Peoples and Nations

What did Elizabeth really look like?

What did Elizabeth really look like?

You have already learned that Elizabeth was very strict about the portraits of herself that were issued.

But did you ask yourself why? What was she trying to hide?

What Elizabeth was really like:

  • Elizabeth was short about 5'3 or 5'5 with brown eyes and red curly hair.
  • She was afraid of mice.
  • She had a bad temper and would throw things or threaten to send courtiers to the Tower if they upset her.
  • She swore and spat when she was angry.
  • Elizabeth's teeth were black with tooth decay.
  • Her speech was sometimes difficult to understand because of missing teeth.
  • Elizabeth was very superstitious and was afraid of black magic.
  • She only bathed once every few weeks.

This was not an image that Elizabeth wanted portrayed to her subjects.