Elizabeth I (2005)



Director:  Tom Hooper.

Starring:  Helen Mirren (Queen Elizabeth I), Jeremy Irons (Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester), Patrick Malahide (Sir Francis Walsingham), Toby Jones (Robert Cecil), Hugh Dancy (Robert Devereux, Earl of Essex), Barbara Flynn (Mary Queen of Scots), Ian McDiarmid (William Cecil, Lord Burghley), Jťrťmie Covillault (Duke of Anjou), Erick Deshors (Jean de Simier), Simon Woods (Gifford), Diana Kent (Lady Essex), Toby Salaman (Dr. Lopez), Geoffrey Streatfield (Sir Anthony Babington), John McEnery (Jesuit Priest), Martin Savage (Stubbs).

HBO drama focusing on the private life of the "Virgin" Queen


Spoiler Warning: below is a summary of the entire movie.


Part I. 

1579. Whitehall Palace. London. Elizabeth has been on the throne for 20 years and has so far refused to marry. Without a husband there can be no direct heir and as a consequence, there is danger of civil war between those competing for the succession.  England is a small and vulnerable Protestant country and the Catholic powers, led by Spain, are waiting to seize the heretic Queenís throne.

The Queen is being given a gynecological examination by Dr. Lopez. The doctor tells some of the councilmen that Her Majesty is still capable of bearing children. Francis Walsingham says: "So we may proceed with her marriage." He will approach the Duke of Anjou now. With him is the Earl of Leicester and Lord Burghley. The Duke of Anjou is the brother of the King of France and thereby would give England a Catholic ally.

The Earl of Leicester pays a visit to Elizabeth. She tells him to be not afraid. She will not marry. The Earl of Leicester, Robin, says: "I do not trust the Duke of Anjou." He is not capable of loving Elizabeth as she should be loved. Elizabeth tells him that he is jealous.

In the Council Walsingham tells Elizabeth that for 19 years the Council has asked her to secure her succession by marriage.  Englandís only hope of survival is to divide the Catholic powers. Her Parliament also wants to talk with her about the subject of marriage.

Someone tries to kill Elizabeth with a knife. The Earl of Leicester is able to stop the man. Elizabeth wants him to stay with her for the night. On the subject of marriage she says: "If I must marry, I must marry royalty." She changes her mind about Robin and says: "Good night, my Lord."

The would-be assassin is stretched on the rack. Walsingham asks him: "Who sent you to attack the Queen?"

Elizabeth says to Robin, "Why you have company."   Itís Lady Essex. She tells Robin that the woman has an eye for him. She also mentions that there were traitors in his family. Robin says only his father and grandfather. Elizabeth says that Lady Essex knows about their relationship. Robin says: "She knows nothing."

The Queen of Scots has elected to seek help from the Spanish against Elizabeth with the blessings of the Pope.

Elizabeth tells her Council: "Well, gentlemen if it must be marriage, then it must be."

The Duke of Anjou arrives. His representative brings jewels for the Queen. On a boat on the Thames, the representative says that the Duke of Anjou is already on the boat. Elizabeth asks man after man if he is the Duke with no luck. She finally selects a fellow with a large beard. It turns out to be a fake beard. The man is the Duke of Anjou. He tells Elizabeth: "I am dazzled by your beauty."

Robin speaks to the council members. Her Majesty is at Greenwich with the Duke. Robin says that this marriage will not go. The Duke of Anjou tells Elizabeth that he has a weakness for Protestants.

Robin visits with Elizabeth and asks about the Duke. She tells him that the Duke is personable. She adds: "We like him well." She has a question for Robin: "Can you not wish me happy, Robin?" She confides that a passion has caught her. Robin tells her not to marry the Duke. Heís a dull fellow. They dance.

The news from Lady Essex is that she is pregnant by the Earl of Leicester.

Elizabeth announces her welcome to his grace, the Duke of Anjou. The people there barely clap. Elizabeth says: "Louder you dogs!" She is not happy with their lack of enthusiasm. Anjou invaded the Netherlands as the protector of Dutch Protestants. Robin says that the man was thrashed by the Spanish general. The Duke of Parma destroyed him. Elizabeth asks him: "Am I to box your ears?"

The Earl of Leicester brings in a book that criticizes the Duke of Anjou viciously. Elizabeth is furious. She says she will return to White Hall and find and punish the author. To the Duke she says firmly: "You have my word for it, Monsieur."  She also says we shall proceed with this marriage. She says to Robin: "Men have been hanged for less. Find me the man who wrote this."

A man named Stubbs wrote the criticism of the Duke. His punishment is to have his right hand cut off. He says he loves his Queen and he loves his country. When the hand is chopped off, he picks it up and says: "I have here the hand of a true countryman."

To get back at the Earl of Leicester, the Dukeís representative, knowing the Queen is close to them, asks Robin how is his wife. Elizabeth says in shock: "Your wife?"  The representative says that he heard that Robin married Lady Essex and that she is pregnant. Is that not correct?  Elizabeth spits out to Robin: "You son of a whore! I never wish to see your face again. . . . Get out of my sight! We forbid you access to our presence."

Elizabeth wants to sign the marriage agreement to the Duke, but the Council insists the people donít approve of the marriage. Elizabeth gives up. She asks: "Am I made of stone, gentlemen?"

Elizabeth says good-bye to the Duke. They compliment each other. After he leaves, Elizabeth says to herself: "Well, England, the Queen is all yours."

Seven years later. Francis Walsingham and Lord Burghley are worried about a possible assassination of the Queen. They tell Elizabeth that the Pope has said that killing Elizabeth would be no murder. It means the Pope intends to put a Catholic on the English throne. And Philip of Spain may send agents to England. Or he could work with others closer to home. right in England

The Queen of Scots is judged guilty of conspiring with the Spanish to overthrow Elizabeth. The English Queen says: "Oh, this goes hard for me." She decides to give them no answer at all. But she definitely says she will not sign the execution document. She is going to her palace at Richmond.

The Earl of Leicester reappears. Elizabeth is very excited to see him again. She gives him a hug and a kiss. He tells her that the Spanish have a clever general in the Duke of Parma. They may think itís the right time to attack England. Elizabeth tells him that he looks sick. He brushes the matter off. The Queen tells him that she has need of him to help her deal with Mary Queen of Scots. Robins says simply: "The Scottish Queen must die!"  She is upset that not even Robin will support her.

Master Davison comes to get Elizabethís signature on the execution document. She complains, but she finally signs it. She says that Mary is to be beheaded at Fotheringay. Then she has a change of mind. She tells Davison not to give the signed document to the Council until she tells him to. Davison, however, gives the document to the Council right away. The Earl of Leicester says that he himself would be willing to execute the Scottish Queen.

The time of execution arrives. Mary wears red, the color of the Catholic martyr. The executioner messes up. It takes him two blows to chop off the Queenís head. He then picks up the head by the hair only to find out that the hair is a wig. The Queenís head bounces down the platform steps.

Elizabeth wants to know from Walsingham why the church bells are ringing. He says that someone has died. She wants to know who. "A very great traitor." She realizes it is Mary and becomes very angry. She says: "Who ordered this?" Walsingham answers: "You did, your Majesty." She starts slapping Walsingham while raving against Davison. She then goes out into the hall and attacks the Earl of Leicester asking why he couldnít have stopped the execution. She then goes into a private room.

Robin comes to talk with her. She asks him about the execution itself. He tells her that it was not done as it should have been done. There was no rosary and no priest. And it took two strikes of the axe. Elizabeth tells him not to go on. She thanks him for telling her. She adds: "None of the others would have done what you have done." There will be war, she sighs. She then says let them be friends rather than lovers. Friendship outlasts love.

The Earl of Leicester comes in with his young stepson, the Earl of Essex, to see the Queen. The Spanish ambassador is just leaving. He tells the two men that when the Spanish ships land Elizabeth will burn. Robin Jr. gets offended and starts to draw his sword on the ambassador. His stepfather stops him.

The news is that the Spanish have more than 100 ships in their Armada. Lord Burghleyís short son Robert, is at the Council. The Queen speaks with Sir Francis Drake, the great seaman. He tells her that the Spanish vessels are too heavy in the water. He will outmaneuver them. Lord Burghley tells the Queen that she should move to a place of safety. The Queen refuses.

The Queen asks Robin what she should say to the soldiers she will soon visit. He says to breathe scorn on the enemy. Again Elizabeth tells Robin that he is not well.

Elizabeth visits the troops at the coast. She is thrilled to see their enthusiasm for her. She speaks of "my loving people" and "my faithful and loving people." She says she will live or die among them all. A big hurrah goes up for her. She says she has the heart and stomach of a King Ė a King of England. The chant goes up of "God save the Queen!"

Elizabeth learns that the Spanish fleet is in the Channel. Then she is told that a ship is coming up the river. Is it one of theirs? Robin tells her that they will display her colors, black and white, if it has gone well for the English. Everyone cheers when the black and white flags are displayed. Robin falls in pain. Elizabeth rushes over to him.

Elizabeth takes care of Robin in bed. She tells him that there was love between the two of them. The fellow is in great pain. Elizabeth starts to cry but he stops her by saying: "I beg you do not weep." Robin Jr. comes in. The Earl of Leicester tells his stepson to take care of Elizabeth. She needs looking after.

Robins tells Elizabeth: "I am for the dark, Bess. My life is done." He dies. She cries.


Part II. 

By 1589 Elizabeth I was the heroine and savior of her country.  The defeat of the Spanish Armada had secured the English nation and the English Protestant Church.  There was no more talk of her need to take a husband and produce an heir.  But who would succeed her?  Who would take her extraordinary power for themselves. 

The Queen tells her staff:  "The looking glass is banished. . . . All gone!"  She goes outside and starts laughing.  Robin Jr. in knight's armor and sitting on top of a model of a giant horse, says:  "This Accession Day is the 30th since you came to the throne.  Your knights will fight each other for your favor."  The Councilmen don't particularly care for the Earl of Essex.  But Walsingham says the man is a rising star and they will have to adjust to him. 

Sir Walter Raleigh will fight the Earl of Essex to win the Queen's favor.  The winner is Raleigh.  The Queen says:  "Today it is Walter who wears our favor."  Being a sore loser, Robin Jr. says:  "I see every fool must have a favor."  Raleigh tells him:  "I'll call on you, sir, for your apology."

The Queen does not like that Walsingham's daughter has an eye for Robin.  As she sits with her staff reading, she starts teasing the poor young woman.  This is interrupted by the sounds of fencing.  Robin duels with Sir Walter Raleigh.  The Earl of Essex is wounded.  The Queen comes over to him.  When she sees he is wounded she becomes very solicitous of him.  She says:  "I must dress your wounds myself."  She gives Robin the former rooms of his stepfather.  He is very pleased. 

As she prepares to bandage his wound, Elizabeth laughs and says he looks like a naughty school boy.  He tells her that she is very kind.  She replies:  "I could be even kinder."  He kisses her.  She says:  "You seem sincere enough."  She kisses him.  Then they kiss passionately.  Perhaps a little too passionately, because she gets up and leaves. 

Elizabeth pays a visit to the Council.  The Council wants to put the ally Don Antonio on the throne of Portugal and push out the occupying Spanish power.  Elizabeth approves of the idea.  But she demands that no one is to tell the Earl of Essex about the planned expedition.  He is not to go. 

Elizabeth and Robin are up very late playing cards.  In fact morning dawns.  The Queen says she wants to play a new game.  She takes the cards and tells him to try to take them from her.  So the chase begins with both of them so loudly laughing that it wakes the others in the room who fell asleep during the long night in the game room.  Lord Burghley comes in and asks to speak to the Queen in private.  Robin leaves.  In the hall he runs into Lord Burghley's son Robert.  Robert tells him that his father is pleading his case for a seat on the Council.  Robin is impressed.  The father comes out and tells his son that he has his seat on the Council. 

Robin keeps telling Elizabeth that he loves her.  He then says that there's an expedition to Lisbon and he wants to go.  Elizabeth gets angry and tells him that he is forbidden to go.  He is not even supposed to know about it.  Robin says that he desperately needs money and going on the expedition he could get his hands on some of that massive amount of Spanish gold.  Elizabeth is not moved.  He kisses her.  Robins tells her:  "You are kind to me."  He kisses her and starts to really get excited.  Elizabeth stops him again.  Walking by herself down the hall she says:  "What I must not say is that I love you."  She says that she is a fool for love  -- a hopeless fool.   

The next morning Elizabeth picks up a letter from Robin addressed to her.  She screams:  "Lisbon!"  She starts really screaming:  "Where has he gone?"  She gets everyone all excited because she is so crazy.  Walsingham tells her that the Earl of Essex has already left.  He rode for Falmouth overnight.  By now he is on his way to Lisbon.  Now extremely angry she says to everyone around her:  "You traitorous dogs!  I'll send you all to the gallows."  She cries.  She catches herself and sobers up.  She then says to everyone:  "One word of this and you die! . . . You hear me?" 

Lord Burghley tells Elizabeth that Lisbon was not taken.  But she says:  "But he's apologized for his disobedience and he promises me he'll be home within the month.  We've forgiven him.  He is dear to us.  And brave, it seems"  Robert Burghley says that the Earl of Essex certainly was not frightened of her given that he so clearly disobeyed her.  She gets very angry and refers to Robert as a pygmy. 

At the head of a long column, the Earl of Essex returns to Elizabeth.  She really gets carried away and says:  "We are most happy to greet the Earl of Essex on this his return from Portugal.  Its end was glorious and nothing so becomes it as this, the welcome home of Essex."  She describes him as the champion of "our liberties" and "our marvelous boy."  He comes up to her and kisses her dress.  They go inside.  As they pass the ladies in waiting, she tells Robin:  "All eyes on me, Robin!"  And she tells Walsingham's daughter to keep her eyes on the Queen. 

Alone with Robin she asks him is she looks too old.  He kisses her and tells she doesn't look old to him.  She is so happy that she says he shall have the income from the tax on sweet wines.  This will make him rich.  Then he won't have to go to war. 

Speaking further with the Queen, Robin tells her that he would like a seat upon the Council.  He could serve the Queen in that position.  Elizabeth resists the idea, but then gives in and gives him a Council seat.  He is very happy. 

At a meeting before her staff and Council, the Queen faints.  She recovers quickly saying:  "I can't imagine the cause." 

The Earl of Essex arrives and Sir Francis Bacon greets him.  Bacon is the nephew of Lord Burghley.  He tells Robin that he has his own spies and he knows something that could help Robin grow in Her Majesty's esteem.  He has information on who has plotted against the Queen's life. 

In a Council meeting led by Elizabeth, the Earl of Essex bursts in saying that her recent fainting spell was really a case of poisoning.  Furthermore, he has arrested Dr. Lopez.  The man is a traitor in the pay of Spain!  Elizabeth is shocked and astonished.  She says:  "You rash youth!"

Stop with this feuding, says Elizabeth. She tells her guards to take Dr. Lopez away. Dr. Lopez is to be hanged. On the gallows he says that the Earl of Essex does this for his own profit. He is not a traitor. The Earl of Essex, Frances Bacon and the Earl of Southampton all watch the hanging. (A reference is made to Frances Bacon liking boys.)

At Council, the Earl of Essex says that there is no possibility of peace with Spain. Robert Cecil says that there is new information on the late Dr. Lopez. The confessions of the witnesses against Lopez were extracted under torture. The Queen turns to the Earl of Essex in shock and she asks: "Is this true?" Yes, says Robin. Elizabeth tells everyone to leave, except the Earl of Essex. She tells Robin that this was a manís life. Robin defends himself saying he was only trying to serve her. The problem, the Queen says, is: "You act without thinking. That is not service!"

The Queen says that they will make restitution to Lopezís widow. Robin begs the Queen for forgiveness. The Queen says that he is forgiven. And then the fellow has the nerve to ask about the question of the attorney generalship. He suggests Francis Bacon. The Queens sighs: "Oh, what am I to do with you?"

Robert Cecil has a pamphlet to show the Queen. It says that the Earl of Essex should be her successor. Cecil brings up the question of the climate in the Council. He suggests that there is too much favoritism being shown. The Queen knows. She says: "I pet him too much."

The Earl of Essex comes in to say that he is not the author of the vile pamphlet. Elizabeth tells him that there is a lot of gossip about him and her. And now there are factions and jealousy in the Council and it may be that it is her favor to Robin that is the cause of it.

The Queen is not very discreet. Francis Walsingham enters the room breaking up the embrace of the Queen and the Earl of Essex. He tells the Queen that his daughter Frances is with child by the Earl of Essex and he would seek to know his intentions. Elizabeth goes into still another rage. She keeps hitting Robin as she rages: "You traitorous villain!" She goes screaming down the hall.

To regain her favor the Earl of Essex whitens his face and plays the part of a corpse in a funeral procession. Elizabeth knows what he is up to and says nothing to him. She turns her attention to Francis Walsingham who does not look well. He informs the Queen that he shall not live out the year. But, he says, letís worry about King James VI of Scotland.

Elizabeth catches the Earl of Essex with Frances. She tells Robin that he shall marry. Robin looks absolutely shocked. This shocks Elizabeth a bit. She says: ĎDid you think to be King, Robin?" But the Queen still wants to keep her connection with Robin. She asks Frances if it is alright that Robin has the Sovereignís love. Frances says: "Tis my dearest wish, Your Majesty." The Queen tells her she may leave. Elizabeth asks Robin why is he now at a loss for words. She sighs: "Oh, pretty, pretty . . . boy." (With the accent on boy.)

Robert Cecil is now the Master Secretary for the Queen. She is often seen with him. Walsingham has died. Elizabeth tells Robert that for the moment he and his father will take up Walsinghamís responsibilities. Then she becomes very serious. She asks Robert: "Who has been writing these letters?" (To King James of Scotland.) Robert doesnít really know.

King James of Scotland comes to speak with Elizabeth. He asks her for a raise in his pension and she tells him no. And she wants him to never make any overtures to her court or Council. She is very curt with him. He does not argue with her.

Robin swears to Elizabeth that he has never sent letters to King James. The Queen now proposes a friendship between herself and Robin. But Robin says heíll have none of it. The Queen offers him command of the army. The Spanish have attacked Calais and England will respond by taking Cadiz. Robin is so ecstatic that he makes the Queen very happy and she laughs heartily.

Elizabeth talks with Pygmy (i.e., Robert Cecil). She tells him that "Allís faction now in England." She learns that England has won a great victory over the Spanish at Cadiz. The Earl of Essex returns a war hero. He is so full of himself that he tells Francis Bacon that he is in danger of outshining Her Majesty. Francis warns him to be careful.

In private Robin goes on and on about the love of the people for him. Elizabeth is upset. She tells him that he has not even kissed her yet. So he gives her a whimpy kiss. Since he wonít get into the swing of things, she grabs him and really kisses him. She then asks Robin about married life. He says itís alright. The Queen scolds him for not taking marriage more seriously. She turns the subject to Ireland. She offers him the position of Deputy of Ireland. Robin is not interested. She says: "Nobody wants to be Deputy of Ireland." And right now there is a war in Ireland. The Queen tells Robin that all he can do is talk about himself. She asks him to leave.

At Council the Earl of Essex suggests Robert Cecil for the position of Deputy of Ireland. The Queen tells him that she thinks heís joking. He assures her he is not. She repeats that she thinks he is joking. He back talks her once too often and she slaps him on the back of the head. She says she is sick of his insolence. The silly young man pulls his sword half-way out of its sheath and tells her he wonít take such treatment from a man and even less so from a woman. Other Council members grab Robin. The guards take Robin out. She says to the Council: "Well gentlemen. I think we have found the right man for Ireland." She adds that deprived of her favor, the Earl of Essex will soon come to heel. She then becomes solicitous of Lord Burghley who does not look good at all.

The Queen attends the funeral of Lord Burghley. She sees the Earl of Essex at the funeral and asks Robert Cecil about him. How was he as a boy? He was good in sports and loved by all. The Queen sees her secretaryís pain and adds: "And unkind to you Pygmy."

The Queen goes to speak with Robin. She offers him Ireland and he now wants it. She says that heíll come close to betraying her, but he wonít betray his country. She tells him: "I ever loved you, Robin. Take this ring as a testament to it."

Six months later. Robert Cecil tells the Queen that the Earl of Essex has 16,000 soldiers under him but he seems unwilling to face the Earl of Tyrone. She asks Robert why doesnít the Earl move into Ulster as commanded. Robert says that the Earl of Tyrone expects aide from Spain. Elizabeth doesnít like what she hears and she asks: "Is he still loyal to us?" Robert says there is no way of knowing.

The Earl of Essex suddenly comes unannounced, pushing his way into the Queenís chambers. The Queen just got out of the bath and her hair is all wet. She doesnít want to be seen this way. She manages to get her cap over her hair. She greets Robin and tells him he should rest. He tells her that he rode all night. Robin also says that he made a truce with the Earl of Tyrone. He then claims that Cecil works against him and writes to King James. He then asks Elizabeth if she loves him. She says: "Of course."

The Queen speaks to Cecil and tells him that the Earl of Essex has deserted his command. And now he seeks their approval. The Queen sends for Robin. But this time when he comes to her she is with a huge audience. He asks why are there so many people here. She replies that sometimes itís good to have witnesses. Cecil starts reading the charges against him. He has been contemptuously disobedient to Her Majesty by returning to England from his position in Ireland. Another charge is his making a truce on his own initiative with the Earl of Tyrone, a man that England wants only either to submit or be killed.

The Earl of Essex starts to argue with Cecil and Elizabeth. Elizabeth gives the command to take the Earl of Essex under guard to Essex House. He is to be confined there until the Queen decides to release him. The Earl keeps arguing with them until the Queen shouts: "Get him out of my sight!" Robin is shocked at her reaction.

Elizabeth wants to test Robin. She tells Pygmy to relax the guard on him. They will soon find out how loyal he is or isnít. Elizabeth also wants to see if she can find out anything from Frances. She asks her if her husband has heard from King James. Frances tells her that he wears a small black bag around his neck filled with letters from Scotland. Elizabeth immediately jumps up shouting to Cecil: "Letters from Scotland! I knew it! The manís a traitor."

Elizabeth tells Cecil to send Francis Bacon to tell the Earl of Essex to come immediately to the Council. The Queen wants to see him. Francis goes to Essex House and tells Robin that the Queen wants to see him. He says heís busy. Francis tells him that the Queen requires him at once. Then Robin and his right hand buddy the Earl of Southampton and their men threaten Francis with their drawn swords. They then take Francis prisoner. Francis shouts out: "Rebellion!"

Robin shouts a question: Who will help him get rid of Robert Cecil? Then he shouts: "To the Court! Thereís a plot laid for my life." He and his men ride to the Court.

The Queen hears a lot of noise in the courtyard. Itís Robin and his men. She comes out and confronts the Earl of Essex. He shouts: "Justice!" He tells the Queen that he seeks the removal of Robert Cecil. Elizabeth tells him off and then gives the order to put the plan in action. Soldiers pop up all around the courtyard and start shooting the rebels. Many of them are killed and the others start running away. The Earl of Essex also retreats. They go back to Essex House and start burning all their documents. The shout goes up: "To the river!" They prepare to get in boats to row away, but soldiers in boats are all over the place and coming right at Robin and his men. Robin says: "All is lost. We are dead men." The soldiers capture the Earl of Essex.

Francis Bacon is Robinís prosecutor. Robin makes the claim that Robert Cecil is in the pay of Spain. The court demands to know what proof he has. He says the Earl of Southampton told him. But the Earl of Southampton is very scared. He denies he told Robin anything about Robert Cecil. Robin says: "Then I am damned my Lord!"

The court finds the Earl of Essex guilty of treason. The Earl of Southampton begs for his own life. Robin refuses to beg for his.

Robin is to be executed by beheading. At the execution he says he loved the Queen and was loyal to her. His greatest sin was rebellion. At the chopping block he starts saying the Lordís Prayer, but soon stops and tells the executioner to strike. One blow and the manís head is off.

Elizabeth tells Cecil to put Robinís lapdog, little Southampton, in the Tower of London. And no more blood. She says she will spare the others wherever she can. Before Cecil leaves, he gives the Queen two items from Robin: the ring that she gave him as a testament of her love and a sheet of poetic verses he wrote to her. Elizabeth reads the verses in private. She cries.

The Queen asks why everyone is so glum. Cecil tells her that many in the house speak against the monopolies the Queen has granted the traders. Only a few are favored.

Elizabeth appears before the large group. About the monopolies, she says: "Let us have an end to it." The men are happy to hear her change of heart. The Queen says she wants their love above all else. She adds: "The glory of my crown is that I have reigned with your love." The shout goes up: "God save the Queen!"

The doctors can find no cause for her illness. Robert Cecil asks the Queen if it hurts. She says: "Iím not so sick as some would have me." The Queen says from experience: "The hardest thing to govern is the heart." She gets up and walks to the window. Elizabeth tells everyone to leave her. "Go!" she says.

Robert Cecil inquires about the Queen. She has stood at the window for fifteen hours. And she hasnít eaten in three weeks. Robert tries to talk to her, but it is of no use. She walks down the hall and lays herself down in her bed. She tells the servant there: "Fetch me a priest, girl. Iím minded to die."


I enjoyed the series very much.  It shows a different side of the queen.  She is pictured as a rather full-bodied woman with a healthy and strong sexual drive.  She had several love affairs with prominent men and became greatly enamored of them, almost to the point of considerably distracting her from court politics at times.  It seems that her love affairs ultimately proved to be disappointing to her  -- many of the suitors were as interested or more interested in promoting their own political power than in their "love" for the Queen.  It was partly these series of disappointments that convinced her that she should marry "England" rather than any of the power-hungry men she loved. 

So, if you would like to see, a loving (almost to the point of obsession), passionate Good Queen Bess then this is the movie for you. 

Patrick Louis Cooney, Ph. D.


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