Ahead of the England Women’s Team’s World Cup campaign, official partner Budweiser has brought together some of the country’s most inspiring female talent to recreate Queen Elizabeth I’s legendary “Heart and Stomach of a King” speech, calling on fans to support the Lionesses.
Featuring the likes of Naomie Harris, Olympic boxing champion Nicola Adams, actor, model and entrepreneur and Suki Waterhouse as well as former Lioness legend Rachel Yankey, the powerful rallying cry is launched today, ahead of the France 2019 kicking off tomorrow night.
The reimagined version of Elizabeth I’s Tilbury speech, with its impassioned reference to having the “heart and stomach of a king”, features a line-up of powerful English women from the fields of sport, music, TV and film.
They are: Moonlight and James Bond actor Naomie Harris OBE; actor, model and entrepreneur Suki Waterhouse; former footballer Rachel Yankey OBE; singer-songwriter Jessie Ware; Fresh Meat actor Zawe Ashton; and boxer Nicola Adams OBE.
Between them they boast an incredible array of achievements, including three OBEs, two Olympic titles and six further gold medals, a fashion label, three top-10 albums, and an Academy Award nomination.
Rachel Yankey was also the first woman in the country to turn professional, while Nicola Adams was the first woman in history to be an Olympic boxing champion.
Together they deliver an epic, modernised take on Elizabeth’s words, first delivered to her army in the face of the Spanish Armada and the threat of invasion.
The original’s famous line “I know I have the body of a weak and feeble woman” has been subverted to “You may think I have the body of a weak and feeble woman”, challenging preconceptions of female athletes.
And as the Lionesses prepare to take on Scotland this Sunday, Elizabeth I’s promise to “reward every one of your virtues in the field” has been knowingly updated to “on the field of play”.
The speech was filmed by director Laura Scrivano, who was behind the FA’s Salute the Lionesses video with Little Mix for the UEFA Women’s EURO 2017, and whose work has been screened at the Sundance and BFI Flare film festivals, as well as New York Fashion Week. The result is a spine-tingling piece of video to rally the nation, 431 years on from Elizabeth I.
The film is just one part of Budweiser’s relationship with the Lionesses and the FA. Team captain Steph Houghton, along with Jill Scott, Lucy Bronze, Karen Carney, Fran Kirby and Toni Duggan, feature on limited-edition Budweiser packaging.
Support for the Lionesses is an important part of Budweiser’s wider support for England Football, with Bud Light the Official Partner of the England Senior Men’s Team, and Budweiser being the Official Beer of Wembley Stadium connected by EE, the home of football.
As part of the long-standing relationship, Budweiser has played an active role in investing in grassroots and elite level initiatives in football. Since 2012 Budweiser has invested over £1.3m directly into English football.
Mark Bullingham, Chief Commercial & Football Development Officer, said: “Budweiser is one of our long-standing partners. After seeing their brilliant support for the England Men’s team, we’re excited to see how the Budweiser partnership will help the Lionesses reach new fans and potential new players. 2019 is set to be another historic year for the growth of support for women’s football.”
Rachel Yankey, former England footballer, said: “The England Women’s Senior Team has massively grown in stature in recent years and this summer’s tournament is set to be a watershed for the sport. The Lionesses are getting the recognition their talent, strength and determination merits and are rightly among the favourites for France. There’s lot of work to be done, but we should all be rooting for them to bring home England’s first footballing silverware since 1966.”
Naomie Harris, OBE, said: “They may have first been spoken more than 400 years ago, but Queen Elizabeth I’s words are still inspiring today. The message behind her speech – of her strength and prowess as a woman – is a powerful one and perfectly reflects the skill, power and determination of the Lionesses as they prepare for the World Cup.”
Tatiana Stadukhina, Marketing Director at Budweiser, said: “As official partner to the team, we wanted to honour the incredible women who make up the Lionesses, and play our small part in shining a light on them as they take centre-stage at the 2019 FIFA Women’s World CupTM.
“As powerful words originally spoken by a powerful woman, delivered by powerful women today, this is a fitting send-off and one we hope will rally the nation.”
The England Women’s Senior team have this week headed to France, the host country of the 2019 FIFA Women’s World CupTM, where they will play against Scotland, Argentina and Japan in the first group stage of the tournament.
The Tilbury speech: 2019 version
You may think I have the body of a weak and feeble woman. But I have the heart and stomach of a king. And a king of England too.
And think foul scorn that pain, or strain, or fear of failure, should dare to invade the borders of my realm.
To which, rather than any dishonour shall grow by me, I myself will take up arms. I myself will be your general, judge, and rewarder of every one of your virtues – on the field of play.
The Tilbury speech: 1588 version
I know I have the body of a weak and feeble woman; but I have the heart and stomach of a king, and of a king of England too; and think foul scorn that Parma or Spain or any prince of Europe, should dare to invade the borders of my realm; to which, rather than any dishonour shall grow by me, I myself will take up arms, I myself will be your general, judge, and rewarder of every one of your virtues in the field.