicate balance of European powers, new readings of the period believe the Queen decided that it was not worth the effort required to ride a dick.

In a letter to her cousin Mary Queen of Scots, Elizabeth wrote: “Mar, I grow weary. I feel imprisoned by my suitors intentions, just as you are imprisoned for your pesky insistence on being Scottish and Catholic. But you suffer not as I.

“The court brings portraits of handsome men with leashed hounds or holding large fish before me, which I dismiss by waving left or favour by waving right. At night I am shown corresponding private oils of their members. None so much as tempts.

“With Robert, who was so absent and toxic and impossible to communicate with but also six feet tall which evened everything out, I began my exhaustion. Having his wife murdered so he could bone me seemed to my eyes a fluttering scarlet pennant.

“The Spanish King Philip continues to propose marriage, but as we both know he was married to your sister and would prefer you, and as Father always told us ‘do not foul where ye must feast.’ Though he takes rejection not well.

“And Archduke Charles of Austria getting all up in my correspondence with his schnitzel has finished it for me. I’m swearing off men. This Boleyn girl is putting herself first and if my line be extinguished, so be it.

“No more will I waste away an hour fretting as it has been three days and his messenger still hasn’t arrived, or trying to catch his eye with a brand new coating of lead paint on my face. Let it be proclaimed that Queen Elizabeth is in her Eat Pray Love era.”

And so, Mary Queen of Scots spent her remaining years imprisoned, psychologically tortured by endless letters from her cousin stating how she was ‘off men for real this time, it doesn’t matter how fetching the new Lord Chamberlain looks in his tunic’.

Next week: to 1483, when the mysterious absence of young princes Edward V and Richard of Shrewsbury from public life is explained as ‘planned cranial surgery’.

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Your astrological week ahead for March 16th, with Psychic Bob

Aries, March 21st–April 19th

Big Gillingham vs Grimsby game this afternoon. By Christ that’s a grudge match.

Taurus, April 20th–May 20th

You know Wilfred Owen? War poet, died on the last day of the Great War? Last bullet fired in fact? Wasn’t even the enemy, it was friendly fire? Went through his heart, destroyed an unpublished book of poems, and killed his pet pigeon Kaiser?

Gemini, May 21st–June 21st

Love does last forever. Just ask your wife how she feels about her ex.

Cancer, June 22nd–July 22nd

The dialogue in most pornography is improvised by the actors, a technique stolen from Mike Leigh movies.

Leo, July 23rd–August 22nd

Racing tip: pick a winner based on the name of the horse you’d least like to see humanely destroyed.

Virgo, August 23rd–September 22nd

“No, Cheryl and I appeared on Pimp My Bride in 2006. Entirely different show.”

Libra, September 23rd–October 22nd

Can people smell when you’ve had a wank? Asking for a friend.

Scorpio, October 23rd–November 22nd

Pretend to be a musician by leaving the office early and only returning to finish your work after sustained applause and cheering.

Sagittarius, November 22nd–December 21st

Remember that embarrassing time you accidentally called your mum ‘Mrs Bunting, my old Primary School teacher’?

Capricorn, December 22nd–January 19th

Not got much fucking repeat value has it, reality TV? Nobody’s settling down with a box-set of season five of The X-Factor. 

Aquarius, January 20th–February 18th

Starve a fever, feed a cold, serve entrees to gastroenteritis, make dinner for diphtheria.

Pisces, February 19th–March 20th

Given the phrase ‘colder than a witch’s tit’ it’s odd witchfinders didn’t use that to identify their quarry. Perk of the job etcetera.