Green’s Dictionary of Slang

Queen Bess n.

[‘perhaps because that queen (Elizabeth I), history says, was of a swarthy complexion’ (Hotten, 1867)]

in cards, the queen of clubs.

[UK]Gent.’s Mag. LXI 141: The Queen of Clubs is... called Queen Bess... The Nine of Diamonds, the curse of Scotland.
[UK]Durham Co. Advertiser 14 Nov. 2/1: Popular names for certain Playing Cards [...] Queen of Clubs...Queen Bess.
[UK]Hotten Sl. Dict.
[UK]Jersey Indep. 14 Jan. 7/4: No one can tell why [...] the queen of clubs [is] ‘Queen Bess’.
[Aus]C. Crowe Aus. Sl. Dict. 63: Queen Bess, the queen of clubs.
[Scot]Eve. Teleg. (Dundee) 16 Oct. 5: The four of spades is ‘Ned Stokes’. The Queen of Clubs is called [...] ‘Queen Bess.’ Ans we all know, the nine of diamonds is called the ‘curse of Scotland’.