As the great-great-granddaughter of Princess Mary Tudor, Duchess of Suffolk, the younger sister of King Henry VIII, Elizabeth became, after the death of her grandmother, Lady Margaret Clifford in 1596, third in line of succession to the English throne. Her father, Ferdinando, had died before his mother. Upon the death of Queen Elizabeth I in 1603, Elizabeth and her older sisters, Lady Anne Stanley, Countess of Castlehaven, heir presumptive, and Lady Frances Stanley were passed over in favour of King James VI of Scotland, who was descended from King Henry's elder sister Margaret Tudor.
She was one of the dancers in Ben Jonson's, The Masque of Queens performed at Whitehall Palace in 1609.
Shortly after her 13th birthday, she married Henry Hastings (1586-1643), later the 5th Earl of Huntingdon, only son of Francis Hastings, Baron Hastings and Sarah Harrington on January 15, 1601. As his father had died in 1595, Henry was heir to the earldom of Huntingdon. On 31 December 1604, upon the death of his grandfather George Hastings, 4th Earl of Huntingdon, he succeeded as the fifth earl.
They made their principal home at Ashby de la Zouch Castle, Leicestershire, where the earls of Huntingdon had their family seat. Together Henry and Elizabeth had four children:
- Lady Alice Hastings (1606–1667), married Sir Gervase Clinton; died childless.
- Ferdinando Hastings, 6th Earl of Huntingdon (18 January 1608- 13 February 1655), married Lucy Davis, by whom he had issue.
- Lord Henry Hastings, 1st Baron Loughborough of Loughborough (28 September 1610- 10 January 1667), died unmarried without issue.
- Lady Elizabeth Hastings (born ca. 1605), married Sir Hugh Calverley; died childless.
Her miniature portrait by Nicholas Hilliard was painted sometime between 1601 and 1610. She was also the subject of a portrait by Paul van Somer painted in about 1614.
|Tomb of Alice Spencer, Countess of Derby which depicts her three daughters L to R: Anne, Frances and Elizabeth|
- Burke's Peerage and Baronetage, 107th edition, volume 2, page 2005.
- Collins, Arthur. The peerage of England, Volume 1 (Google Book), page 60. The Peerage of England
- Mosley, Charles, Burke's Peerage and Baronetage, 107th edition, volume 2, page 2005.