Sunday, June 08, 2008

Question from Juju - Pets of Elizabeth I

I was also wondering if Elizabeth I had any beloved pet?

7 comments:

kb said...

I am not sure how 'beloved' her pets were but she did have pets. There are records of the ladies-in-waiting being in charge of the animals that lived with the queen in the privy chamber. They included a parrot, a monkey a 'muske catt' and several lap dogs referred to as 'spanielles'.

Brittany said...

Isn't there a picture of Elizabeth I with a white weasel? I'm sure I saw one once. So I guess she had a pet weasel...

Lara said...

If you're thinking of this portrait: http://tudorhistory.org/elizabeth/ermine.jpg
then it's an ermine, not a weasel. As far as I know, it is only in the portrait symbolically as a symbol of royalty or nobility and she didn't really keep them as pets (especially since they were prized for their fur).

Brittany said...

Yes, that is the portrait I was thinking of. And actually it is a weasel...Ermines are weasels. Weasels (or stoats) turn white in the winter, and are then referred to as ermines. It's usually only when they're ermines that people hunt them for their fur.

Lara said...

Oh, that's true, it is technically a weasel. I just see that and instantly think "ermine" because of the name of the portrait.

Although that reminds me of the time I had someone ask me why Elizabeth had a painting done of herself with a rat on her sleeve. :)

Anonymous said...

The wax figure of Elizabeth at Madame Tussaud's in London (based on the 'Ermine Portrait') actually has a stuffed ermine grasping onto her sleeve as in the painting.

Probably a little disconcerting to visitors who are unaware of the original portrait or symbolism! LOL

Anonymous said...

Thanks for telling me it was an ermine, as I had to use the ermine portrait in some history homework.