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Queen Elizabeth I (1533-1603), Reigned 1558-1603

Sitter associated with 125 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.

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Queen Elizabeth I

by Cornelis Martinus Vermeulen, after Adriaen van der Werff
line engraving, 1697
NPG D25036


Queen Elizabeth I

by Charles Turner, published by Samuel Woodburn, after Crispijn de Passe the Elder, after Isaac Oliver
mezzotint, published 1816 or after
NPG D19249


William Shakespeare's interview with Queen Elizabeth I

by William Ensom, after Thomas Stothard
etching and line engraving, 1828
NPG D41664


Queen Elizabeth I

published by Habert
line engraving
NPG D19196


Queen Elizabeth I

published by Habert
line engraving
NPG D20187