A Serpent is embroidered on Elizabeth’s sleeve in the Rainbow Portrait, with a heart-shaped ruby in its mouth. The serpent is thought to represent wisdom and the ruby Elizabeth’s heart, implying that the Queen’s wisdom controls her emotions. Tattoo idea for sure!
George Gower, The Armada Portrait of Elizabeth I, c. 1588. Private collection, Woburn Abbey, Bedfordshire, UK. Made to commemorate the defeat of the Spanish armada in August, 1588, it shows the queen as Empress of the world and commander of the seas. (There is a cut-down copy in the National Portrait Gallery, London)