Sunday, August 10, 2008

Question from Kelly - Elizabeth and Dudley's relationship

Did Elizabeth and Robert Dudley have a serious relationship?


kb said...

Yes. The relationship was serious. However, if your asking if they had sex, I'm afraid no one knows for sure.

The relationship between Elizabeth and Dudley included public displays of affection as their conduct was commented on in ambassadorial reports, by women of the privy and bed chamber and various other contemporary correspondents.

Imagine that you kept a letter in your jewelry box (let's say), folded with a note on the back you had written yourself saying 'his last letter'. You took this jewelry box with you whenever you traveled. And you kept this letter for fifteen years until you finally passed away. Would you imagine you had VERY strong feelings of attachment to the writer of the 'last' letter'?

This is what Elizabeth did with the last letter Robert Dudley earl of Leicester wrote her before he died unexpectedly. Clearly she was very attached to him.

So serious? yes. Sex? who knows. I sometimes suspect they had an 'everything but...' physical relationship but perhaps I've seen too many fictional treatments.

Anonymous said...


That is one of the most succinct, intelligent, and, I believe most appropriate assessments of Elizabeth and Dudley's relationship. It should be added to all films, novels, bios, etc as a kind of disclaimer.

Anonymous said...

I heard that whenb she found out that heb had married Lettice Knolleys she was very displeased.

kb said...

Kate - thanks for the nice words

Kelly - Elizabeth was FURIOUS when Dudley earl of Leicester married her cousin Lettice Knollys. Lettice was banned from court. Dudley was eventually forgiven.

Lettice also looked an awful lot like Elizabeth.

Anonymous said...

I also heard that when she heard that he had died, she barred herself in her room.