Elizabeth I: Politics and power

Updated 2 July. Following government guidance, some of the outdoor spaces at Hampton Court Palace are now open Wednesday-Sunday. Palace interiors will reopen 17 July. The Magic Garden and Maze remain closed. Please read our visit information

About this session

Key Stage 3 | Subject: History | Topics: Elizabethans, Tudors | Session Type: Classroom-based

In 1562 Queen Elizabeth I contracted smallpox at Hampton Court Palace and lay delirious, apparently on the point of death. Who would rule next? The Court faces a terrible dilemma – deciding the next monarch to carry on the Tudor line.

Students will take on the role of the Queen's counsellors at this time of great danger. Through examination of the evidence and debating the major contenders for the throne, they will make the ultimate decision on the future of England.

Learning objectives

Students will:

  • Investigate what would have happened had Elizabeth I died, and the motivations behind the developments that did take place.
  • Develop their skills in use of source evidence to inform historical debate through the issue of succession.

National Curriculum links

This session supports:

  • The development of Church, state and society in Britain 1509-1745.
  • Understanding historical concepts such as continuity and change, cause and consequence, similarity, difference and significance, and using them to make connections, draw contrasts, analyse trends and frame historically-valid questions.
  • Understanding how different types of historical sources are used rigorously to make historical claims and discerning how and why contrasting arguments and interpretations of the past have been constructed.

Booking information

Thursday and Friday
10.30, 11.45, 13.15
60 minutes
Up to 35 students
£95 plus admission

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Family tree: Claimants to the English throne

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Session notes for teachers

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