What is Elizabeth I's "Golden Speech" About?

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Kristen Lentz eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Queen Elizabeth I's 'Golden Speech' is all about saying good-bye.  Full of pathos, the Queen's speech, which is believed to have been written and checked by the Queen herself, speaks of Elizabeth's deep love for England and her subjects. 

At the beginning of the speech, Elizabeth addresses her appreciation of the House of Commons and briefly justifies her expenses, saying "My heart was neuer set vpon any worldly goods” which is to say her debts were for the good of the English people. 

In the middle of the speech, the queen brings her attention to another subject that had been bothering the House of Commons, letter patents and some monopolies on goods.  Elizabeth owns that she "could giue no rest vnto my thoughts vntil I had reformed it." 

The final section of the speech announces Elizabeth's intention to name her successor; she has chosen James, the son of Mary Queen of Scots.  This is a calculated move on the Queen's part; she makes very clear who the next in line should be in an attempt to avoid any difficulties or fighting over the crown, since she had no heir. She concludes her speech with heartfelt sentiment:

And though you haue had and may haue many mightier and wiser Princes sitting in this Seat, yet you neuer had nor shall haue any that will loue you better.

Further Reading:
vtsmith00 | Student

Elizabeth delivered her Golden speech on November 30, 1601. The members of the commons attentding the speech believed it to be about England's economic situation. Instead, Elizabeth spoke of her love for her country, and stated that her reign would be coming to an end. The speech is noted to be during one of the Golden eras of England's long history.

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