QUEEN ELIZABETH I
Queen Elizabeth I
Would to God each had his own and were at peace.
(Elizabeth on European power struggles and war)
If I were turned out of my realm in my petticoat, I would prosper anywhere in Christendom.
I know I have the body of a weak and feeble woman, but I have the heart and stomach of a king, and a king of England too!
(Tilbury speech, 1588. See section on The Spanish Armada)
He that will forget God, will also forget his benefactors.
(Elizabeth to William Lambarde, 1601)
Proud Prelate, you know what you were before I made you what you are. If you do not immediately comply with my request, I shall unfrock you, by God!
(Said to have been written by Elizabeth to the Bishop of Ely. However, these words are apocryphal.)
My mortal foe can wish me no greater loss than England's hate. Neither should death be less welcome unto me than such a mishap betide me.
Those who touch the sceptres of princes deserve no pity.
My mind was never to invade my neighbours.
All my possessions for a moment of time
(Surprisingly, this famous quote is apocryphal)
GOLDEN SPEECH 1601
To be a King and wear a crown is a thing more pleasant to them that see it, than it is pleasant to them that bear it.
I were content to hear matters argued and debated pro and contra as all princes must that will understand what is right, yet I look ever as it were upon a plain tablet wherein is written neither partiality or prejudice.
There is no jewel, be it of never so rich a price, which I set before this jewel; I mean your love.
Though God hath raised me high, yet this I account the glory of my reign, that I have reigned with your loves.
I have ever used to set the last Judgement Day before mine eyes, and so to rule as I shall be judged to answer before a higher judge.
You may have many a wiser prince sitting in this seat, but you never have had, or shall have, any who loves you better.
It is not my desire to live or to reign longer than my life and reign shall be for your good.