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Tudor Clothing - Dress to Impress

Queen Elizabeth I

Queen Elizabeth I was the daughter of King Henry Vlll and Anne Boleyn. Elizabeth was born in 1533 and died in 1603. She was the Queen of England from 1558 until she died at the age of 70. 


The portrait of her pictured here is thought to be a Victorian copy of the original painting of Queen Elizabeth I by John Bettes.


What clues can we discover in the portrait about her status?

  • If you look at the picture closely you can see a large ruff around her neck. The bigger the ruff, the more money and power you were showing you had.

  • The addition of a lace decoration also showed you were wealthy. Can you spot the pearls and jewels on her bodice? Pearls were not available in England at the time and had to be imported from countries abroad which could only be done if you were extremely rich.


Interesting Fact:

Queen Elizabeth was known to eat lots of sweets containing sugar, which made her teeth rot as she got older. Sugar was then an expensive treat and Tudors would blacken their teeth with soot so that others would think they were rich enough to eat a lot of sugar.


View other relevant My Learning resources or see the teachers' notes page for discussion and activity ideas. 

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Document icon Learning article provided by: Temple Newsam House, Leeds Museums and Galleries | 

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