Early on, the only thing Burleigh and Elizabeth never could seem to agree on was the issue of marriage. Burleigh believed that marriage, and the production of an heir, was absolutely essential future of the kingdom. But Elizabeth simply used his earnestness in the matter to her advantage: she would direct foreign delegations to Burleigh, and, after talking to him, many suitors and their representatives believed Elizabeth eager--even desperate--to marry. This helped Elizabeth keep her suitors in pursuit of their impossible goals. Like Elizabeth, Burleigh valued caution and prudence. However, he did not have the same obsessive fear of decisive action that often paralyzed Elizabeth, and he sometimes argued with her over the necessity for action, such a when he advocated sending an army and aid to help in the overthrow of Mary of Guise. Burleigh never could quite come to grips with the situation between Elizabeth and Leicester, since he detested the man and yet remained devoted to the Queen. Still, Burleigh was always horrified by Elizabeth's scandalous and indecent conduct with Leicester. Studious and serious, Burleigh was one of the few men who had a purely professional relationship with Elizabeth; she directed no flirtation directed towards Burleigh. In 1571 he entered into retirement, which, despite a lifetime of hard work and service to the Queen, he managed to enjoy. Of his time as Elizabeth's advisor, Burleigh said, "My service hath been but a piece of my duty, and my vocation has been too great a reward."
Walsingham and Elizabeth also disagreed on several substantial issues. A fanatical Protestant, Walsingham disagreed with Elizabeth's policy of mildness and conciliation towards English Catholics. While Elizabeth wanted England to stay free of entangling European alliances that could drag the nation into war, Walsingham fervently believed that England had a religious duty to make alliances with Europe's Protestant powers and fight a crusade against Catholic nations like Spain. Furthermore, Walsingham argued from the beginning of his tenure that if English Protestantism was to be protected, Mary Queen of Scots would have to die, in contrast with Elizabeth's hesitancy and tendency to wait. Walsingham worked so tirelessly that he often drove himself into illness.