Elizabeth I

Portrait of Elizabeth I

Born: 1533
Died: 1603
Reigned: 1558–1603

  • Daughter of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn
  • During her twenties was imprisoned by her sister, the Catholic Mary I
  • Never married; the formidable and independent-minded ‘Virgin Queen’
  • In her reign Protestantism was re-established and the Spanish Armada was defeated
  • Patron of playwrights such as Shakespeare and Ben Jonson
  • Fluent in several European languages, a fine calligrapher and musician
  • Portraits of her in miniature were painted by Hilliard and Isaac Oliver, and official portraits by Eworth
  • Ordered her artists to depict her with the ‘Mask of Youth’ until her last years
  • Her extensive collection of jewellery was noted as being particularly fine
  • At Windsor, rebuilt the North Terrace in stone (not wood), and added a further range to the west – Queen  Elizabeth’s Gallery (now part of the Royal Library) – as a viewing gallery and for indoor exercise
  • Died at Richmond Palace, her favourite winter residence

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