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Queen Elizabeth I of England

(1533 - 1566)

Nationality English
Occupation Queen of England
First appearance "Bells"
Last appearance "Chains"
Episode count 6 Episodes, 2 Specials
Played by Miranda Richardson

Queen Elizabeth I of England, affectionately known as Queenie, is a main character in Blackadder II. She is based on the historical Queen Elizabeth I of England. Queenie appears in all episodes of Blackadder II, and makes an appearance in Blackadder: Back & Forth. She is childish and silly, but possesses a fiery temper.


Queenie has the mannerisms of a spoilt schoolgirl who just happened to possess the kind of casual, autocratic power that could have someone put to death if their nose is prettier than hers - a power which she revels in. "Queenie" readily threatens her courtiers with execution if they do not do as she wishes (or even just on a whim). As her fancies are usually based on a fleeting whim, her courtiers, toadies, and favourites are frequently kept on their toes when trying to please (or, just as often, not upset) her.

Queenie's immature behaviour is expressed in her desire to "get squiffy and seduce nobles" (and force presents off them on pain of death). A naughty schoolgirl at heart, Queenie loves to party, play games and get drunk. If anyone fails to laugh at her jokes, they risk execution, but, to her followers' bemusement and frustration, she sometimes tires of their toadying and welcomes a more cynical approach.

In an interview for "Blackadder: The Whole Rotten Saga", Miranda Richardson who played Queenie described her as being "someone with far too much power, too soon and far too young".

The Queen always holds court in the company of her deranged former nurse, Nursie and the obsequious Lord Melchett. She commands Blackadder to carry out a variety of tasks, some important (such as appointing Blackadder as the Lord High Executioner in "Head") and some petty (such as repeatedly summoning Blackadder to her only for it to turn out as a childish practical joke designed to extract money from him in "Money"). The only times she is seen out of her palace are to visit a prisoner up for execution and to sneak into Blackadder's "boys' party", the latter resulting in her getting drunk then forgetting what she was going to do, which was execute everyone at the party. The Queen demonstrates feelings for Blackadder that, on occasion, the audience is given cause to believe may border on something deeper than casual flirting. For instance, she is somewhat jealous upon learning that Blackadder intends to marry Kate, feeling better only when he mentions that her nose is prettier than Kate's (threatening to cut it off if it was, and forcing Blackadder to "marry someone without a nose".) Furthermore, on one occasion, she declares that she is keen on him, and on another, she declares that she would like to marry him.

In Chains, after Blackadder and Melchett had escaped and stopped Prince Ludwig the Indestructible, Queenie herself was presumably murdered off-screen by Ludwig who had survived the attack with Ludwig stealing her identity and going on to kill Blackadder, Baldrick, Melchett, Percy Percy, Nursie and Melchett.

Real-world comparison[]

Elizabeth I, daughter of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn, was Queen of England from 1558 to 1603. Unlike her Blackadder counterpart, she didn't have a particular obsession with pursuing or beheading Catholic people; however, this could be a reference to Mary I, Elizabeth I's older half sister, who famously attempted to rid England of Protestantism.