On this day in Tudor history, 9th August 1588, Queen Elizabeth I gave her famous Tilbury Speech to the forces gathered at Tilbury Fort.
It is a speech that has been immortalised on screen by the likes of Glenda Jackson and Cate Blanchett, and is famous for the line “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”, but what words did Elizabeth really speak that day?
In today’s talk,I share three versions of Elizabeth I’s Tilbury Speech.
Today is the anniversary of Queen Elizabeth I’s rousing speech to the troops at Tilbury Fort on 9th August 1588. While we don’t have Elizabeth I herself on film, it’s a speech that has featured in many movies and TV series. You can read the various versions we have of the original Tilbury speech in my article from 2015, but here are a few famous depictions of that day in 1588.
On 9th August 1588, Queen Elizabeth I appeared before her troops gathered at Tilbury Fort, on the Thames estuary in Essex, and gave her famous “Tilbury Speech”.
On the 9th August 1588, Elizabeth I appeared before the troops that had gathered at Tilbury Fort in anticipation of a Spanish attack.
In her article “The Myth of Elizabeth at Tilbury”, Susan Frye, writes that there are no reliable eye-witness accounts regarding Elizabeth I’s appearance on that day, but that tradition places the Queen in armour, giving a rousing speech – an iconic Gloriana.