10. Elizabeth I of England (1533-1603)
Queen Elizabeth, the “Virgin Queen”, never married, therefore she never shared the throne with a man…she was the sole ruler of England. She reveled in intellectual pursuits and led England into the Renaissance Era. She made her court a haven for other intellectuals, including philosophers, poets, scientists, and artists. In fact, she hobnobbed with the likes of Christopher Marlowe and William Shakespeare, to name a few.
On the political side, Queen Elizabeth defeated the Spanish Armada, an event that marked the end of Spain’s status as the dominant world power. Under Elizabeth’s rule, England became a Protestant country and shirked the former Catholic faith.