How much have you spent to win someone’s heart?

Robert Dudley spent more than £10M in today’s money to win the heart of Queen Elizabeth 1st and he failed!

He was one of the Queen’s closest advisors and was married to Amy Robsart. However, he spent so much of his time at court that people were convinced he and the Queen were lovers. Of course, this meant that when Amy died from an accident there were rumours that he had killed her.

He had climbed the tree of power, first as a privy councillor, next a Knight of the Garter, then Queen Elizabeth gifted him Kenilworth Castle in Warwickshire, and, ultimately, she made him the Earl of Leicester. All this convinced him that she fancied him and he was on the way to becoming the Queen’s husband.

To astound her, he decided to transform her gift. He spent more than £60,000, (£12M in today’s money), on Kenilworth Castle, just to impress the Queen. He made a unique garden and built a distinctive wing, exclusively for her use, with lots of glass and luxurious furnishing.

He then repeatedly invited her to visit his castle. Eventually, on Saturday 9th July in 1575 she made her grand arrival. She arrived on horseback to the sound of trumpets with 30 barons and 400 staff, and as she made her way to the castle, she was cheered by the locals.

She stayed for 19 days as Dudley entertained her with banquets, firework displays and well-known entertainers from all over Europe. This man was really pushing the boat out. They say he was spending £1,000 per day (£200,000 today)! A lot, when you realise that it was reckoned that the castle itself was only worth £10,500 (£2M today). He was putting everything into winning her hand.

He failed!

She did keep him on as a trusted advisor, but all that money did not win her heart!

He obviously needed something more than money to impress this lady!

Isn’t History Fun?