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Elizabeth I

Elizabeth I was the Tudor Queen of England, Ireland and Wales from 1558 to 1603, (PROSE: A History of Humankind) and a spouse of the Tenth Doctor. (TV: The End of Time, The Day of the Doctor) With no children to inherit her throne, she became the last of the Tudor monarchs. (PROSE: A History of Humankind)


Elizabeth was the daughter of King Henry VIII of England and his second wife, Anne Boleyn. (AUDIO: Recorded Time)

Her immediate predecessor was her elder half-sister Mary I. Elizabeth had multiple sobriquets, including "the Virgin Queen" and "Good Queen Bess". (TV: The End of Time) In 1555, a Protestant priest, the Reverend Thomas Smith, attempted to install Elizabeth on the throne in place of her Catholic half-sister Mary. (AUDIO: The Marian Conspiracy)

At the time of the Reformation, King Henry VIII declared himself as the head of the English church. His daughter Elizabeth I later persecuted priests and followers of the Catholic Church. However, the Catholics built secret rooms and passages in their houses so that the priests could hold their services in secret and escape. That was why the St Agnes Abbey also had some secret passages. (PROSE: Eye of the Gorgon)

Elizabeth I has a picnic with the Tenth Doctor. (TV: The Day of the Doctor)

In 1562, she had the Tenth Doctor tortured for information and sentenced to death as a spy. Though in the torture sessions he charmed her with humor and caring about her childhood and caused her to stay the execution. (PROSE: The Day of the Doctor) The Tenth Doctor then had a picnic with her in a glade, believing her to be a Zygon in disguise. He proposed to her to see her reaction, in order to prove she wasn't the real queen — which she accepted. In reality, it was actually the Doctor's horse that his shapeshifter DNA-detecting device had been picking up on, meaning that he had proposed to the real Queen Elizabeth. The actual Zygon then took on Elizabeth's form, but the Doctor's attempt to identify the real one was interrupted by the arrival of the Eleventh Doctor. Once separated from the Doctor, Elizabeth got into a fight with the Zygon Elizabeth, defeating it. The rest of the Zygons then accepted her as their leader, believing her to be their commander. Elizabeth proceeded to incarcerate the Doctors, now joined by the War Doctor, in the Tower of London. Elizabeth left the door to the cell unlocked, fascinated to see what would happen if the Doctors escaped. Elizabeth introduced the Doctors and the Eleventh Doctor's companion, Clara Oswald, to the rest of the Zygons and revealed the details of their plan to enter stasis inside a series of Time Lord paintings until Earth was ready for conquest. With the Zygons neutralised of their own accord, Elizabeth agreed to bring the Doctor's TARDIS to them but first insisted the Tenth Doctor fulfill his promise to marry her. After the Doctors and Clara departed, she had the paintings locked up in a secret part of the National Gallery, the Under Gallery. She then left instructions (which eventually wound up in the hands of UNIT) that the Doctor be appointed Curator of the Under Gallery and that he be contacted in the event of an emergency. (TV: The Day of the Doctor)

Elizabeth I's court astrologer John Dee was apparently another identity of Jared Khan, who was still fruitlessly hunting the Doctor at the time. At this point, the Queen appeared to be on friendly terms with the Doctor, then in his seventh incarnation. (PROSE: Birthright)

Elizabeth I was responsible for the beheading of her cousin, Mary, Queen of Scots, who she suspected was plotting against her. (PROSE: Girl Power!)

After arriving in Sissenden Village in 1588, the Fourth Doctor suggested to Leela that they visit Elizabeth I. In that year, Lady Jane Mountville was one of the ladies of her bedchamber. (AUDIO: The Devil's Armada)

Elizabeth I imprisoned Sir Walter Raleigh in the Tower of London. Either the First or Second Doctor was his cell-mate whom he bored with incessant discussion of discovering the potato in the New World. (TV: The Mind of Evil)

Queen Elizabeth I with William Shakespeare and Sir Francis Bacon. (TV: The Chase)

The First Doctor was first shown encountering Elizabeth I as an image on the Time-Space Visualiser. He, Barbara Wright, Vicki Pallister and Ian witnessed her, circa 1596, attempting to influence William Shakespeare to write another play featuring the character of Falstaff — this one featuring Falstaff "in love". (TV: The Chase)

The Sixth Doctor and Evelyn eventually visited the court of Elizabeth I at some point, which was their intended destination at the time of Evelyn's first trip in the TARDIS. (AUDIO: Thicker Than Water) The Eighth Doctor would later return to Elizabeth's court in the company of Samson and Gemma Griffin. (AUDIO: Terror Firma)

Years after the Tenth Doctor had fled his marriage commitments in his TARDIS, Elizabeth I's opinions of him capsized. Knowing he had no wish to stay with her, Elizabeth developed scornful feelings at her abandonment, and her violent attitudes seeped into her contempt toward the Doctor. In 1599, following a performance of Love's Labour's Won at the Globe Theatre, Elizabeth immediately recognised the Tenth Doctor as her "sworn enemy" and ordered her guards to kill him with a cry of, "Off with his head!" However, it was a younger version of the Tenth Doctor who had not yet carried out the act which angered the queen. (TV: The Shakespeare Code, Gridlock)

In 1601, she encountered Susan Foreman and wanted to help her rescue her grandfather, the First Doctor, who had been arrested on her orders for the Tenth Doctor. She took Susan to the Palace and eventually managed to get him freed as he wasn't the Doctor she knew. He questioned Will about why Richard II was performed. She had spent the the previous three months among her people to see what her advisors would do in her absence. (AUDIO: The Hollow Crown)

Elizabeth I died in 1603. (AUDIO: The Marian Conspiracy)

Undated events[]

Elizabeth as she appeared during her encounter with Tia. (WC: Tia Kofi Enters the Time Fracture!)

She was involved in Missy's plan to befriend several Tudor women in an effort to prevent the reign of James I, who created the charter for St Luke's University, thereby preventing her imprisonment in the Vault. (PROSE: Girl Power!)

When the Sixth Doctor and Mel Bush were attempting to tune in to one of Queen Elizabeth II's Christmas speeches via the Time-Space Visualiser, they accidentally watched Elizabeth I saying "I May have the body of a weak and feeble woman, but I have the heart and stomach of a King", instead. (AUDIO: The One Doctor)

After Robert Dudley was nursed back to health on Khan and re-entering the Time Fracture, he ended up in Elizabeth England (WC: This is Sergeant Robert Dudley.) wherein he was knighted by Elizabeth. (WC: Dudley here.)

Tia Kofi, one of the ordinary humans selected by the Doctor to take part in Operation Time Fracture, ended up at Elizabeth's court via the Portal Stabilisation Gateway. Due to a courtier misunderstanding Tia's self-description as a "queen", she was allowed to meet with Elizabeth under the pretence of being foreign royalty. The conversation quickly turned sour, however, with Elizabeth I taking exception at Tia's familiar tone with her; she ended up ordering Tia decapitated, although the time-traveller escaped through the Gateway before this threat could be realised. (WC: Tia Kofi Enters the Time Fracture!)


The Tenth Doctor told Ood Sigma of his marriage to "good Queen Bess", although he stops short of saying that her moniker of the “Virgin Queen” no longer applies to her. (TV: The End of Time) The Dream Lord later noted the Doctor's relationship with "Liz the First". (TV: Amy's Choice) When discussing things he still had time for with Dorium Maldovar, the Eleventh Doctor mentioned that "Liz the First" was still waiting to elope with him in a glade. (TV: The Wedding of River Song)

Don Taylor described the Service as "Gloriana's secret order, first entrusted to Walsingham and Dee." (PROSE: Newtons Sleep)

Ian Chesterton had seen films depicting the Spanish Armada in which Elizabeth I was played by Bette Davis and Flora Robson. (AUDIO: The Flames of Cadiz)

While waiting for River Song to use her vortex manipulator to get back to him in Victorian London, the Eleventh Doctor saw a statue of himself wearing an Elizabethan outfit that mirrored the outfit his tenth incarnation was depicted wearing in a painting with Elizabeth I. (GAME: The Eternity Clock) River Song mentioned Elizabeth I among the other spouses of the Doctor. (TV: The Husbands of River Song)

The Thirteenth Doctor meant to bring her companions to the coronation of Elizabeth I, but failed. (TV: The Witchfinders)

Elizabeth X made a passing remark regarding a relationship between the Doctor and the "Virgin Queen", also implying that the Doctor and Elizabeth I in some measure consummated their marriage. (TV: The Beast Below)

At Gavin Walker's fancy dress party in Monte Carlo in 1966, Lady Lillian Hawthorne dressed as Elizabeth I. (AUDIO: The Veiled Leopard)

Alternate timelines[]

In a timeline where River Song caused time to collapse when she refused to kill the Eleventh Doctor, (TV: The Wedding of River Song) Elizabeth I was often voted the most popular Queen of England and was rumoured to be engaged to the Earl of Essex. (PROSE: Just a Minute...)

Behind the scenes[]

  • The implication is that Elizabeth was commissioning The Merry Wives of Windsor in The Chase, alluded to a historical legend in which Elizabeth actually did suggest Shakespeare write the play. However, The Chase does not explicitly name the work, nor give a definite date for this encounter.
  • Following the broadcast of The Shakespeare Code, it was often rumoured that an adventure featuring Queen Elizabeth I and the Tenth Doctor would be forthcoming. However, none ever came during the tenure of the Tenth Doctor. The fact that Elizabeth was mentioned in The End of Time came as a surprise to many fans who had long since assumed that this would remain a mystery with the departure of the Tenth Doctor. The adventure was finally televised three years after David Tennant's departure, and comprises the plot of The Day of the Doctor.
  • Elizabeth I was the earliest individual depicted on-screen with whom the Doctor had an out-of-sync relationship, a plot device which subsequently became commonplace in the BBC Wales era. His first incarnation appeared to be unfamiliar with her when viewing her in The Chase circa 1596. The Tenth Doctor first met her in The Shakespeare Code, set in 1599, and again in The Day of the Doctor, set in 1562, where the Tenth Doctor, along with the War Doctor and his eleventh incarnation, were again imprisoned in the Tower before the Tenth Doctor married her, seemingly without coming back.
  • She was played by Susan Engel in The Queen's Traitor, Lalla Ward in Crossed Swords, Vanessa Redgrave in Anonymous, Frances Barber in Psychobitches and Sorcha Cusack in Shakespeare: The Animated Series.
  • In the story of Doctor Who: Legacy, the Eleventh Doctor, stressing the importance of preventing the Sontarans' interference in the timeline, cites Elizabeth I as an example of an important person in human history whose existence is endangered.