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Elizabeth I

How did Queen Elizabeth I die?

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June 28, 2017 12:57PM

The Death of Good Queen Bess Elizabeth died at Richmond Palace on 24 March 1603, leaving behind a rich and prosperous country. She was succeeded by the Protestant James VI of Scotland, son of Mary Queen of Scots, who later became King James I of England. There has always been much speculation as to the exact cause of her death. Here are several given reasons:

  • Queen Elizabeth I died in 1603 of blood poisoning.
  • Although she is thought to have died of natural causes, her facial powder contained arsenic. She had been poisoning herself without knowing it.
  • No cause of death has ever been found because there was no post-mortem. She had disfiguration to her face caused by her catching smallpox years before, which is why she wore the white make-up.
  • She had cancer.
  • She died of a raging fever coupled with old age.
  • She died of old age.

Elizabeth I clearly expired from some sort of internal cancer, maybe Leukemia as she had an abnormally white pallor in her last months. There is some evidence Queen Elizabeth was brain dead some days before her actual departure. For this reason, there are no authenticated last words.

The most commonly accepted theory for Elizabeth I's death has to do with her makeup. As she grew older, the beautiful redheaded queen wanted to keep her skin white, as was the style. She used makeup with white lead in it to achieve that look. The lead corroded her face, so unaware of the damage, she applied more makeup. She had holes in her skin, and was reported to have been applying many inches of makeup to her face each day by the end of her reign.