Leaders and heroes


There were many ways to commemorate Vice-Admiral Nelson. Some cheap and mass produced, others encrusted with diamonds.


Roald Amundsen is one of history’s most celebrated explorers, famous for navigating the North-West Passage and being the first to reach the South Pole.


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


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


Henry VIII is possibly the most famous King of England, known both for his six wives and for the splitting of the Church. He had several children from different women, but only three were legitimate and survived past infancy. These were King Edward VI, Queen Mary I and Queen Elizabeth I. Many others were born illegitimately and only one of these was recognised - Henry Fitzroy.

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The iconic Armada portrait of Elizabeth I commemorates the most famous conflict of her reign – the failed invasion of England by the Spanish Armada in summer 1588.

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Captain Robert Falcon Scott was the first British explorer to reach the South Pole and explore Antarctica extensively by land in the early 1900s. 

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Lord Nelson is best known for his victory at the Battle of the Trafalgar but he was already a national hero before then thanks to his naval tactics.


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

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The site of the Museum has a deeply royal history, one that was profoundly shaped by the queens consort and regnant over the last six hundred years.