Skip to main content

Did the royal favourite murder his wife?

Today, Robert Dudley was born. He was an important English statesman and became a favourite of Queen Elizabeth I. So much even that when his first wife fell from the stairs and died in 1560, he was considered a serious candidate to marry the Queen. However, rumours soon appeared he had arranged for her death, resulting in a scandal. His loyalty to the Queen was so great, he did no remarry for 18 years (!) and when he finally did, his new wife was banished from court. But the questions remained: was the death of his first wife a tragic accident or not? She was found at the bottom of a short stairs with a broken neck. It sparked rumours of murder, albeit scientists have recently argued illness and suicide could also be plausible explanations. The truth is, we don’t know…

24 June in history

At The Online Portrait Gallery, we want to give history a face. Are you curious to find out more about this day in history? Please find some highlights below.