Princess Elizabeth Tudor

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Princess Elizabeth Tudor as played by Laoise Murray (season 4),
Claire MacCauley
(season 3), Kate Duggan (season 2)
Motto : "Semper Eadem" meaning "Always the Same" *

Born September 7, 1533 - died March 24, 1603
Reign Began: November 17, 1558 (aged 25)
Crowned: January 15, 1559

58px|Elizabeth I - The Tudors Wiki
Character's backstory: Only surviving child of Anne Boleyn & Henry VIII. Within a couple of months of her birth as befits a princess, she was set up with her own household a few miles from court. Her mother doted on her and took pleasure in sending pretty clothes and trimmings for the young baby. On one visit by the King and Queen, a courtier remarked that she was " a goodly child as hath been seen and her Grace is much in the King's favour, as a goodly child should be..." Soon the decision was made to dissolve her outraged half-sister Mary's household and she and her servants were sent to join Elizabeth at Hatfield. She, however, would not acknowledge Elizabeth as Princess although she was prepared to call her "sister".

When she was 2 years and 8 months old, her mother was executed for treason and her life changed from being a pampered princess to being the illegitimate child of the King.
Her own household was thrown into a state of disarray. Henry was peoccupied with his new wife and now that Anne Boleyn was gone there was no one to give the necessary orders about the child´s clothing. To make matters worse, John Shelton, her mother´s uncle, was disrupting the daily routine by impudently insisting that Elizabeth should take her meals with everyone else in the hall instead of eating in her own nursery quarters. Much upset by this interference, Lady Margaret Bryan wrote to protest to the King, and at the end of June Henry gave orders for Elizabeth´s household to be reorganized, allowing her 32 servants. Her half-sister Princess Mary Tudor was not one of them.

The next 8 years of her life she watched as there were a quick succession of stepmothers. Her new half-brother Edward's birth had a direct impact on her since her surrogate mother Lady Margaret Bryan was transferred to his household. Fortunately, Thomas Cromwell replaced her with Katherine Champernon (later known as Kat Ashley) which was an inspired appointment. There is no evidence that she met her father's 4th wife Anne of Cleves during their 6 month marriage. (unlike the series portrayal). However,when she was 8 years old she was profoundly affected upon hearing the details of her father's fifth wife, Katherine Howard's death. Elizabeth reportedly swore never to marry -- a vow she would not break.

Thanks to Henry's sixth wife Catherine Parr, Elizabeth was finally fully accepted back by her father
and in the spring of 1544, Mary and Elizabeth, in that order, were restored to the Succession after Edward, but not legitimized. Elizabeth who was ten, took to her new stepmother immediately—here at last was a mother-figure who was offering a warm and loving presence, and who appreciated and encouraged the intelligence and education of the bright girl. Elizabeth was already well-versed in the classics and spoke several languages—impressive not only for her age, but for her sex, who were not usually afforded the same rigorous curricula as their male counterparts. Queen Catherine took it upon herself to oversee the child's education and was, in turn, rewarded with unqualified admiration by the precocious princess. Elizabeth would write Catherine many warm letters, from 'Your Majesty's very dear Elizabeth,' and there seems to have been genuine fondness on both sides.

At the end of 1544, when Elizabeth was only eleven, she gave Queen Catherine her translation of Queen Marguerite of Navarre's "Mirror of the Sinful Soul." It's covers beautifully embroidered by the young princess, it was accompanied by a thoughtful letter.
Also in that year, she would have been at court and her rank gave her the best vantage point of all in the Queen's chamber to see Catherine Parr act as Regent. The sight of some of the most powerful men in the realm bowing low before a woman was unusual in Tudor England. This may have made a deep impression on the young Elizabeth. After all, she saw a court fronted by a woman and managed by a council. Between them, they successfully ran a country racked by war, plague and religious division.

The last two years of her father's reign were to be the happiest and most secure of Elizabeth's life. At court, her position and status were of the most honourable. She was 'My Lady Elizabeth's Grace, the King's daughter' and 3rd ranking at court after her sister Mary and the Queen. Elizabeth would last see her father at the Christmas celebration of 1546 and by January 19th, Henry had passed away. She and her brother were brought together and told by Edward Seymour and the security and happiness of her father's last years were over. She was to know no peace until 15 years later when she wore his crown.

Gentility: Tudor family

Born: Greenwich Palace

Position: Princess (title later revoked and reduced to just the courtesy title of "Lady"), Lady Elizabeth, Queen Elizabeth I

Personality type: Elizabeth's personality was a vibrant one, but circumspect. She was an intelligent Renaissance princess, speaking English, Latin, Greek, French, Spanish, Hebrew, and Welsh in addition to studying subjects like state craft, theology, rhetoric, philosophy, and arithmetic. She was very witty and clever. Later, she would prove that she knew how to use her gender for survival and political gain.

"Elizabeth received her early education from her governess, Katherine Ashley . The Princess was bright, sharp-witted and old for her years; she showed early signs of fulfilling Wriothesley's (Risley in the series) prediction, made when she was six, that she would be an honour to her sex. As well as rapidly becoming proficient on the lute and virginals, she proved ... precociously able in languages, and the classics ..." ~ Alison Weir Henry VIII; The King and his Court

Signature look: Dark eyes of her mother and bright red hair & pale skin of her father. Slender frame; beautiful hands.

The Venetian Ambassador to Queen Mary's court once said in 1557 when Elizabeth was 24 :"She is a girl whose mind is considered no less excellent than her person,although her face is more pretty than beautiful, she is tall and well formed, with good skin and eyes are particularly beautiful, a beautiful hand that she adore to show, her intellect and understanding are wonderful, as demonstrated quite clearly with her conduct when she was in danger and under suspicion."

Endearing trait(s): Elizabeth was known for her wit, intelligence and intellectual pursuits. Wrote poetry and was a gifted musician.

Annoying trait(s): Her indecisiveness and l
ike both her father and her mother she was of a volatile temperament.

Scandal(s) in her youth: inappropriate behaviour with her stepfather, Thomas Seymour at age sixteen.

*Other Mottoes:
"Video et taceo" meaning "I see and remain silent"

Later Nickname(s): The Virgin Queen, Gloriana, The Faerie Queen, Good Queen Bess

On her dangerous and adventurous youth, David Starkey says:

"...from her birth in 1533 to her accession in 1558, she had experienced every vicissitude of fortune and every extreme of condition. She had been Princess and inheritrix of England, and bastard and disinherited; the nominated successor of the throne and an accused traitor on the verge of execution; showered with lands and houses and a prisoner in the Tower. She had known what it was like to be reduced to her shift when her father had forgotten about his three year old daughter in the excitement of his marriage to a new wife. She had also experienced the violent loss of her clothes when her stepfather [[[Thomas Seymour]]], with her stepmother's [[[Catherine Parr]]] connivance, had slashed off her dress with a knife. She had even contemplated exile and opened negotiations with the French Ambassador. In and among all this she had been taught, with gentleness and great skill, the most advanced curriculum of the day. But it was her lessons in the school of life that mattered more."
~ from "Elizabeth: the Struggle for the Throne"

Princess Elizabeth as played by Laoise Murray
(Season 4)
played by Laoise Murray

Princess Elizabeth
(Season 3)
played by Claire MacCauley

Princess Elizabeth as played by Kate Duggan
(Season 2)
played by Kate Duggan

Elizabeth I's signature

"I thank God that I am indeed endowed with such qualities that if I were turned out of the realm in my petticoat, I were able to live in any place of Christendom"

~ Elizabeth I in 1567

When I was fair and young, and favor graced me,
Of many was I sought their mistress for to be.
But I did scorn them all, and said to them therefore,
"Go, go, go, seek some otherwhere;
importune me no more."

~ a poem written by Elizabeth

“I know I have the body of but a weak and feeble woman, but I have the heart and stomach of a King and a King of England too.”

Elizabeth's coat of arms

" 1542, father and daughter [aged 9] met in person.... All went well. Henry clearly liked what he saw and decided to begin the formal process of Elizabeth's rehabilitation. This was to prove much less fraught than Mary's equivalent reconciliation with her father in 1536. Mary had nailed herself to the cross of her mother;s memory. Elizabeth did not make the same mistake. Instead she was very much her father's daughter and he came to reciprocate by taking a warm fatherly pride in her (whatever his residual feelings about Anne Boleyn might have been" ...
[by] 1544 [aged 11], this year of war abroad and loving reconciliation with her father at home, Elizabeth stepped into the limelight of history which she never left".
David Starkey in Elizabeth: the struggle for the throne.

"...the daughters of Henry VIII could hardly be more different; they were their mothers' daughters, both physically and in terms of their characters... Elizabeth's mother Anne Boleyn was the equal of Catherine in stubbornness and her definite superior intelligence - the only one of Henry's six wives whose marriage to the King had regularly been called her 'reign' by contemporaries....Elizabeth...was too young to remember her three years as heir to the throne before Anne was executed in 1536, then seven years until the age of ten in a highly ambiguous and probably uncomfortable role as a bastard daughter of the King."
~ Reformation by Diarmid MacCulloch

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Family members:
Paternal Grandfather: Henry VII Tudor
Paternal Grandmother: Elizabeth of York
Maternal Grandfather: Thomas Boleyn
Maternal Grandmother: Elizabeth Howard
Father: King Henry VIII.
Mother: Anne Boleyn
Half-Sister: Princess Mary Tudor, later Queen Mary I
Half-Brother: Prince Edward Tudor, later King Edward VI
Half-Brother: Henry Fitzroy, died at 16 years, Elizabeth never met him.

Later Romance(s):
Lord Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester
Francois, Duke of Anjou
Robert Devereux, Earl of Essex

The Catholic Faction

Friends- as a youth

Prince Edward Tudor, later King Edward VI: only a four-year difference in ages, they were very close and wrote many letters expressing their friendship

Blanche Parry (the woman who nursed Elizabeth, and supposedly taught her the Welsh language)

Kat Ashley nee Champernowne (governess) - Elizabeth came to love Kat dearly and she played an important role in her life as a friend and confidante. Elizabeth praised Kat’s early devotion to her studies by stating that she took “great labor and pain in bringing of me up in learning and honesty”.

Lady Margaret Bryan - her governess until Edward was born when she was transferred to take care of him.

Matthew Parker (1504 - 1575 ) played a special role in the early childhood of Princess Elizabeth. Anne Boleyn's chaplain who felt she had entrusted him with her daughter's spiritual well being. Elizabeth always trusted Matthew Parker - her sister Mary hated him due to his Protestant beliefs. When Elizabeth eventually became Queen she appointed Matthew Parker as the Archbishop of Canterbury.

Lord Robert Dudley - They had known each other since she was 8 years old and they probably were schooled together.

Catherine Carey (later Knollys): sister of Henry Carey, the daughter of Anne Boleyn's sister, Mary Boleyn

Thomas Parry (1505 - 1560 ) was a Welshman and was appointed steward to Elizabeth in her teenage years

For later when she was Queen: see Elizabeth I - historical profile


  • "How haps it govenor? Yesterday my lady princess, today but my lady Elizabeth?" - Elizabeth after the death of her mother asking why her status has changed


  • Items from her household are taken in order to pay for her mother's imprisonment and execution, and listens in on Lady Bryan's advice to one of her maids (episode 2.10)
  • When she gets welcomed back to court and has a conversation in French with Henry (S3.3)
  • At Anne of Cleves' welcome she gives Anne Flowers.(S3)

Elizabeth I - The Tudors Wiki


Princess Elizabeth as played by Laoise Murray
Season 4

Princess Elizabeth Tudor
Portrait of Elizabeth c. 1546 (around age 13)

Princess Elizabeth as played by Claire MacCauley
Claire McCauley
Season 3

Elizabeth I - The Tudors Wiki
c. 1545 from the Tudor Family Portrait
as Princess Elizabeth
Princess Elizabeth
Season 2
Kate Duggan
as a babe in her Mother's arms
Season 2

Season Two:

Season Three:
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Season Four:
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Season 4 - deleted scene
<embed allowfullscreen="true" height="282" src="" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="344" wmode="transparent"/>

For more on Elizabeth - Click link below
Queen Elizabeth I - historical profile Elizabeth I - The Tudors Wiki