Elizabeth I is one of the most iconic figures from British history - her image can be recognised in an instant. But this was no mistake, for Elizabeth’s portraits were an audacious act of spin to cement her image of female majesty. In this documentary, Dr Nicola Tallis and Prof Anna Whitelock take a close look at the progression of these portraits in light of surrounding political turmoil. By exploring the portraits in forensic detail, they decode a puzzle of bizarre symbolism and hidden meaning, and shine a surprising light on the Elizabethan era. Why did objects such as moons, pelicans, globes and roses carry so much meaning? How did Elizabeth forge and utilise her apparent virginity to strengthen her position? How, in short, did Elizabeth I become an icon?