Elizabeth Stuart, queen of Bohemia
Died: 13 Feb, 1661
Location in the Abbey: Lady chapel
Type of memorial: Stone

Princess Elizabeth Stuart was buried in the south aisle of Henry VII's chapel at Westminster Abbey. She was the only surviving daughter of James VI of Scotland and I of England and his wife Anne of Denmark. She was born at Falkland Palace in August 1596. Her father put her in the care of Alexander, Lord Livingstone and she grew up in Linlithgow castle. In 1603, when her father came to the English throne, she went with her mother to England and was educated in the household of Lord Harington. Her beloved brother Henry, Prince of Wales died in 1612. She married Frederick V, count palatine of the Rhine and elector of the Holy Roman Empire in 1613 at Whitehall Palace. Their children were Frederick, Charles, Elizabeth, Rupert, Maurice, Louise, Louis, Edward, Henrietta, Philip, Charlotte, Sophia and Gustavus. She was crowned in Prague as Queen of Bohemia a few days after her husband but his rule lasted only for one winter (hence she is sometimes referred to as the Winter Queen). This was due to Catholic armies advancing on Prague and they established their court in exile at The Hague. Her beauty, charm and courage earned her the name "Queen of Hearts". After her husband's death she stayed in the Netherlands until returning to London in 1661. She died on 13 February 1662 and is buried in the same vault as her brother Henry and son Rupert. Her parents had been buried in another part of the chapel. The inscription on her coffin plate reads:

"The remains of the Most Serene and Puissant Princess Elizabeth, Queen of Bohemia, relict of Frederick, by the grace of God King of Bohemia, Chief Steward and Elector Palatine of the Holy Roman Empire, only daughter of James, sister of Charles I and aunt of Charles, the second of that name, kings of Great Britain, France and Ireland. She fell asleep most piously in the Lord at Leicester House, on Thursday 13 Feb., year of Christ's Nativity 1661 in the 66th year of her age"

The date is given in Old Style dating. Her name and date of death were inscribed, with others, above the vault in the 19th century. The stone is between the monuments of Mary Queen of Scots and the Countess of Lennox in the chapel.

See also entries for James IHenry Prince of Wales, and Prince Rupert of the Rhine on the website.

Further reading:

"The letters of Elizabeth queen of Bohemia" edited by L.M.Baker, 1933

Oxford Dictionary of National Biography 2004.

 

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