At the Tudor court it was New Year, rather than Christmas, that was the main gift giving event of the year, and it was always celebrated in fine style. During the reign of Elizabeth I, each New Year the Queen would be presented with a whole array of magnificent gifts from her fawning courtiers, who were all eager to ingratiate themselves with the Tudor monarch. Numerous records of these costly gifts survive, and as the Queen’s reign progressed, the gifts she received became increasingly elaborate. At New Year 1559 for example, Elizabeth’s favourite, Robert Dudley, presented her with ‘a faire Cheine set with pearle’. By New Year 1576 however, he was presenting the Queen with a sumptuous jewel, ‘being a crosse of golde conteyning vi very fayre emeraldes, whearof two bigger than the rest, the one of the biggest being cracked, and iii large pearles pendaunte’.