Elizabeth Tudor was born on September 7th 1533 at Greenwich palace to parents Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn, King and Queen of England. England had undergone many changes for the birth of Elizabeth to occur. Anne Boleyn was Henry's 2nd wife. His first wife, Catherine of Aragon, was unable to bear him a son and instead gave birth to Mary, Elizabeth's older half-sister. Henry was determined to have a male heir to the throne and with his determination, he asked the Pope to annul his marriage to Catherine of Aragon, as so he could marry Anne Boleyn who he hoped would bear him a son. England at the time was devoutly Catholic and King Henry, in a fit of anger, declared himself Supreme Head of the Church of England, and thus breaking away from the Catholic Church completely. England was now a protestant nation, and Henry was able to annul his marriage to Catherine and marry Anne; as a result, Mary was now viewed to be an illegitimate child and excluded from succession to the throne. On January 25, 1533 Henry and Anne were married in secret. In reference to Henry's infatuation with Anne, the French Ambassador wrote "the King is so infatuated that none but God can cure him." .
Elizabeth spent most of her childhood at Hatfield House, Hertfordshire, one of her family's many residences throughout England. When Elizabeth was only two years old, King Henry, desperate for a male heir and upset at Ann Boleyn, had Ann executed. Although the facts of her mother's death were hidden from her for years, it has been said that she figured out the truth on her own. Despite his brutality of marrying and killing wife after wife in hopes of producing a male heir, she admired and loved him. The eight-year-old Elizabeth was especially distraught when her father beheaded Catherine Howard in 1542: Henry's fifth wife, Catherine was Ann Boleyn's cousin and had been very kind towards Elizabeth.
Though Elizabeth's Father never took part in her life personally, he provided tutors and such as needed and it was seen that she was an exceptionally bright child.