On 17th November 1558, according to tradition, twenty-five-year-old Elizabeth, daughter of King Henry VIII and Queen Anne Boleyn, was sitting under an old oak tree in the parkland around the palace of Hatfield, reading a book. She was disturbed by lords of the council who had travelled to Hatfield to give her news of her half-sister Queen Mary I's death and her subsequent accession.
Overcome with emotion, Elizabeth sank to her knees and said in Latin what translates to "This is the Lord's doing: it is marvellous in our eyes", from Psalm 118.
I was in Hatfield back in September on the Discover the Tudors tour and made sure I visited the spot where she was said to have received the news. The tree is not the original oak, but this one was planted on the spot where Elizabeth's oak stood.
17th November, Accession Day, was celebrated throughout the reign of Elizabeth I and the reigns of many of her successors. Click here to read more.