24 March 1603 – The death of Elizabeth I, the Virgin Queen

On this day in history, 24th March 1603, Queen Elizabeth I, daughter of Henry VIII and his second wife, Anne Boleyn, died at Richmond Palace at the age of sixty-nine. She was the third of Henry’s children to be monarch but reigned for far longer than her siblings, ruling for 44 years and 127 days.

Diarist John Manningham recorded the moment of her death:

“This morning, about three o’clock her Majesty departed from this life, mildly like a lamb, easily like a ripe apple from a tree… Dr Parry told me he was present, and sent his prayers before her soul; and I doubt not but she is amongst the royal saints in heaven in eternal joys.”

You can click here to read a primary source account of her final days and you can click here to read more about her life and reign.

Elizabeth I has gone down in history as the Virgin Queen, Gloriana and Good Queen Bess, ruler of a Golden Age, but what do you think of her? Do share your views in comments below.

Picture: The Plimpton Sieve portrait of Elizabeth I, possibly by George Gower.

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