ⅵ Queen Elizabeth I

Reign: November 1558 – March 1603
b. September, 1533 d. March, 1603 (aged 69)
Elizabeth I-- Signature

In government, Queen Elizabeth I was more moderate than her father and half-siblings had been. One of her mottoes was

“video et taceo”

(“I see but say nothing”)

In religion, she was relatively tolerant and avoided systematic persecution. After the pope declared her illegitimate in 1570 and released her subjects from obedience to her, several conspiracies threatened her life, all of which were defeated with the help of her ministers’ secret service. Elizabeth was cautious in foreign affairs, manoeuvring between the major powers of France and Spain. She only half-heartedly supported a number of ineffective, poorly resourced military campaigns in the Netherlands, France, and Ireland. By the mid-1580s, England could no longer avoid war with Spain. England’s defeat of the Spanish Armada in 1588 associated Elizabeth with one of the greatest military victories in English history.

As she grew older, Elizabeth became celebrated for her virginity. A cult grew around her which was celebrated in the portraits, pageants, and literature of the day. Elizabeth’s reign became known as the Elizabethan era. The period is famous for the flourishing of English drama, led by playwrights such as William Shakespeare and Christopher Marlowe, and for the seafaring prowess of English adventurers such as Francis Drake. Some historians depict Elizabeth as a short-tempered, sometimes indecisive ruler,[5] who enjoyed more than her share of luck. Towards the end of her reign, a series of economic and military problems weakened her popularity. Elizabeth is acknowledged as a charismatic performer and a dogged survivor in an era when government was ramshackle and limited, and when monarchs in neighbouring countries faced internal problems that jeopardised their thrones. After the short reigns of her half-siblings, her 44 years on the throne provided welcome stability for the kingdom and helped forge a sense of national identity.

Queen Elizabeth I
Portrait of Elizabeth I as a Princess
by William Scrots (c. 1546)
Queen Elizabeth I
The “Darnley Portrait” of Elizabeth I of England. It was named after a previous owner. Probably painted from life, this portrait is the source of the face pattern called “The Mask of Youth” which would be used for authorized portraits of Elizabeth for decades to come.

c. 1575

Nicholas Hilliard
Portrait of Queen Elizabeth I
Object type Oil on wood panel
Date (About 1573 – About 1575)

The Armada Portrait of Elizabeth I

The portrait was made to commemorate the defeat of the Spanish Armada (depicted in the background).

circa 1588

Queen Elizabeth I
The Allegorical Portrait of Elizabeth I with Old Father Time at her right. Death is looking over her shoulder, implies that she is close to her death, this also implies that the creator of this portrait did this far before she actually died in 1603 but posted it later so he wouldn’t be punished for the connotations it has (had) There are two cherubs remove her crown,so she becomes a princess not queen also shows she is no longer going to be queen. Giving reference to her death once again.’

circa 1610

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