A Letter to A Chinese Emperor by Queen Elizabeth I

In 1986, during Queen Elizabeth II’s visit to China, a letter, hand-written by Queen Elizabeth I in 1596 to Chinese emperor Wanli of the Ming Dynasty, expressing her wish to build trade relationships between the two countries, was delivered to the head of the People’s Republic of China.

Here is the opening line of the letter from Queen Elizabeth I to Emperor Wanli of the Ming Dynasty: “Elizabeth, by the grace of God, Queen of England, France and Ireland, Defender of the Faith to the great, mighty and invincible Emperor of Cathay, greetings.”

Unfortunately, the Chinese emperor never received the letter from the British queen, as the messager died on his way to China.

However, the letter was not lost. 390 years later, Queen Elizabeth I’s letter was delivered by Queen Elizabeth II.

A Visit to China by Queen Elizabeth II

On October 12, 1986, 60-year-old Queen Elizabeth II arrived in Beijing for a 7-day visit, which makes her the first British monarch to land on Chinese soil.

Queen Elizabeth II and Chinese leader Li Xiannian toasted each other at a Chinese state banquet.

Queen Elizabeth II and The Duke of Edinburgh ascended onto the Great Wall on Beijing’s outskirts.

A silent dialogue took place between a 60-year-old British Queen and 2,200-year-old Chinese military servicemen in the ancient Chinese capital Xi’an.

The royal couple chatted with each other among stony-faced Chinese warriors at the mausoleum of the First Emperor Qin.

In Kunming, Queen Elizabeth II was greeted by a group of young Chinese women from various ethnic backgrounds, all wearing their unique traditional costumes.

The queen and the duke planted roses they took with them from Britain, representing the royal monarch’s wishes for a rosy relationship between the two nations.

While his wife holding talks with Chinese leaders, The Duke of Edinburg leisurely walked into the farmland in Guangdong and inquired a villager what the name of a buffalo was that he met along the way.

Meetings Between Chinese Leaders and the British Monarch

Queen Elizabeth II and The Duke of Edinburgh met with Chinese leader Jiang Zemin and his wife Wang Yeping during their visit to the UK in 1986.

Queen Elizabeth II and The Duke of Edinburgh met with Chinese leader Hu Jintao and his wife Liu Yongqing during their visit to the UK in 1999.

Queen Elizabeth II and The Duke of Edinburgh met with Chinese leader Xi Jinping and his wife Peng Liyuan during their visit to the UK in 2015.

This is a silk embroidery portrait of Queen Elizabeth II. The masterpiece took Suzhou embroidery artist Yao Jianping 14 months to complete.

In 2012, Chinese President Hu Jintao presented the portrait to the queen on the occasion of congratulating her 60 years on the throne.

You are welcome to share your thoughts here