Food was highly significant in the personal and political iconography of Mary Tudor’s sister Elizabeth I, who succeeded her in 1558. Eating at the Elizabethan court was fraught with symbolic meaning. As a ruler, Elizabeth used elaborate and ultimately abstract ceremonies and rare instances of shared or communal eating as political tools. Perhaps the dining ritual’s most significant feature is the obvious one, its abstraction: this attention is lavished on merely the representative act of the Queen’s consumption, rather than the actuality, which took place ‘privily’. Much of Elizabeth’s political rhetoric hinged on separating her ‘body politic’ from the ‘weak and feeble woman[’s]’ physical body she possessed. In her very first speech at Hatfield, she deliberately distinguished her ‘one body naturally considered’ from the ‘body politic to govern’ in the ‘office’ to which she had been called by ‘His heavenly will’. The famous ‘heart and stomach’ version of the speech features organs with metaphorical as well as purely physical value.