Top Ten Portraits of Elizabeth I, and Why She Was Ahead of Her Time

#10     Elizabeth I playing the lute, by Nicholas Hilliard

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Setting the pace for rocking string instruments and hopeless relationships.  Eat your heart out, Taylor Swift.

 

#9     The Pelican Portrait, attributed to Nicholas Hilliard

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Beating clothes horse Joan Crawford (mommy dearest) to the fashion punch on shoulder pads by several centuries.

 

#8     The Ermine Portrait, by Nicholas Hilliard

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More badass than Ernest Borgnine when it came to vermin crawling around.

 

#7     The Ditchley Portrait, by Marcus Gheeraerts the Younger

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Proving Shakira wrong on hips and their credibility, and in a big way.

 

#6     The Hardwick Portrait, by Nicholas Hilliard and his workshop

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Posing with sea creatures before posing with sea creatures was cool.

 

#5     The Coronation Portrait, unknown artist

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Not waiting for permission from Teddy Roosevelt to start packing.

 

#4     Portrait of Elizabeth I with a fan, by an unknown artist

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Way out in front of Cher on feathers and flowing headdresses, not to mention going by first name only.

 

#3     Elizabeth I – Older, by Marcus Gheeraerts the Younger

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Proudly looking one’s age long before Helen Mirren even being of age.

 

#2     Princess Elizabeth, by William Scrots

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Knowing well in advance of the Big 80s that nothing is sweeter than redhead-in-a-pink-dress sweet.

 

#1    The Rainbow Portrait, by Isaac Oliver

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Not waiting for the advent of college football and Peyton Manning to ‘Go Big Orange.’

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