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National Maritime Museum Presents “Elizabeth”

GREENWICH, ENGLAND.- The National Maritime Museum presents “Elizabeth,” on view through September 14, 2003. Sponsored by Morgan Stanley, with guest curator Dr David Starkey. Elizabeth is a major exhibition bringing together the greatest collection of objects relating to the life of Queen Elizabeth I.

Her Majesty The Queen, accompanied by HRH The Duke of Edinburgh, officially opened Elizabeth at the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich. The exhibition, commemorating the 400th anniversary of the death of Elizabeth I, is sponsored by Morgan Stanley with guest curator Dr David Starkey and will bring together the greatest collection of personal items, paintings and Elizabeth-related exhibits ever assembled.

Before viewing the main exhibition HM The Queen visited the ’Elizabeth: discovery gallery’, which includes interactive activities for younger visitors. Designed around key objects in the main exhibition, including portraits, jewellery and gifts for the Queen, visitors to the gallery will have the chance to examine Elizabeth I’s family tree and plan a day of activities for the young princess.

Elizabeth I died at about 3am on 24 March 1603, ’mildly like a lamb, easily like a ripe apple on a tree’. Her death marked the end of the Tudor dynasty and one of the most remarkable reigns in history.

Among items selected for the exhibition is an exquisite mother of pearl, ruby and diamond ring, containing miniatures of the Queen and her mother, Anne Boleyn, who was executed when Elizabeth was two years old. The exhibition will also feature an orpharion (rare musical instrument similar to a lute) made for Elizabeth; a fine chalk drawing of Anne Boleyn by Holbein; and the most remarkable collection of rarely seen portraits of Elizabeth assembled in one exhibition. International object loans have been agreed with museums, institutions and many private collections.

The guest curator will be Dr David Starkey, whose television series and books have met with huge popular and critical acclaim. He says:

The exhibition will present an evocative account of a young Princess who overcame all the odds to become one of England’s most successful monarchs. Many of the 350 objects to be shown at Greenwich have never previously been displayed in public and convey the highs and lows of Elizabeth’s dramatic life.

Roy Clare, Director of the National Maritime Museum, comments: “We are delighted that the present Queen Elizabeth will be joining us at Greenwich on 1 May. It seems particularly fitting as HM The Queen attended the opening of the National Maritime Museum as a child in 1937 and visited again to re-open the Museum following major re-development in 1999. The exhibition will appeal to everyone interested in Elizabeth I, Tudor England, the genesis of British Empire and the history of a nation with the sea at its heart.”

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