Was Elizabeth the first called the "Good Queen Bess"? If so, why?

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amy-lepore's profile pic

amy-lepore | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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Elizabeth encouraged her troops with a notable speech, known as the Speech to the Troops at Tilbury, in which she famously declared, "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! And I think it foul scorn that Spain or Parma or any prince of Europe should dare invade the borders of my realm". Thus the legend of Good Queen Bess was born.

Also, in many biographies of the Tudor family including, but not limited to King Henry VIII and Elizabeth I, it is recorded that Henry's nickname for Elizabeth was "Bessie" which may be where the term of endearment "Good Queen Bess" originated.

gbeatty's profile pic

gbeatty | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

She was in fact called Good Queen Bess. This was an affectionate nickname the country had for her, showing their support. Elizabeth was known to be brave, and to have a sense of humor, and both of these endeared her to the common populace, who called her this informally, showing both approval and a kind of identification.

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