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The majority of the following article contains the fictional portrayal of one or more historical figures. Details in this article may differ from real world facts. For more information on the historical figure(s), consult the links provided within or at the bottom of the article.

Elizabeth featured on the cover of the book

All of the characters that appear in Elizabeth I: Red Rose of the House of Tudor by Kathryn Lasky. Several of the characters appear in the film adaptation.

Main characters[]

Elizabeth I[]

Main article: Elizabeth I

Tamara Hope as Elizabeth

Elizabeth I (September 7, 1533[1][2] – March 24, 1603)[3] was the daughter of Henry VIII and his second wife, Anne Boleyn. She was the younger half-sister of Mary and older half-sister of Edward. As a young child, Elizabeth was often banished to Hatfield with her governess, Kat Ashley, due to her father's temper. Nevertheless, Elizabeth loved her father and wanted his approval. She enjoyed her life at court more because she was able to spend time with Edward and their good friend, Robin Dudley.

Supporting characters[]

Catherine Parr[]

Main article: Catherine Parr

Jennifer Wigmore as Catherine

Catherine Parr (c. 1512 – 1548),[2] nicknamed Kate by her husband, was the sixth and last wife of Henry VIII. She was very kind and attentive to her stepchildren, and oversaw the education of Elizabeth and Edward. In mid-1546, there was a rift in Henry's and Catherine's relationship as he felt she had "lecture[d]" him. Elizabeth and Robin were able to warn about Thomas Wriothesley receiving permission to arrest her on charges of heresy. Catherine rushed to Henry and acted submissive, which lead him to forgive her. Shortly after Henry died, Catherine married Thomas Seymour. She passed away the following year.

Edward VI[]

Main article: Edward VI

Byron Long as Edward VI

Edward VI (October 12,[4] 1537 – 1553)[2] was the only son of Henry VIII and his third wife, Jane Seymour. He was the half-brother of Mary and Elizabeth. Edward was raised as the heir apparent since his birth. Edward was a sickly child and was often at risk of becoming seriously ill. He disliked physical activities, often stopping after a few minutes to read or go inside instead. Being fond of animals, Edward had a pet monkey named Hotspur and a kitten named Aesop. In February 1547, Edward was crowned King of England after the passing of his father. He passed away in 1553 and was succeeded by Mary.

Henry VIII[]

Main article: Henry VIII

Jefferson Mappin as Henry VIII

Henry VIII ("Father"; 1491 – January 28, 1547)[2] was the King of England during the Tudor dynasty. He ascended the throne in 1509. Henry was notably married six times, including Catherine of Aragon, Anne Boleyn, Jane Seymour, Anne of Cleves, Catherine Howard, and lastly Catherine Parr. He had three children, Mary, Elizabeth, and Edward. Henry was afflicted with a leg wound, which never healed. This was possibly the reason for his frequent mood swings. He ruled for thirty-eight years until his death in 1547. All three of his children would eventually ascend the throne.

Lady Jane Grey[]

Main article: Jane Grey

Lady Jane Grey (1537 – 1554)[2] was the granddaughter of Mary Tudor, King Henry VIII's sister. She was a cousin of Mary, Elizabeth, and Edward. In September 1544, Jane came to live at court for some time. She joined the other children's studies with Master Cox. Elizabeth seemed to dislike Jane, calling her "scholarly" but "dull" with "no imagination." However, Elizabeth's opinion of Jane changed for the better when Jane offered her her support after witnessing Mary's cruelty towards Elizabeth. Recognizing Jane's goodness, they became good friends and playmates from then on. She sometimes joined Elizabeth and the other children when court moved from castle to castle.

Kat Ashley[]


Tara Rosling as Kat Ashley

Kat Ashley (née Champernowne)[5] was Elizabeth's beloved governess. She married John Ashley in January 1545, but continued to work as Elizabeth's governess. Kat was extremely paranoid about poisoning, meticulously checking Elizabeth's chambers for any sign of it when they settled into a new place. After marriage, Kat's paranoia lessened but was brought back of the Duchess of Lexford's poisoning. Kat recovered from the shock of the event after a couple of months.

Mary I[]

Main article: Mary I

Marion Day as Mary I

Mary I (February 18,[6] 1516 – 1558)[2] was the daughter of Henry VIII with his first wife, Catherine of Aragon. She had a strained relationship with Elizabeth, whom she seemed to resent. Mary was sometimes kind to her, but then would make a cruel comment about Elizabeth's mother. Mary had her residence, Beaulieu Palace, where she stayed when away from court. In late 1545, she became closer to Chancellor Wriothesley. It was hinted that they were conspiring to have her marry the Scottish regent, the Earl of Arran. After Edward's death, Mary ruled England for five years from 1553 to 1558.

Robin Dudley[]


Daniel Clark as Robin

Robin Dudley was the son of John Dudley, one of King Henry's advisers. He was a friend of Elizabeth and Edward. Elizabeth confided in him that she would never marry after Catherine Howard was arrested and executed in 1542. Robin enjoyed athletic pursuits rather than learning. He dreamed of going on campaign like his father. In 1546, he and Elizabeth helped warn Catherine Parr about Wriothesley's plotting against her. Robin and Elizabeth remained lifelong friends.

Minor characters[]

  • Aesop was a kitten that Elizabeth rescued from being drowned. She gave him to Edward, who named him after Aesop's Fables.
  • Anne Askew was a Protestant interrogated and tortured by Thomas Wriothesley and Richard Rich.
  • Anne Boleyn (c. 1507 – May 19, 1536)[7][2] was Henry's second wife and mother of Elizabeth. She was executed on Henry's order, when Elizabeth was almost three. After her death, rumors spread about her being a witch that had "transfixed" the King.
  • Anne of Cleves (1515 – 1557)[2] was Henry's fourth wife. They divorced because he disliked her appearance. After their divorce, they remained friends and she often visited court.
  • Anthony Denny was a member of Henry's Privy Chamber.
  • Anthony Scorsby was appointed the Lord of Misrule during the Christmas season in 1545.
  • Barnaby Fitzpatrick was a good friend of Edward and the other children. He stayed at court with them for different times in 1544 and 1545. During this time, Kat Ashley was assigned as his tutor. He was not talented at learning, but was capable at sports. Barnaby had a wish to be Edward's whipping boy someday.
  • Dr. Butts was Henry's doctor. He also treated Elizabeth, before retiring.

Catherine Brandon in the film

  • Catherine Brandon was the widow of Charles. It was rumored that Henry VII was attracted to her and was considering getting rid of his current wife, but the rumors came to nothing.
  • Catherine of Aragon (1485 – 1536)[2] was the mother of Mary and first wife of Henry.
  • Catherine Howard (c. 1520 – February 13, 1542)[8][2] was the fifth wife of Henry. She was executed in 1542 for infidelity. After her death, Elizabeth and Robin were convinced that she became a ghost and often heard her screams.
  • Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk (died summer 1545)[9] was a lifelong friend of Henry VIII. He passed away of heart seizure. Charles was married to Catherine Brandon at the time of his death.
  • Charles V, the Holy Roman Emperor, was the father of Philip of Spain.
  • Archbishop Cranmer was a senior leader in the Church of England.
  • Lady Dinsmore was one of Catherine Parr's ladies-in-waiting. She was described as beautiful and liked to wear low-cut gowns. After contracting smallpox, she refused to show herself in daylight and would wear thick veils. She remained a lady-in-waiting, but would only play cards with Catherine.
  • Earl of Arran was the regent of Mary, Queen of Scots. Mary was suspected by Elizabeth of plotting with Chancellor Wriothesley to marry Lord Arran. He visited the Tudor court during Christmas of 1545 and took a liking to the Duchess of Lexford, who was later found poisoned.
  • Edward Rogers was a physician who had trained with Dr. Butts. He treated Edward in 1545.
  • Edward and Thomas Seymour, Jane Seymour's brothers and Edward's uncles. After their nephew was crowned King, Edward Seymour was made his regent. Meanwhile, Thomas married Catherine Parr, who died in 1548. Thomas was arrested and beheaded for treason and scheming to marry Elizabeth.
  • Galyon Hone was the chief glassmaker and plasterer. Due to Henry's marriages, he spent a lot of time changing the last queen's symbols to the current one's around the various palaces.
  • Geoffrey Smollet was a doctor who treated Elizabeth, after she caught the same illness as Edward.
  • Master Holbein, an artist who had painted Anne of Cleves, Henry VIII, and other Tudor royalty.
  • Hotspur and Memo were the pet monkeys of Edward and Elizabeth. Memo was a gift from Edward for Elizabeth's birthday in 1544. They taught the monkeys various tricks.
  • Jane Seymour (c. 1509 – 1537)[2] was the mother of Edward and third wife of Henry VIII.

Susan Sheridan as Jane the Bald

  • Jane the Bald and Lucretia the Tumbler were Mary's court jesters. Elizabeth was fond of them and thought that they were wasted on Mary who rarely laughed. They were kind to Elizabeth and often apologized to her when Mary was cruel.
  • John Ashley was the husband of Kat. After they married, he was made a member of court and put in charge of the household accounts for the Henry's children.
  • John Cheke was Edward's tutor in 1544, while William Grindal tutored Elizabeth.
  • John Dudley was Robin's father. He was one of Henry's advisers in the Privy Council and also served as a fleet commander in a campaign against France.
  • Duchess of Lexford (died January 1546)[10] was Lady Dinsmore's friend. She was seen flirting with John Dudley and later the Earl of Arran. The Duchess was found poisoned, causing an uproar in court.
  • Luciano was an Italian minstrel presented to Elizabeth on New Years' Day and subsequently joined her household.
  • Mandy was a common girl living in Greenwich. She met Elizabeth while celebrating May Day. Mandy recognized her as soon as she saw her hair.
  • Margaret Bryan was Elizabeth's governess before Kat. Elizabeth had nicknamed her "Muggie".
  • Mary, Queen of Scots (1542 – 1587)[2] was a distant cousin of Elizabeth. Her father, the King of Scotland, died when she was six days old, and Lord Arran was appointed her regent.
  • Mary Ward was Elizabeth's maid of the chamber. Elizabeth became close to Mary for a time, but had to distance herself due to their class differences. In 1546, Elizabeth had her spy on Wriothesley.
  • Philip II of Spain was the son of Charles V. He married Mary when she became Queen of England. After her death, he proposed to her sister Elizabeth.
  • Richard Cox was the teacher of Elizabeth and Edward. The children really enjoyed his lessons.
  • Richard Rich, a man who helped Thomas Wriothesley torture several reformers, including Anne Askew.
  • Roger Ponsby was the revels master at Hampton Court. He designed costumes for Elizabeth and the other children for the Saint Michael's feast.
  • Sir Ronald was the chief secretary of John Dudley]].
  • Yeoman Southey, one of the Yeomen Warders at the Tower of London. He showed Elizabeth where her mother had been executed and buried.
  • Thomas Alsop was an apothecary, who treated Edward and King Henry.
  • Thomas Cromwell, a man whom was beheaded after opposing Henry.
  • Thomas More was a good friend of Henry. He refused to acknowledge Henry as the supreme head of the Church of England and was executed.

Simon Barry as Thomas Wriothesley

  • Thomas Wendy was a physician, who treated Henry during his later years.
  • Thomas Wolsey, a man ordered by the King to be executed, but died on the way.
  • Thomas Wriothesley, nicknamed "Lizard" by Elizabeth, was the Lord Chancellor. Elizabeth and Robin suspected that he had plotted with Mary to have her married to Lord Arran. Later, he attempted to arrest Catherine Parr on charges of heresy, which also failed.

Ron Kennell as Will Somers

  • Will Somers was the court jester of Henry. He referred to the King as "Hal" and used only his wit to make Henry laugh.
  • William Allen was a favorite court musician of Henry VIII. He tutored Elizabeth in music composition.
  • William Grindal (born c. 1517)[11] was Elizabeth's tutor. He abstained from dancing and card playing. Elizabeth was fond of him and warned him to leave, when Thomas Wriothesley started torturing reformers.

Epilogue characters[]


See also[]

My Story characters
Main characters

Nebka | Hatshepsut "Asha" | Claudia | Bran | Tor Scaldbane | Jenkin Lloyd | Eva De Puebla
Elinor Valjean | Lady Jane Grey | Matilda "Tilly" Middleton | Catherine "Kitty" Lumsden | Thomas Hobbs
Remember "Mem" Whipple | Thomas Adamson | Alice Paynton | Susannah Makepeace | Ignatius Sancho
Euphemia Grant | Mary Wade | Elizabeth "Lizzie" Harvey | Isabelle | James Grant | Mary Prince | Bob Jenkins
Dick Maybury | Eliza Helsted | Phyllis McCormack | Lily Hicks | Michael Pope | Hanuman Singh | Clotee Henley
Will Reed | Edith Lorrimer | Jabulani | Sophia Duleep Singh | Florence Finch | Flora Bonnington | Dollie Baxter
Margaret Anne Brady | Jack Fairfax | Daphne "Daffy" Rowntree | Billy Stevens | Noor Inayat Khan
Eleanor Rhys Davies | Rebecca "Becky" Mortkowicz | Harry Woods | Princess Margaret | Sophie Ridel
Peter Rogers | Kitty Langley | Edith "Edie" Benson | Tim Jackson | Andrew "Andy" Pope | Paul Lelaud
Violet Debuchy

Supporting characters

Henry VII | Henry VIII | Catherine of Aragon | Anne Boleyn | Jane Seymour | Anne of Cleves
Catherine Howard | Catherine Parr | Edward VI | Mary I | Elizabeth II

Lists of characters by book

Pyramid of Secrets | Princess of Egypt | Pompeii | Roman Invasion | Viking Blood | Agincourt | My Tudor Queen
Anne Boleyn and Me | Lady Jane Grey | Bloody Tower | The Queen's Spies | Armada | Mayflower | Civil War
The Great Plague | Highway Girl | Ignatius Sancho | The '45 Rising | No Way Back | Transported
The Fall of the Blade | Trafalgar | Mary Prince | Waterloo | Dodger! | Mill Girl | The Hunger | The Crystal Palace
Crimea | Indian Mutiny | Slave Girl | The Sweep's Boy | Victorian Workhouse | Zulu War | Princess Sophia Duleep Singh
Factory Girl | Twentieth-Century Girl | Suffragette | Titanic | The Trenches | Flying Ace | Road to War
Noor-un-Nissa Inayat Khan | Berlin Olympics | Nowhere to Run | The Storm to Come | Battle of Britain
Wartime Princess | Sophie's Secret War | U-Boat Hunter | War Nurse | Blitz | Desert Danger | D-Day
Spy Smuggler | Codename Céline | London Stories

My Royal Story characters

Cleopatra VII | Beatrice Townhill | Elizabeth I | Mary, Queen of Scots | Marie Antoinette | Victoria | Anastasia

Lists of My Royal Story characters by book

Cleopatra | Henry VIII's Wives | Elizabeth | Mary, Queen of Scots | Marie Antoinette | Victoria | Anastasia

My True Story characters

Dora Thewlis | John "Jack" Cornwell | Joe Read | Susan | Vera

Lists of My True Story characters by book

Give Us the Vote! | Standing Alone | Hero at Dunkirk | What If They Find Us?

Further reading[]