Leadership of Queen Elizabeth I of England

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September, 1533

She was the queen of England from 1558 till 1603 when she passed away. Elizabeth was born to Henry VIII, her father and Anne Boleyn, Henry’s second wife. The time When Elizabeth I ruled was referred to as the Golden Age because it was a time of peace and prosperity due to the Queen’s support (Royal, n.d). Elizabeth turned down many suitors and had no interest in marriage thus earning the title Virgin Queen as she was married to her job and dedicated her energy to the People.

Type of Leadership

The type of leadership exhibited by Elizabeth I of England is transformational leadership. Transformational leadership is a type of leadership whereby the leader influences change in people or society by making various initiatives (Weiss, 2015). The transformational form of leadership is exhibited by Elizabeth I of England in various ways like in 1564, she established discussions with the Austrian government and authorized the envoys as well as councilors to negotiate a treaty (Doran, 2003). Another aspect that shows Elizabeth I was a transformational leader is that she valued public relations in order to win over the society. Elizabeth I of England used to make many tours to different regions of England where she would meet with the citizens among other members of the government. In 1575 Queen Elizabeth I visited Kenilworth castle located in Warwickshire (Jones, n.d). Also, during her reign, she made around 25 regional tours around England.

Elizabeth I of England used to visit the different regions of England accompanied with her progresses because the tours and interactions with the various people of different regions helped improve and shape the royal persona and Authority. During the procession, especially in the countryside, Queen Elizabeth I would wave or talk to the people to “draw the hearts of the people” of the society (Jones, n.d).

Leadership Characteristics

One of the leadership characteristics of Elizabeth I of England is she surrounded herself with the right team. Elizabeth I became the queen at a very young age yet the throne required experience in various aspects for development. Concerning this, Elizabeth I surrounded herself with advisors such as William Cecil who guided her through the early stages during her rule to avoid making decisions that may prove to be disastrous in future (Doran, 2003).

Learning from mistakes is another good leadership quality that Queen Elizabeth I had as portrayed when she realized from the sad experiences of Mary who married Philip of Spain and their marriage resulted in various tragic incidences such as wars (Doran, 2003). Elizabeth I learned from Mary’s mistake and opted not to get married at all. By not getting married she was able to focus on various other important aspects that revolved around improving the country and the lives of the people of England.

Being assertive is another leadership quality exhibited by Elizabeth I of England as she ventured and excelled in a male-dominated world. During her time, women were not supposed to assert their independence or authority as they were to be submissive to the male fraternity (Doran, 2003). Elizabeth I defied this perception and took over leadership of England which was believed to be the line of work of men only as the society was very patriarchal.

Queen Elizabeth I was a good communicator and this was one of the leadership qualities that helped her rule England with ease. Elizabeth the second was in constant communication with her panel of advisors, council, and members of Parliament. She attended various meetings to discuss various things with her junior and this helped her drive England forward. Another leadership quality of Queen Elizabeth I was that she inspired the citizens of England in various ways. Elizabeth I would visit various part of England to get acquainted with the citizens (Jones, n.d). Also, she took part in royal rituals such as washing the feet of the poor citizens as part of the Easter ceremonies.

Servant Leadership

Servant leadership aspects are a set of practices or rules that improve the lives of the people and assist in building better organizations thus creating a just and harmonious environment (Weiss, 2015). The society during the rule of Elizabeth I of England was highly patriarchal therefore she needed to change several aspects to suit the female monarch. Since it was a royal ritual to wash the feet of poor men on Easter ceremonies, Elizabeth I adapted the rule to be washing the feet of poor women instead (Doran, 2003). This shows that she valued the women and wanted their inclusion and recognition in the society as much as the men had initially been valued.

Another aspect of servant leadership portrayed by Elizabeth I of England is that she supported the more cautious councilors who valued peace by coming up with ideas to avoid war with Spain during that time in 1570’s (Doran, 2003). Queen Elizabeth wanted peace in England; therefore, she was in support for anything that could help avoid getting into conflict with Spain. Elizabeth I knew that wars result in a lot of losses which England should not bear at that time.


Doran, S. (2003). Elizabeth I: Gender, Power, & Politics. History Today. ProQuest Research Library.

Jones, N. (n.d) .The Queen’s Progress. Chelsea Magazine Corp.

Royal. (n.d). Elizabeth I (R. 1558-1603). Retrieved from: https://www.royal.uk/elizabeth-i

Weiss, J. W. (2015). An Introduction to Leadership. (2nd ed.) [Electronic version]. Retrieved from https://content.ashford.edu/

October 24, 2023


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