Free

Essential Information

Location
Queen's House
Price Free

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

The painting is on permanent public display in the Queen's Presence Chamber in the Queen’s House, on the site of the original Greenwich Palace – the birthplace of Elizabeth I. 

The Armada Portrait summarises the hopes and aspirations of the nation at a watershed moment in history.

The portrait was also designed to be a spectacle of female power and majesty, carefully calculated to inspire awe and wonder.

Symbols of the Armada Portrait

Mary Beard, Eunice Olumide, Daniel Lismore and the Pearly Queen of Greenwich uncover the hidden meanings of the Armada Portrait. Tap the arrows for more.

An image for 'Symbols of the Armada Portrait'
A woman in power

Historian Mary Beard explores how Elizabeth I uses the Armada Portrait to assert her power.

Fashion and colonialism

Supermodel Eunice Olumide explores what the Armada Portrait has to say to us now about the costs of luxury.

Gender and identity

 Artist Daniel Lismore reveals how Elizabeth I has inspired his own unique look.

Pearls and pageantry

The Pearly Queen of Royal Greenwich Gwen Jones shares her admiration for the Virgin Queen.

Tudors to Windsors: British Royal Portraits

Come face-to-face with British royalty in a new exhibition at the National Maritime Museum
Saved for the nation

The Armada Portrait of Elizabeth I has taken pride of place in the Queen's House since 2017. 

The painting had previously been owned by descendants of Sir Francis Drake, but was was acquired for the nation following a major public appeal and grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Tap the arrows to discover more about the story of the painting.

An image for 'Saved for the nation'
A public icon

In 2016, the Armada Portrait entered public ownership for the first time in its 425-year-history when it was acquired by Royal Museums Greenwich.

Restored to former glory

Following the portrait's acquisition, conservators undertook essential work to preserve the portrait's fragile painted surfaces.

Peeling back the layers

During the conservation, paint analysis revealed that the seascapes were likely painted over in the early 18th century, with the original seascapes still hidden underneath.

Choose your tickets

Queen's House

  • Guaranteed entry time
  • See amazing art
  • Explore the historic building
  • Woburn Treasures exhibition
Free entry
Book in advance
BOOK NOW
National Maritime Museum

Become a Member

  • Unlimited entry all year
  • Royal Observatory
  • Cutty Sark
  • Planetarium Shows
  • Special exhibitions
Direct Debit One-off
Individual: £50 Individual: £60
Family: from £65 Family: from £75
JOIN TODAY

Member tickets

  • Free entry
  • Priority booking
  • Membership card number required
Members go free
Advance booking essential
BOOK NOW