Queen Elizabeth I(1533-1603), Reigned 1558-1603
Sitter associated with 135 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.
More on Queen Elizabeth I: Tudor & Jacobean Portraits book in our Shops | Elizabethan Treasures: Miniatures by Hilliard and Oliver catalogue in our Shops | Who do you think you were | Elizabeth I and Her People | Queens of England range in our Shops | Monarchs range in our Shops | Kings & Queens range in our Shops
Explore the portrait of Queen Elizabeth I and Queen Elizabeth II (NPG D48090) from all angles
Watch a film clip on the sitter in the Media section below
attributed to Isaac Oliver
watercolour and bodycolour on vellum, circa 1590
by Henry Hering
albumen carte-de-visite photomontage, 1862
by Thomas Gemini
line engraving, mid 16th century
Do, draw and make!
Do, draw and make!
From building dens to food faces – enjoy our Playful Portraits activities and find out about some brilliant people!
Activities for children and families inspired by three healthcare heroes from our Collection.
Downloadable and web based resources to support learning at home linked to art, history, citizenship and literacy.
- Searching for Shakespeare
- Making History: Printed Portraiture in Tudor and Stuart Britain
- NPG D48090 in 360°
- Tudor Miniatures
- My Favourite Portrait by Fiona Shaw
- My Favourite Portrait by P.D. James
- Concealed and Revealed: The Changing Faces of Elizabeth I
- Hidden: Unseen Paintings Beneath Tudor Portraits
- Kings and Queens: A Family tree
- Tudor pick up guides
- Who do you think you were?
- Tudor and Elizabethan matching pairs
- Queen Elizabeth I by Nicholas Hilliard
- On panel making and the post-1600 Holbein panels
- Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Art Conservation Project
- Highlights from the survey
- Shakespeare quiz
- Imagined Lives: portraits of unknown people
- Photo collage
- Portraits featuring - Necklace
- Portraits featuring - Brooch
- Top 50 watercolours and drawings as Portrait Prints
- Best selling prints
- Elizabethan Treasures
- Tudor and Elizabethan portraits
- Kings & Queens
- Tudor and Elizabethan prints
- Flowers and plants
- Top selling prints
- Prints of paintings
- Top selling prints of paintings
- Tudor and Elizabethan portraits used in matching pairs
- Maps and globes
- Portraits featuring - Earring
- Portraits featuring - Ring
- Words and inscriptions
- National Portrait Gallery works in Elizabeth to Victoria exhibition at the State Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow
- Medals and medallions
- Meet the Locals Tour
- Crowns and tiaras
- Portraits featuring - Chain