Elizabeth I – the last Tudor monarch – ruled for 45 years and left a long and lasting legacy. Discover more about the voyages of discovery that she supported during her reign and how she helped pave the way for an age of expansion, colonisation and trade.

The search for new markets during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I helped to boost England’s maritime confidence.

Find out more about the symbols used in portraits of Queen Elizabeth I and discover their meanings.

John Dee provided Queen Elizabeth I with a new vision for England, spurring the rise of the British Empire.

Elizabeth I with the cardinal and theological virtues (c. 1598), copyright: Dover Museum and Bronze Age Boat Gallery, was commissioned by the Corporation of Dover for the town hall there. It is on permanent display at Dover Museum and Bronze Age Boat Gallery.

The Privy Council was a defined body that advised Queen Elizabeth I and acted as the administrative centre for her government.

Queen Elizabeth I was very conscious of her appearance, and her image was engineered to convey wealth, authority and power. 

When Elizabeth I became queen her first challenge was to build a loyal staff of independent thinkers to help her govern. 

As the Queen of England and the nation’s most powerful woman, Elizabeth's taste set the 'look' of the 1500s. 

The procession and coronation of Queen Elizabeth I set the tone for her reign and earned her public approval.

Entertainment at court in Elizabethan times included jousting, dancing, poetry-reading, dramatic performances, hunting, riding, banqueting and concerts. 

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