Queen Elizabeth's Speech at Tilbury Background

Queen Elizabeth's Speech at Tilbury Background

Queen Elizabeth I gave this speech to her troops in August 1588, as they were gathered at Tilbury, Essex, one of the counties in the East Anglia region of England and one of the mainstays in the Tudor kingdom and very close to London. Her troops were assembled prior to defending the southern coast against the expected invasion from Spain. Although the Spanish Armada had not been successful in invading on first attempts, it was feared further invasion might occur from Dunkirk, so troops kept at the ready. On the day of making this speech the Queen moved among her troops to demonstrate her allegiance to them before asking for their allegiance in return. Accompanied by loyal Earls she displayed her own armor, presenting herself as a warrior and a very powerful leader who possessed determination and valor.

Historians believe that her appearance was actually even more important than her speech as her battle dress clearly showed her ready for a battle giving congruency to her words. Elizabeth did inspire her troops and a loyalty from her subjects that also enabled her to remain safe and protected from uprising.

The expected invasion never came and the troops were stood down two days later.

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