Arise ladies and gentlemen, as we step back in time to a world of courtiers and courtship. From the drama and intrigue of of Elizabeth I's court, to the rags to riches tale of Lord Nelson's mistress, Lady Emma Hamilton, we explore the lives and legacies of some of history's most colourful characters.

The threat to the Crown from Catholic forces continued to grow for Queen Elizabeth I during the 1580s.

How was England's defeat of the Spanish Armada under Elizabeth I a defining moment in the country's history?

The tides of peace turned for Queen Elizabeth I when Mary, Queen of Scots arrived in England

Concerns about who would succeed Queen Elizabeth I saw Parliament petition her to marry and produce an heir almost immediately. 

In 1697, Peter the Great of Russia travelled to England to learn about shipbuilding and navigation in order to establish the first Russian Navy.

In Elizabeth I with a pelican emblem (1575), Nicholas Hilliard used symbols to communicate messages about Queen Elizabeth I. 

Henry VIII (1491–1547) is one of the most written about kings in English history. He established the Church of England and the Royal Navy.

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

Henry VIII (1491–1547) is credited for establishing the Royal Navy – establishing Royal Dockyards and building new, innovative warships.

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.

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