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.

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.

The story of Emma Hamilton is one of female power and achievement in a man’s world, against all odds.

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

One of England's most-famous monarchs, Queen Elizabeth I (1533-1603) rebuilt England’s standing in the world.

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

In the 1570s and 1580s, Queen Elizabeth I granted royal permission to two Englishmen to colonise America.

Various dramatic events led to Elizabeth I taking over the throne from the Catholic Queen Mary I.

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