This information was last updated in 2004. The Tudors have not changed, but our understanding of them might!
The object is a charger or decorative plate, decorated with a glassy coating called a glaze. It has a white background and is decorated in blue, yellow, green and ochre (orange/brown). You can see a pattern of faces and swirls (called arabesques) around the edge and a picture of turrets and towers in the centre. This could be the Tower of London, with the moat or the River Thames in front of it.
Around the picture you can read the words: THE ROSE IS RED THE LEAVES ARE GRENE GOD SAVE ELIZABETH OUR QUEENE. The charger is dated 1600, when Elizabeth I had ruled the country for 42 years. It may have been part of a range of pottery designed to commemorate her long reign. On the back is a raised rim with two holes through which string or wire could have been threaded so that the plate could be hung on a wall.
This type of pottery is now known as Delftware. The special glaze came to England from the Netherlands, but was probably invented in Spain or Italy. After the pottery had been fired in a kiln, it was painted with a greyish-white glaze made from a recipe which included tin. Delftware cups, plates and other items were then decorated with other colours before being fired again to melt and harden the glaze.