Upon the death of her sister Mary in 1558, Elizabeth became queen at the ripe old age of 25. And so too began her nearly thirty year struggle with her own personal thorn in her side. Already considered old in her day to begin the marriage, heir-begetting game, her situaton was exacerbated by the haughty claims of her young cousin, the barely sixteen year old Queen of Scotland and soon to be queen of France. For as soon as the throne changed hands, Mary styled herself Queen of England, for not only was she not a bastard, she was also catholic. Thus was the stage set for a struggle that was partly for who sat on the thone, and partly as to which religion ruled the land.