Just in time for Halloween, Dracula author Bram Stoker comes forth with a strange tale. Only this one he alleges to be entirely true. According to Stoker, as detailed further in his book Famous Impostors, Queen Elizabeth of England was actually a man.
Moreover, “she” really was once a female. The transformation came about when the young Princess Elizabeth went out of town with her governess for a bit of fresh air:
While she was there word came that the King was coming to see his little daughter. Shortly before his arrival, however, “the child developed acute fever, and before steps could be taken even for her proper attendance and nursing, she died. The governess feared to tell her father — Henry VIII had the sort of temper which did not make for the happiness to those around him.” The nurse thereupon hid the body and scoured the neighborhood for some living girl child who could be passed off for the Princess.
“But here again was a check. Throughout the little village and its surroundings was to be found no little girl of an age reasonably suitable for the purpose required. More than ever distracted, for time was flying by, she determined to take the greater risk of a boy substitute — if a boy could be found.” And, of course, there was a boy available — “just such a boy as would suit the special purpose for which he was required, a boy well known to the governess, for the little princess had taken a fancy to him and had lately been accustomed to play with him. Moreover, he was a pretty boy, as might have been expected from the circumstance of the little Lady Elizabeth having chosen him as her playmate. He was close at hand and available. So he was clothed in the dress of the dead child, they being of about equal stature.” King Henry, it is said, suspected nothing during his visit, as Elizabeth had always feared him and there had never been any of the intimacies of father and daughter between them.
The name of the boy who grew up to be Queen Elizabeth: Neville. And now you know the rest of the story.
WAS QUEEN ELIZABETH A “FAMOUS IMPOSTOR?” Mr. Bram Stoker Brings Together Some of the Notable “Frauds” of History in Proof of His Theory that “Good Queen Bess” Was a Man. (PDF)
From October 30, 1910