Who Was the Ruler of England During Shakespeare’s Time?

The two monarchs who ruled England during the time of William Shakespeare were Queen Elizabeth I and King James I. When Shakespeare was born in 1564, Queen Elizabeth had been on the throne for six years. King James ascended to the throne in 1603, 13 years before Shakespeare’s death.

Both Queen Elizabeth and King James were avid supporters of the theater and frequent spectators of Shakespeare’s plays. Queen Elizabeth allowed the construction of England’s first professional theaters during her reign. Shakespeare’s theater company, once known as Lord Chamberlain’s Men, acquired the patronage of King James when he became the reigning monarch and changed its name to the King’s Men.