On this day in history in 1570, Pope Pius V excommunicated Queen Elizabeth I of England.
Henry VIII broke away from the Catholic church to marry Elizabeth’s mother, Anne Boleyn. England briefly returned to the Catholic church when Mary I ascended, but her reign was to last only five years. After her, Elizabeth I ascended the throne of England, and she wanted to uphold the reformed church. She was the head of the church of England.
On 25 February the Regnans in Excelsis (reigning on high) was issued by Pope Pius V declaring Elizabeth to be a heretic and releasing all of her subjects from any allegiance to her and excommunicating any that obeyed her orders.
The bull was briefly suspended in between 1580 and 1584 to relieve pressure on the Catholics in England.
In 1588 it was renewed for the regicide of Mary, Queen of Scots in 1587 and other offences against the Catholic church and in support of the Spanish Armada.
While the bull had little effect in England, it inspired a rebellion in Ireland, where most of the population was Catholic.