Did Elizabeth I Sleep With Dudley?
The question of whether Elizabeth I and Robert Dudley, the Earl of Leicester, ever had a romantic relationship has been the subject of much speculation and debate for centuries. Although the two were close friends, there is no evidence to suggest that their relationship ever became anything more than platonic.
Elizabeth’s name had been linked, to her detriment, with Thomas Seymour, and Dudley had found love with a gentry heiress, Amy Robsart. Dudley and Amy were married in a royal palace in the presence of the king in 1550.
Elizabeth was a devoted friend to Dudley and they remained close until his death in 1588. She is known to have written to him often and visited him in his sickbed. However, there is no evidence that their relationship ever became anything more than platonic.
In fact, it is believed that Elizabeth was deeply hurt by Dudley’s marriage to Amy. It is said that Elizabeth had hoped to marry Dudley herself, but was prevented from doing so by her position as Queen. She was also said to have been jealous of Amy, and to have resented her presence in court.
Despite the rumors, there is no evidence to suggest that Elizabeth and Dudley ever had a romantic relationship. They were close friends, but there is no hint of anything romantic between them. It is likely that Elizabeth and Dudley remained platonic friends until his death.