Entering her final years, Elizabeth remained as popular as ever. Indeed, after 1588, most of Europe regarded the once-mocked queen with profound awe. She became associated with supernatural imagery, especially that of Diana, the Virgin Huntress. However, while old age brought her reverence, it also brought loneliness: Elizabeth outlived all of her advisors and friends. Robert Devereaux (Earl of Essex) and the stepson of the late Leicester attempted to win the favor once bestowed on deceased ministers. Essex was clearly one of the Queen's favorites; he was related to Leicester and a minor war hero as well, having led battles against the Spanish at Cadiz. His enemies included Burleigh's son Robert Cecil, as well as Walter Raleigh. In 1598, when an Irish earl rose up against an English deputy, Elizabeth selected Essex to command the force that would go to Ireland and discipline the rebellious earl. In
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Elizabeth, Essex, friends. Robert Devereaux, son Robert Cecil, minor war hero