A Portrait of Elizabeth I Captures How She Looked When She Was Old As Hell

February 12, 2013 | Samer Kalaf

Remember the fuss generated when Kate Middleton’s portrait came out, and it made her look like an old dame? It’s not nearly as unflattering as this portrait of Elizabeth I, owned by the Elizabethan Gardens of North Carolina and currently on display at the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C.

The painting was done by Marcus Gheeraerts the Younger in the late sixteenth century and captures an image of the Virgin Queen in her sixties. For the record, it’s still much better than that unfortunate Middleton portrait. At least Elizabeth I still looks dignified. The painting of Middleton presents her as a homely ghost and doesn’t capture any semblance of her. Regardless of how accurate and unflattering Gheeraerts’s work is, there is still an aura of grace in Elizabeth I, even in old age.

(Photo: Elizabethan Gardens of North Carolina)