Bestselling writer and historian Tracy Borman swapped Hampton Court Palace for Reigate's Dunottar School to meet pupils and talk about her latest work.

For the author, who is the interim chief curator for Historic Royal Palaces and chief executive of the Heritage Education Trust, spoke to a packed ballroom at the school about her highly-acclaimed biography of Elizabeth I, 'Elizabeth’s Women.’ She told the audience of GCSE and A Level History students about the life of Elizabeth I as seen through the eyes of her circle of women.

Commenting that historians have always studied Elizabeth I in relation to men, she said she was delighted on discovering a range of sources of information that, because they had been written by women, had previously been ignored.

She said: “There were letters from her ladies-in-waiting about Elizabeth, which had been dismissed as irrelevant – an incredibly rich seam of historical research that had not been looked at before.”

Ms Borman spoke about the monarch's treatment of women, her relationships with her family and theories for her decision to remain single.

“By the end of writing the book, I can’t say I liked her,” she said, “but I admired her greatly.”

She then signed copies of ‘Elizabeth’s Women’ and her latest bestseller, ‘Witches: A Tale of Sorcery, Scandal and Seduction,’ a copy of which she donated to Dunottar.

Dunottar School head of History, Julie Boden, said: “The students and staff were so fortunate to hear Tracy speak so eloquently about such an interesting aspect of Elizabeth's reign, and hopefully, the A Level students will have gained valuable ideas for their forthcoming A Level examination.”