Queen Elizabeth I Quotes

Queen Elizabeth I (1533-1603)

Queen Elizabeth I with crown, sceptre
Queen Elizabeth I in the dress, crown, sceptre worn when she thanked her Navy for the defeat of the Spanish Armada. Hulton Archive / Getty Image

Queen Elizabeth I was the last of the Tudor monarchs of England. Her father was Henry VIII, and her mother Anne Boleyn. Queen Elizabeth I reigned from 1558 until her death, and her early years were subject to much concern whether she would succeed -- or even survive.

Selected Queen Elizabeth I Quotations

• I will be as good unto ye as ever a Queen was unto her people. No will in me can lack, neither do I trust shall there lack any power.

And persuade yourselves that for the safety and quietness of you all I will not spare if need be to spend my blood. - to the Lord Mayor and London's people, before her coronation

• I have already joined myself in marriage to a husband, namely the kingdom of England. - to Parliament

• Monarchs ought to put to death the authors and instigators of war, as their sworn enemies and as dangers to their states.

• For me it will be enough that a marble stone should declare that a queen having reigned such a time, lived and died a virgin.

• I know I have the body but of a weak and feeble woman; but I have the heart and stomach of a king, and of a king of England, too.

• There is only one Christ, Jesus, one faith. All else is a dispute over trifles.

• I would rather go to any extreme than suffer anything that is unworthy of my reputation, or of that of my crown.

• I have the heart of a man, not a woman, and I am not afraid of anything.

• I do consider a multitude doth make rather discord and confusion than good counsel.

• A clear and innocent conscience fears nothing.

• Those who appear the most sanctified are the worst.

• It is a natural virtue incident to our sex to be pitiful of those that are afflicted.

• Though the sex to which I belong is considered weak you will nevertheless find me a rock that bends to no wind.

• Ye may have a greater prince, but ye shall never have a more loving prince.

• To be a king and wear a crown is a thing more glorious to them that see it than it is pleasant to them that bear it.

• A strength to harm is perilous in the hand of an ambitious head. 

To the Earl of Oxford, who had returned after 7 years out of England in shame because of flatulence in front of the Queen: "My Lord, I had forgot the fart!"

Quotes About Queen Elizabeth I 

• "It is extraordinarily entertaining to watch the historians of the past ... entangling themselves in what they were pleased to call the "problem" of Queen Elizabeth. They invented the most complicated and astonishing reasons both for her success as a sovereign and for her tortuous matrimonial policy. She was the tool of Burleigh, she was the tool of Leicester, she was the fool of Essex; she was diseased, she was deformed, she was a man in disguise. She was a mystery, and must have some extraordinary solution. Only recently has it occrurred to a few enlightened people that the solution might be quite simple after all. She might be one of the rare people were born into the right job and put that job first." - Dorothy Sayers

• "Like her father, Bess never forgot a hurt of a service." - Jeane Westin

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About These Quotes

This is an informal collection assembled over many years. I regret that I am not be able to provide the original source if it is not listed with the quote.