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The long absence of queens regnant in England owed little to any principled opposition to female rule. Even in France the fourteenth-century appeal to Salic law owed more to pragmatic politics than to systemic hostility to queens. Although there were no clear-cut barriers to female accession, Mary Tudor, England's first Queen Regnant was undoubtedly more acceptable because she came to the throne a mature woman, with an impeccable sexual reputation. Her accession was also made easier by Henry VIII's extended use of statute law; in turn she eased the path to the throne for the younger and allegedly more disreputable Elizabeth.