Image for The Armada Portrait The Armada Portrait

Queen Elizabeth I (1533-1603)

The Armada Portrait, c.1588.  Attributed to George Gower (c.1546-1596).

 

The Armada Portrait, displayed in the Long Gallery, is a must see for visitors to Woburn Abbey. An impressive picture, it is a statement of power and authority with Queen Elizabeth I portrayed as Empress of the world and commander of the seas.

This portrait of Elizabeth I is attributed to George Gower in 1588 and is an oil painting on an oak panel. It is known as 'The Armada Portrait' because it commemorates the great sea battle of 1588 when the English fleet defeated the invading Spanish Armada sent to overthrow Elizabeth. The view of the battle in the two windows behind the Queen conveys messages of Elizabeth's victory. 

Error loading MacroEngine script (file: /Abbey/ClearBoth.cshtml)

Symbolism

This is probably the most iconic portrait of Elizabeth the Virgin Queen (and is one of three versions in existence). Her hand is firmly on the globe and the Imperial crown reflects her equality with the Holy Roman Emperor and her status as Empress of the world, whilst the mermaid hints at her command of the seas. Her dress, in her preferred colours of black and white, also proclaims her rank and is covered with her favourite gems and precious pearls from the sea, a sign of virginity.

The Long Gallery

The Long Gallery is a space that served several purposes. It could be used for displaying collections of art and for exercise by walking up and down the room when the weather discouraged a visit to the gardens. It is still used by the family when entertaining guests. 

Events & Exhibitions

Image for Woburn Abbey Honey Festival

Woburn Abbey Honey Festival

Join us in a celebration of everything honey, set against the stunning backdrop of Woburn Abbey and Gardens.
Image for Off Road Deer Park Tours

Off Road Deer Park Tours

and
Join the Deer Keepers for a 1.5 hour tour of the Woburn Abbey Deer Park where you will be able to get up close to the beautiful deer.
Image for NSPCC Luxury Gift Fair Evening Champagne Shopping Event

NSPCC Luxury Gift Fair Evening Champagne Shopping Event

This exclusive evening Champagne shopping event will be hosted by Her Grace, The Duchess of Bedford. Browse over 50 stalls of inspiring gift ideas whilst enjoying a glass of Champagne and canapés.
Image for NSPCC Luxury Gift Fair

NSPCC Luxury Gift Fair

The NSPCC Luxury Gift Fair is an annual event and a highlight of the Woburn calendar.
Image for Woburn Abbey Garden Show 2020

Woburn Abbey Garden Show 2020

and
Set against the stunning backdrop of Woburn Abbey and within 42 acres of Abbey Gardens, "The Gardener’s Garden Show" offers one of the best locations of any show in the UK.