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Queen Elizabeth I

(1533-1603), Reigned 1558-1603

Sitter associated with 127 portraits
The daughter of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn, Elizabeth came to the throne on the death of her half-sister, Mary I. Her long reign, beginning in 1558, saw the secure establishment of the Church of England. It was characterised by relative peace and prosperity, a great increase in foreign trade and exploration, and a flourishing literary culture. Despite receiving many proposals of marriage, Elizabeth remained single and became legendary as the 'virgin queen'. She had many favourites, but none more important than Robert Dudley, the Earl of Leicester, who sought to win her hand in marriage.

Watch a film clip on the sitter from the BBC Archive in the Media section below

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Queen Elizabeth I, by Renold or Reginold Elstrack (Elstracke) - NPG D31852

Queen Elizabeth I

by Renold or Reginold Elstrack (Elstracke)
line engraving, 1618
NPG D31852

Monument to Queen Elizabeth I in Westminster Abbey, by Magdalena de Passe, or by  Willem de Passe, after  Maximilian Colte - NPG D13271

Monument to Queen Elizabeth I in Westminster Abbey

by Magdalena de Passe, or by Willem de Passe, after Maximilian Colte
line engraving, 1620
NPG D13271

Queen Elizabeth I, by Charles David, after  Isaac Oliver - NPG D20336

Queen Elizabeth I

by Charles David, after Isaac Oliver
engraving, circa 1625-1636
NPG D20336

Queen Elizabeth I, by Francis Delaram, after  Nicholas Hilliard - NPG D21054

Queen Elizabeth I

by Francis Delaram, after Nicholas Hilliard
line engraving, published 1625
NPG D21054

Roger Ascham and Princess (afterwards Queen) Elizabeth, by Michael Burghers - NPG D25554

Roger Ascham and Princess (afterwards Queen) Elizabeth

by Michael Burghers
line engraving, possibly mid to late 17th century
NPG D25554

Queen Elizabeth I, by Francis Delaram, after  Nicholas Hilliard - NPG D16561

Queen Elizabeth I

by Francis Delaram, after Nicholas Hilliard
line engraving, published 1630
NPG D16561

Queen Elizabeth I, by Francis Delaram, after  Nicholas Hilliard - NPG D21053

Queen Elizabeth I

by Francis Delaram, after Nicholas Hilliard
line engraving, published 1630
NPG D21053

Queen Elizabeth I, by Francis Delaram, after  Nicholas Hilliard - NPG D21052

Queen Elizabeth I

by Francis Delaram, after Nicholas Hilliard
line engraving, published 1630
NPG D21052

Queen Elizabeth I, probably by William Faithorne, published by  Sir Robert Peake, after  Isaac Oliver - NPG D22813

Queen Elizabeth I

probably by William Faithorne, published by Sir Robert Peake, after Isaac Oliver
line engraving, circa 1640
NPG D22813

Queen Elizabeth I, by William Marshall - NPG D25032

Queen Elizabeth I

by William Marshall
line engraving, circa 1648
NPG D25032

Queen Elizabeth I, by William Marshall - NPG D42187

Queen Elizabeth I

by William Marshall
line engraving, circa 1648
NPG D42187

Monument to Queen Elizabeth I in Westminster Abbey, by Richard Gaywood, after  Maximilian Colte - NPG D13170

Monument to Queen Elizabeth I in Westminster Abbey

by Richard Gaywood, after Maximilian Colte
etching, circa 1665
NPG D13170

Queen Elizabeth I, after Unknown artist - NPG D25029

Queen Elizabeth I

after Unknown artist
line engraving, possibly late 17th to early 18th century
NPG D25029

Queen Elizabeth I, after Unknown artist - NPG D25030

Queen Elizabeth I

after Unknown artist
line engraving, possibly late 17th to early 18th century
NPG D25030

Queen Elizabeth I, by Johann Alexander Böner, after  Jacob Loots (Loets) - NPG D42189

Queen Elizabeth I

by Johann Alexander Böner, after Jacob Loots (Loets)
line engraving, late 17th-early 18th century
NPG D42189

Queen Elizabeth I, published by Paul van Somer - NPG D21062

Queen Elizabeth I

published by Paul van Somer
etching, late 17th century
NPG D21062

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