Elizabeth R (1971–…): Season 1, Episode 2 - The Marriage Game - full transcript

—Well? Did she see you?
-Oh, yes, she saw me. For a few moments.

A few moments. Me! The Spanish ambassador.

She begged me to forgive her.
So many kind friends had come to see her.

Have they really?

You would think the road to Hatfield
was a pilgrim's way and she a saint.

They cannot ride fast enough
nor bow low enough when they arrive.

This is a black day for us, Count de Feria,
and for our master.

—It may be so, Bishop...
—May be?

The day when we exchange
a faithful daughter of the Church,

King Philip's wife, for a Protestant heretic?

A heretic, perhaps,
but she is young and must have a husband.

—Will she allow King Philip to choose for her?
—I think she will.

—I think she must.

Well, my Secretary.

Your Majesty, you do me too much honour.

I think you will find more pains
than honour in serving me.

I mean to be a monarch for use,
not merely for show.

I shall wear you for my workaday garb,
and I mean to wear you hard.

Your Majesty may wear me out,
if it pleases you to do so.

One thing I will promise you.

If ever you have anything
for my private ear alone,

then I alone will hear it,
and no one else ever will.

No, not even the other members of my Council.

How is my Master of Horse?

How is my mistress of hearts?


Will you find me a beautiful horse
to ride to London?

—The best in the land.
—A white one, I think.

I have the very horse.
Ah, but he's not a horse for a woman to ride.

But you rode him. Don't I ride as well as you?

When we were both eight years old,
you rode as well as I did.

—And now?
—Now you are a queen...

and must take care.

I will not be imprisoned by being Queen.
No one will ever imprison me again.

I believe you.

I shall buy your horse.

Shall I use the money you lent me
when I needed it?

—Did I lend you money?
—And sold some of your land to do it.

—I have forgotten.
—I haven't. I never will.

Robert Dudley. I don't like it.

We should never forget
that he is Northumberland's son.

There's no nobility to inherit there,
only treachery and ambition.

—He has enough to satisfy him for the moment.
-Oh, you think so?

Master of the Queen's Horse?

Keeps him close to her, my Lord Sussex,
and always showing to advantage.

—He's a good horseman.

They say that managing a horse
is rather like managing a woman.

And the Queen is a woman.

—Yes, well...
—She is a woman.

I used to walk on the leads
of the Tower sometimes

and look towards the door of your room
and wonder if you walked there, too.

Once or twice a little boy brought me flowers.
One day he came to me and he said,

"Lady, I can bring you no more flowers."

I suppose they were afraid
the flowers came from you,

and might have had a message in them.

The flowers did come from me,
and there was always a message in them.

I never know when you are speaking the truth.

—Does it matter?

I like to know what the truth is.
Then I can decide whether to believe it or not.

The truth is that in two days' time,
you will go to London riding on my horse,

and over my heart,
and into the hearts of all your subjects.



MAN: God save Your Majesty!

She smiles and laughs and calls out
to the common people like a dairymaid at a fair.

A queen should have more dignity.

—Has she chosen her Council yet?
-Her Council?

She has chosen William Cecil
as her Principal Secretary,

and that traitor, Robert Dudley,
as her Master of Horse.

Thomas Parry, an old domestic,
is Treasurer of her Household.

And that woman, Katherine Ashley,
known for her treachery in Queen Mary's lifetime,

—is First Lady of the Bedchamber.
-But her Council,

the men who will govern for her.

Will she have any of Queen Mary's counsellors?

—No one knows.
—No one knows?

Well, they all waited on her at Hatfield
and she was very gracious to them all.

She said she meant to have
a smaller Council than her sister's.

She begged those who were left out
to forgive her,

since it derived from no unkindness
towards them on her part.

-But which? Which did she leave out?
—She didn't say.

They all departed still not knowing.
Oh, it's absurd!

But what can you expect
when the government of the country

is in the hands of a woman, and she a mere girl,

who is sharp, but altogether lacking in prudence?

But Count de Feria, while none are chosen,
all may hope.

Meanwhile, she smiles and laughs

and calls out to the common people.

And every day, she sits more firmly on her throne.

My lords.
As we have much weighty business today,

I suggest we put aside
the appointments of offices and concentrate...

Your Grace!

My lords.
We are minded to join our Council today.

—My Lord of Norfolk.
—Your Highness.

Well, Master Secretary, what business today?

Three main matters, Your Majesty,
among some lesser ones.

—First, the reform of the currency.
-Oh, yes. That must be seen to without delay.

It won't be easy. The coinage is greatly debased.

No matter what it costs, the people must know
that the coin of the realm is legal tender.

If they cannot trust the coins,
then they cannot trust me.

Very well, Your Highness...

Set out on paper the measures you propose
and I will study them. What next?

The matter I mentioned to Your Majesty yesterday,
the appointment of Your Majesty's judges.

You are quite right.

Justice has been debased as often as the coinage

and the people have suffered from it.

Judges must learn to give justice freely
as they receive it from their prince.

They must have a care over my people,
for they are my people.

Everyone oppresses them
and plunders them without mercy,

and they cannot revenge their wrongs
nor help themselves.

The judges must take care of them,
take care of them, for they are my charge.

What next?

Thirdly, the matter of the Queen's marriage.

-Leave that aside.
—Your Highness, the quest...

The question of the marriage must be discussed.

But not in this place nor at this time.
Leave that aside.

I shall write to King Philip.

If he means to marry her,
it must be done at once.

King Philip has qualms because you are a heretic,

and because he fears the marriage
might involve him in a war with France

over Mary Stuart's claim to the throne.

He would insist that you become a Catholic
and return England to the Catholic faith.

He wishes you to obtain
a secret dispensation from the Pope

to allow you to marry your late sister's husband.

—He wishes me to obtain it?
—He would rather not be involved.

Of course.

And you must understand that because of
his commitments in Spain and the Low Countries,

he could visit you in England only occasionally,

and even then, only for a brief time,
even though you might be pregnant.

In short, the perfect husband.


—At the same time, Your Majesty, I feel...

—I will see the Spanish ambassador now.
—Your Majesty.

—Your Grace.

Are these the conditions
he means to propose to me?

No, Your Majesty.

The letter from King Philip was meant
for his ambassador's eyes alone.

I see.


—Your Highness.
—Where is that brother of yours?

We gave Robert leave to go into the country
for a few days.

He has been gone for more than a week.

I believe the roads to Oxford
are very bad, Your Highness.

Well, if he doesn't come back soon,
I shall send your husband after him,

and then after Harry
I shall send your brother Ambrose,

like rolling cheeses down a hill.


In the end we shall lose them all,
so you had better write to Robert

—and tell him to come back at once.
—Yes, Your Highness.

Why he should want to go into the country
at this time of year, I cannot imagine.

His wife's moving into another house,

and no doubt he feels it's his duty
to see that she's comfortable.

Dear Count de Feria,
how pleased we are to see you.

It has been much too long since we saw you last.

It would not have been so long, Your Highness,

if I had lodgings at court as I always used to.

You are not lodged at court? Why is this?

I am told there is no room for me now.
The result is...

The result is that when we do see you,
you are even more welcome.

How is our dear brother King Philip?

He is well, Your Majesty.
And I have messages from him which...

which I would prefer to tell
to your private ear, alone.

But we are all friends here,
to you and to King Philip.

We can have no secrets from our friends.

King Philip wishes to become
more than a friend to you.

More than a brother.

I am charged to bring you his dear love,

and the offer of his hand in marriage.

You must forgive me. I had not expected this.

I had thought the difference in our religion
must bar all thought of marriage.

King Philip is sure that you will allow him
to lead you once more

out of darkness into the light.

Then there is the question of our relationship.

—A dispensation would be needed.
—These matters can be arranged.

But dispensations are not always efficacious,

as Catherine of Aragon found.


I am sure that King Philip's love for you

and your tenderness towards him

will conquer all obstacles.

You have so taken me aback, I...

I cannot give you my answer immediately.

I must take counsel with my advisors
as to what is best for the kingdom.

I...am a queen.

I may not follow my own desires
as an ordinary woman may do.

If it were not so...

Dear Count de Feria,
you may take this message to your master.

If ever I consider marrying outside this kingdom,

then I will think of King Philip of Spain.

I've told you before, it's impossible!

The Queen does not like wives at court.

Your sister's at court with her husband.

Amye, my sister was a friend of the Queen
since we were all children together.

The Queen's brother, poor Edward,
died in Henry Sidney's arms.


—I'll take this book to London.
-Oh, yes!

Take the book back but not me!
The Queen knows me.

She came to our wedding!

That was a long time ago,
when she was Princess Elizabeth.

—Things are very different now.

She looks on me as her friend, her advisor.
She does nothing without consulting me.

Can't you see what an advantage that is to us?

There's always somebody
waiting to step into my place.

—I wish they would.

You've forgotten what it was like before,
haven't you?

You've forgotten what it was like to be penniless.

When you came to visit me in the Tower,

you had to borrow the money
for the journey from your father.

—You've forgotten all that, I suppose.
—He never grudged it.

—And at least I saw you then.
—Well, you're seeing me now!

You say you want to see me. Here I am.


You know I love the country.

We were very happy together, weren't we,
when we were first married in Norfolk?

Do you think I want to live
in the noise and stink of London?

But this is my chance.

I know her. I know her better than any man alive.

She never has to pretend with me,
and that's more important to her than anything.

And what happens when she marries?

Well, that depends what happens now.

The Queen must marry
whether she wants to or not.

And I must have a say in her choice of a husband.

I must see which way the wind blows
and add my puff to the others,

or the husband will blow me out of the court.

Whoever sits beside her on the throne
must know that I helped to put him there.

People are saying
that you don't want her to take a husband.

That you want to marry her yourself.

And how can I marry her? I'm already married.

She is worse than 10,000 devils.

Even Cecil says he doesn't know
what she means to do next.

As for me, I believe they know in Spain

what is happening at the English court
before I do.

Well, you are the new Spanish ambassador.

I wish you joy of the task.

No matter what she says, she must marry.

No woman can rule a kingdom.

And moreover, she must, if she can, bear children.

If she can.

Some say she cannot.
But most believe that she can.

At all events, she must marry.

It is only a matter of bringing pressure
to bear on her advisors

to make the right choice.

Prince Eric of Sweden writes quite a lover's letter.

He writes better than the Archduke Ferdinand.

Your Majesty, the Archduke Ferdinand
would never consent to be your husband

unless you make England Catholic.

Then I might as well have married King Philip.

-But his brother, the Archduke Charles...
—Would make fewer demands?

—He's in a less vulnerable position.
—Yes. He will never be Emperor.

—The only condition Archduke Charles would...

...make is that he should
celebrate his own religion in public.

Well, that seems reasonable.

But I could never marry a man I had not seen.

Well, you can hardly expect the Archduke
to come courting.

He would have to be assured of success.

How could that be if I hadn't seen him?

My sister married a man she had not seen.

When he came to England
and saw her for the first time,

his face showed...everything.

She loved him but he never loved her.
I think he loved me more than he loved her.

—Do you think I will chance a marriage like that?
—No, Your Majesty.

We would never have you marry
any man you could not love.

It is more important that he should love me,
if I marry at all.

Well, I will answer Prince Eric's letter.

Is he really as good—looking as you say?
I've heard he's very ugly, almost deformed.

On the contrary, Your Majesty,
a very pleasant-looking man with golden hair.

I will tell him what I told him
when my sister was alive,

that I do not mean to marry.

And what is the imperial ambassador
to tell the Archduke Charles?

That I will never marry a man I have not seen.


I, erm...

I have set out the advantages and disadvantages
of each marriage under separate headings.

Prince Eric of Sweden. A Protestant marriage.

His father is dying, he will shortly be King.

He will gladly come to England
so that you can see him.

I have told him not to come.

Well, meanwhile, he sends his brother,
Duke john of Finland, with many rich gifts.

Now, this marriage would displease nobody,
and would confirm your Protestant supports,

but would bring no alliance with France or Spain,

—so unless Your Highness...
—Is he really as handsome as you say?

Tom Parry never could add two and two.

Does Your Highness mean always
to audit the household accounts yourself?

As long as Tom Parry is my treasurer, yes.

The Archduke Ferdinand,
the imperial ambassador assures me

that he would never risk a Protestant marriage...

But he will be Emperor one day.

That would mean changing your religion.

Well, we could discuss all the details later.

He's not to be entirely discouraged, then?

No one should be entirely discouraged.

Your Majesty, sooner or later
you must make a decision!

—You must marry!

—For the sake of your people.

That is the only must.

Think of their terrors and uncertainties.

Think of the foreign invasions and civil war

to which they'll be subjected
if the succession is not assured.

Succession! I have no intention of dying yet!

Not yet, Your Majesty,
not for many years to come, please, God,

but you must consider the future.

Not I. You.

You are the spirit who wanders abroad
gathering knowledge from the stars,

while I, I am the earthbound mortal,
the mere piece of clay,

doing for the moment what must be done.

Your Majesty,
even a spirit must have a habitation.

Unless you listen to what I say and act upon it...

If I listen, it is enough.

Poor spirit. Do I vex you very much?

Very much, Your Majesty,
but a quiet spirit is a dead spirit,

—so I must not complain.
—No, you must not complain.

From France.

—My Queen.

You stare at me too much.

—Your eyes are always on my face.
—Where else should they be?

Wherever you go, we all turn to look after you
like daisies to the sun.

Looking about you to see how you may serve me.

If there is any way that I can serve you,
I shall see it first in your face.

Very well. I will bestow upon you
the most important title in the kingdom.

I will call you my eyes.


—When you stop looking at me...
—I never will.

Your Majesty.

The King of France is dead.

—Mary Stuart is Queen of France.

And it is said that she and her husband

mean to lay claim
to the throne of England as well.

DUDLEY: God's teeth! Young King Francis
is certainly ambitious,

at the age of 15 years, to claim the crowns
of France, Scotland, and England.

He should have a care
how he tries to take my crown.

Or I'll take a husband to make his head ache.

—The Earl of Arran?

He's in France.

As Protestant claimant to the Scottish crown,
they'd never let him into the country.

—No, he's in London, in my house.
—Well done.

So the Protestant lords in Scotland,
with our help, rise against the French regent,

—declare for Arran instead of Mary Stuart...
—With our help?

You know the Queen has a horror of war.
She regards it as an expensive business.

We shall never have another chance like this
to throw the French out of Scotland.

—And our help could be given secretly.
—If the Queen marries Arran,

England and Scotland could be united
under one crown.

I hope, Lord Robert, that we shall receive
your support in this matter with the Queen.

Oh, I agree we shall never have a better chance
to throw the French out of Scotland.

And the other matter, the marriage?

The Queen will never marry
any man she does not love.

Thank God he is married!

No, he's childless.
The marriage might be annulled.

Is it true the Queen has given him
a present of £12,000?

To help meet his expenses.
Admittedly, he has many.

He's like a gypsy,
going about to see what he can pick up!

He'd take from his mistress,
he'd take from his friends.

If he were not as suspicious
as he is rapacious, he would take from himself.

When the Queen marries, all this will be over.

If she marries within the kingdom.
That's why Dudley dislikes the idea of Arran.

Husband always at her side,

ready to protect her
against predators like himself.

He'd prefer a foreign husband
with lands to look after abroad

while he himself plays the part
of the prince consort here in England.

(Laughing) Robert?

How is my best of sisters?

Oh, that sounds as if
you want something from me.

And so I do. That's pretty.

—Where's the Queen gone today?
—She's gone to Cecil's house.

—There's someone he wants her to meet.

It's unusual for the Queen
to go anywhere these days without you.



—People are talking.
—It's a human custom.

They're talking, gossip.

That is a human vice.

Robert, what they are saying is scandalous.

—Then that is treason.
—Yes. It is about the Queen.

Harry's friends have been writing to him
from Scotland, from France, even from Ireland.

Robert, the Queen must marry.

Yes, I know. That's why I want your help.

You know how devious the Queen is.

Since she was three years old,
she's had to conceal her true feelings.

Now she finds it impossible to show them.

And now, when she's set her whole heart
on marrying...

Not you, Robert.

The man she really wants to marry
is the Archduke Charles.

Are you sure of this, Bishop?

I heard it from Lord Robert's own sister.

Lady Mary Sidney?

Her husband, Sir Henry Sidney,
is also very close to the Queen.

Yes, but...

The Queen, like any other woman,
doesn't wish to seem to yield too easily.

The imperial ambassador
has allowed himself to be put off

by an appearance of unwillingness.

He has given up just when he should
have urged his suit more strongly.

Did Lady Mary say the Queen would be willing
to change her religion?

No, she didn't speak of it.

But you and I, my Lord of Norfolk,
know that she is a Catholic at heart.


She lights candles in her private chapel.

Catholic marriage would solve all our problems.


But the influence of Cecil
and the Protestant lords is very strong.

All the more reason for forcing her to do
what, in fact, she truly wants to do!

Forcing her?

Bishop, I... I am not sure that...

The Archduke Charles will be most happy
to come to England, Your Majesty.

And I shall be most happy to see him.

But if he comes, he will come here
as your future husband.

—Ah, well, as to that...
—Anything else would be unthinkable!

I have often told the imperial ambassador...

The imperial ambassador
does not know Your Majesty as well as I do.

But he knows how to listen.

The true ambassador, Your Majesty,

listens to what is meant
and not only to what is said.

Then I will say again, and mean it,

the Archduke Charles
may come to England as our guest.

As your guest, and as the husband of your choice.

I have not said that.

But you have invited
the Archduke Charles to your court.

—I have said he is welcome.
—Very welcome, Your Majesty, I hope.

—Welcome as any other guest would be.
—I am glad to hear it.

I shall write to King Philip and tell him

that you have invited
the Archduke Charles to England

and that he comes here as your future husband.

If he comes on those terms,
he had best not come at all.

—Your Highness!
—He said he wished to come here.

I have never invited him.
I have never said I would marry him.

I have never said I would marry anyone! Never!

—Your Majesty!

What got into the man?

What gave him the idea she said
she'd marry the Archduke Charles?

If you knew the trouble I've had to bring her
to the thought of marriage.

Now every suitor will be anathema to her
for the next three months.

But how could the Spanish ambassador
be such a fool?

He's been here long enough to know the Queen.

He knows that if you have
a high—spirited, delicate young mare

who's afraid of jumping, you don't
cram her at the highest fence in the field.

—Any horseman knows that.

Any horseman knows that.

Perhaps the ambassador is no horseman.

Lord Robert, one day
someone will plunge a dagger in your heart!

If he can find it.


Amye, are you lying down again?

You're always lying in a dark room.
No wonder you have sick fancies.

Sick fancies?

Is this a sick fancy? This lump here?


—How is the pain now?

I want to talk to you.

—I have to go back to London.
-But you've only just arrived.

Cecil has gone to Scotland to negotiate the peace.

The Queen will need me with her while he's gone.

I'd hoped to see Anthony Forster
while I was here, but I can't wait.

Would you give him a message
when he gets back? Amye?

I want this debt settled.

They're only small men.
They can't afford to be out of their money.

Tell Forster to arrange it with Flowerdew.

He'll have to sell some wool,
but even if he sells at a loss,

tell him I want it done at once.

Hm? Don't forget.

I wish you'd get out more. See more company.

I brought you a present.


Open it.

Well? Do you like them?

—Well, I must go.
-Oh, not now! Not this evening!

I must. She looks for me
every minute of the day...

(Frantically) Let me come with you!
She's given you a house at Kew. I could live there.

—The Queen wouldn't like it.

She knows you're married.
She came to the wedding.

Get out a little more. Wear your new gloves.

Enjoy more company.
That was the whole idea, wasn't it,

of your sharing this house,
that you should have some company?

Well, there's Mistress Owen,

—there's Anthony Forster and his family...
-Oh, them!

What do they care for me? They're all your people.

If killing me would do any good...

—they'd do it.

Do you want to destroy me?


Robin, Robin, you're back.

My own queen.

You are welcome.

—I'm covered in mud.
—I have missed my eyes.

They've seen you all the time.

Kat, show Lord Robert the pearl brooch.

You must see the latest gift
Duke John of Finland has bought me.

—You put it in your treasure box?
—Where else would I put it?

—It came with King Eric's love.
—It's beautiful, isn't it?

Not to me. I'm jealous of all other men
who give you presents.

Kat, put it over there.

I have a present for you.
I have changed your room, as you asked.

You're the kindest mistress in the world.

Ah, but you look exhausted. You should go to bed.

—I wish...
-But wishes are not horses.

—Come riding with me tomorrow.
—I cannot. I must see the bishops.

Let somebody else meet them.
I have an Irish horse for you to try.

—Is he faster than my geldings?
—Much too fast.

-But you like danger.
—So I do.

-But then, I never fall.

—You never do.
—Good night, my eyes.

Good night, my queen.

Covered in mud. How absurd. As if it mattered.

He is still the most handsome man
in the kingdom, don't you think so, Kat?

(Reluctantly) Yes, Your Highness.

Your Highness, I beseech you...

Forgive me, forgive me. I must say it.

Lord Robert Dudley is married, Your Highness.

—To give him the freedom that you do...
—What freedom have I given him?

He comes into your bedchamber,
and you go to his.

And now to have his room moved nearer to yours.

His room was unhealthy.
You said so yourself. He is a good servant to me.

The whole of England, the whole of Europe,
is saying that he is more than that.

Then the whole of Europe is wrong.

As you know, and as many others know besides.

I love Lord Robert dearly, as I have often said,
and he loves and cares for me,

as a subject should love and care for his prince.

I take pleasure in his company,

I have been to his bedchamber,
and he comes to mine.

But there have always been others with us.
I have never gone there alone.

Though if I had chosen to do so,

there is no one in the world
who could have stopped me!

And I say that you shall all go. And go today.

But my lady, we never go to the fair on a Sunday.

It's so noisy and crowded
and all the riffraff will be there.

Mistress Orringsall says she won't go.

Mistress Orringsall can do what she likes.
I say all my household shall go.

-But what about your dinner? There will be no...
—I shall have dinner with Mistress Owen.

—And then you'll stay in her part of the house...
—No. Why should I?

My lord said that I should share the house
for the sake of company,

—not to be spied on.
—No. No, of course not.

You... You want us all to go, then?

Oh, yes, go! Go!

(Sobbing) God help me. God deliver me.

God deliver me.

Oh, I understand you achieved
a superb treaty, Sir William,

while you were in Edinburgh.

Will Mary Stuart ratify the treaty?

The French to leave Scotland?

And Ito give up all claim to the English crown?

Never. Never.

She is now committed to it. She must.

Oh, your Queen must be very pleased.

Pleased, Bishop?
I think she hardly knows or cares.

Not a penny have I received
for the whole expense of my journey.

I've borne the whole cost myself.
It will cripple me for years to come.

I return, and what do I find?

The Queen can think of nothing
but Lord Robert Dudley.

It is very bad. Certainly for her reputation.

No one in Europe can talk of anything else.

Well, perhaps you could have a word with her,
Bishop. She won't listen to me.

Is it true Lord Robert's wife is ill?

Yes. She has a cancer in her breast.

—What will come of it all, God knows.


Shh! Or you'll wake my lady.

June! Peter!


Oh, my lady!


(Sobbing) Oh, my lady!


"Fell down the stairs"?

The Queen of England
is going to marry her horse—keeper.

And he has killed his wife to make room for her.

What are you doing here? Go away from me.

But you don't think...

—You don't believe that I...
—It doesn't matter what I believe.

—You should not have come here until...
—Until what?

—Who told you?

Ah. He always knows everything first.

The Spanish ambassador knew as well.

—How could he?

Rumour! It killed her bef...

before she was dead.


Your Majesty...

Go away. Go out of London.

If you like, I will go to the Tower!

What good would that do? People would think
that you are guilty and that I knew of it!

I have sent Blount to Cumnor Place.

I have told him to find out exactly
what happened. Exactly.

I have said that if anyone is guilty,
they are to be brought to trial.

I have told him to send for her brother so that
he can see that everything is properly done.

What more can I do?

Go to Kew and stay there.

She was a good, virtuous gentlewoman.

I many times heard her pray to God
upon her knees

to deliver her from her desperation.

Oh, no, Master Blount.

Never think that,
or I shall be sorry to have said so much.

It was the pain that made her desperate.

I am certain that my lady's death
was pure mischance.


Your Majesty.

The jury brought in a verdict of accidental death.

Of course.
What other verdict could there have been?

CECIL: But you...

Forgive me, Your Grace.
There is still a great deal of talk.

If you marry Lord Robert Dudley,
your good name will be gone forever.

I have never said I would marry him.

You know very well
I have never said I would marry anyone!

—Lord Robert.

I came to see how you were.

That is very good of you.

I have not heard from the Queen. Not a word.

Does she say I may come back to court?

I am her Master of Horse.
I have duties that should be attended to.

—A little patience, Lord Robert.

—When things are being said about me which...
—I can assure you the Council has done all it can

to protect your good name.

But the Queen?

—She doesn't believe that I had...

No, certainly not. She has always
protested your innocence most vehemently.

How is she?

She is not well.

Nervous distress always affects
her physical well—being.

I cannot bear to be away from her at such a time.

A little patience.

I shall never forget your kindness
in coming to see me.

Lord Robert, we are both servants of the Queen.

NORFOLK: Well, at least that's the end
of the gypsy.

Ah, he didn't kill her.

The jury brought in a verdict of accident,
but all the circumstances point to suicide.

What's it matter what actually happened?

The talk, the scandal are enough
to finish him forever.

She can never marry him now.

She must take a husband. She must have an heir.

If Dudley is the only one whom she can love,
who can arouse her desire,

well, in God's name,
let her marry him and be happy.

Thank you.

Thank you for letting your poor eyes
look on your face again.

My face was the poorer
because they were not here.

Does she mean to marry him, in spite of all?

I don't know, Bishop. I don't know.

I know she means to give him an earldom.

—An earldom? That looks like the first step.
—We shall see.

ELIZABETH: King Eric of Sweden has sent me
the most beautiful New Year's gift of ermine.

What shall I send in exchange?
My heart, perhaps?


Impossible. It's already engaged elsewhere.

Well, Master Secretary, why that grave look?

Cecil always looks grave.
It gives him an air of importance.

Ah, but today he has some important business.

The Letters Patent, Your Highness.

"Our well—beloved subject Robert Dudley,

"the earldom..."


I will not do it.

CECIL: Madam...

—Your Highness?

But why?

—Do you want a reason?

Then I will give you one.

Your family have been traitors
for three generations.

I do not choose to raise another one
above his station to threaten me again.

"Ambrose Dudley, Earl of Warwick",
that I will sign.


DUDLEY: You have destroyed me.

The bare and ragged staff
is not so easily overthrown, is it?

DUDLEY: How can you treat me as you do?

How? Because I love you.


You know I hate loud noises.

If you start so much
when they let off the fireworks,

you'll overturn the boat and we shall all drown.

Oh, no. We cannot possibly drown.

We have the power of Spain
and the Church on our side.

Is that not so, Bishop?


Robin! Your water festival will sink us yet.

Oh, look!

Here we are in the company of the Bishop.

Why should we two not be married here and now?
Would you do it, Bishop?

Gladly, Your Majesty, if that is what you wish.

Then why do we delay? Here is the ring.

Ah, but I'm afraid the Bishop does not know
the English marriage service well enough.

—Then I will teach it to him.
—And what will you teach me?

What can I teach you?

You learnt the way to my heart long ago,
and nothing else matters.

But I have so many hearts.
What shall I do with yours?

I will tell you. You shall keep it,
when you've taken it...

Will she have him or not?

She still declares that she will marry no one.

But, in God's name, Master Secretary,
what is she about?

Her Majesty, Bishop,
is like a beautiful fish in the river.

You see the silver glint,
the exquisite curve, the dart and flash,

and receive the impression of gaiety and liberty.

But the freedom is an illusion.

All the time, turn and twist as she may,

she is being drawn to the bank
by that implacable thread,

the absolute necessity of marriage,

the absolute need to provide for the succession.

Bishop, are you ill?





My liege, you have the smallpox.

You lying knave!

Get out! Get out of here!

Tell me I have the pox
when it's nothing but a chill? God's blood!

I'll pour your stinking medicine
down your lying throat!

Get out! Get out!



How is she?

—She's not...?

You know de Quadra is dead?

Her doctors say she will not live.

Your Highness, Your Highness.

Shall I let the Council come in?

ELIZABETH: Is that my Council?
KAT: Yes, Your Highness.

I am going to die, aren't I?

Your Highness.

My lords.

CECIL: My liege.

Lord Robert Dudley...

is to be Lord Protector of England.

He is to receive...

£20,000 a year.


is to be given to his servant Tamworth...

who sleeps in his room.

Although I loved Lord Robert dearly,

I call you all to witness,

nothing improper

has ever passed between us.



Promise me, my lords.

Promise me.

COUNCIL: We promise you, Your Majesty.

What can we do?

Pray that Her Highness may not die.

I come at no one's bidding!
No. Not even for a queen.

She called me names.

I am master of the art of medicine!

Then practise your art now!

Almost too late.

Make up the fire.

Wrap her in red flannel
and lay her in front of the fire.


Should we send for Lord Huntingdon?

Or Lady Katherine Grey?

My lords, we must make a decision
and stand by it,

before the king of Spain forces a ruler upon us.

Or before Mary Stuart invades from Scotland.

The truth of the matter is the Queen
is about to die leaving no bearable successor.

That is comfortable.


—What is that?
—Hush! Hush!

—Your Highness, it is a good sign.

—The doctor says it is a good sign.

What are a few spots?

Would you rather be dead, my liege,
or have a few spots?

She will live.

We're safe.

For the moment.

The Commons say they won't grant her any money
until she agrees to marry.

They're right. The Queen must marry.
She must have an heir.

She's imprisoned a member
of the House of Commons for saying just that.

—She can't do that!
—She's done it!

We must give the Commons our support.

After all, if the Queen dies without succession,
we shall be the first to go.


Your Majesty, the deputation is here
from the Houses of Parliament.


Who speaks first?

No matter who speaks first,
I can tell you who'll have the last word.

My Lord of Sussex.

(Whispering) Her Majesty.

Well, my lords, Master Speaker...

Your Highness.

Out of the great love they bear to you,

your Houses of Parliament,
both Lords and Commons,

humbly beg you to marry.

How dare they send such a message
and how dare you bring it?

Do you say I am not married?

This ring was put upon my finger
at my coronation.

I am married to England.

I am married to my people.

It has pleased God to lay his hand upon me,
so that my life hung by a thread.

I am not afraid of death.

I have as much courage as my father.

And if it had not been for the great love
I bear to my people, I would gladly have died.

As for the succession,

just as I have taken loving care
and thought for my people in every other way,

so when the time comes, I will take care of that.

If God puts it in my mind to marry,

then I will marry.

But I will marry no one who does not love
my people as dearly as I love them myself.

For my own part, as I have often said,

it will please me best if, at the last,
a marble stone shall record

that this Queen, having reigned for
such and such a time, lived and died a virgin.

I am an absolute princess.

I will marry at no man's bidding,

so you may put that thought
clean out of your heads.

And I take it very unkind on you all,
knowing as you do my heart

and the love I bear to my people,
that you should come and harry me in this way.

I had not expected it of you.

I had not expected it of you, my lord.

I had thought if all the world had turned
against me, you would not.

—I? I would die for you.
—What has that to do with it?

Master Speaker.

I have freed that member of Parliament
from the Tower.

I am sorry that his rudeness
caused me to forget myself.

And for the money that my Commons grant to me,

to show my love towards them,
I will remit a third part of it.

I think Mary Stuart will have her second husband
before the Queen has her first.


Of what complexion is your queen, Sir James?

Not so white as yours, Your Highness.

But she is held to be a very lovely lady.

Queen Mary is of my height, I believe.

A little taller, I think.

Ah. Then she's too tall.

You have seen me dressed in the English style
and the French and now the Italian.

Which do you prefer?

The Italian, madam, shows you to best advantage.

Queen Mary is to understand, then,
that you would have no objections

to her marrying the young French king,
her late husband's brother?

—I would consider it an unfriendly act.

You would not have the same objections
to her marrying the Archduke Charles,

or Don Carlos of Spain?

I know nothing of Don Carlos.

Indeed, Your Highness,
I thought there was not one prince in Europe

that had not been your suitor.

Is your queen fond of dancing?

Very fond, Your Highness.

Yes, she dances very well. But not with...

Well, how shall I put it, then?
The stateliness of Your Majesty.

She is a very fine musician, I suppose?

Yes, she is thought to play very well, for a queen.


Sir James Melville, what are you doing here?

Drawn irresistibly to the sound of lovely music.

Well, you have no business to be here.
I never play before men.

I only play when I'm alone, to amuse myself,
as I daresay Queen Mary does.

Yes, she plays well.

But I feel the prize must go to you.

There is a greater prize
which Queen Mary may win, if she will.

She suggests that I should marry whom?

"We, Elizabeth, by the grace of God,
Queen of England and Ireland,

"defender of the faith ,
of our special knowledge and mere motive,

"have erected, preferred, created
the said Robert Dudley as Earl of Leicester.

"And by these present erect,
prefer and create to him

"the name, status, style, title, honour, and dignity

"of Earl of Leicester.

"With all the singular and pre-eminences,
honours, and other things whatsoever

"of such status of Earl of Leicester appertaining,

"we give and concede by these present to him,

"the said Robert Dudley, of the same style,
title, honour, and dignity."

What do you think of my new creation?

Well, I think the Earl of Leicester adorns his place
even more than did Lord Robert Dudley.

But I think you like Lord Darnley better.

Who could prefer a pale-faced boy
to such a handsome man as Lord Robert is?

—I hope Queen Mary doesn't.
-Queen Mary wishes only to please you.


she feels Lord Robert Dudley
shows no great enthusiasm for the match.

Why does she think that?

Well, he's made it very clear
that if he does marry, his hopes lie...elsewhere.

I have often said I do not mean to marry.

No, because now you are both King and Queen.

And if you married, someone else would be King.

However, if you were to name
Queen Mary your successor now...

You forget, Sir James,
I was successor myself in my sister's time.

I know well what plots were formed
about my name,

and in what danger she stood from me.

And she knew it, too.

I will not put myself in a winding sheet
while I am still alive.

But I will send my cousin a gift as a token
of my goodwill and affection.

Yes, my lord's portrait.

Is this what you're sending...

Of course. You have the original.

When Queen Mary has the original,
I will need the picture.

Then Your Majesty does not mean
to send Queen Mary a special present?

If Queen Mary will be guided by me,

in time, everything I have will be hers.

MARY: My very dear cousin Elizabeth.

With regard to the Earl of Leicester,

the praise you give him
must commend him to me.

And whom you love, I must love also.

You have written that?

But I must tell you frankly
that I had not thought to marry a subject.

No, not even the Earl of Leicester.

But yet, I mean in this as in all things

to be guided by your best judgement and advice.

Your Majesty, she has married Lord Darnley.

How could she?

How could she marry Darnley?
I offered her Leicester.

I believe the Earl sent to her secretly,
denying his suit.

He did what?

Where is he?

—Is it true about you and Queen Mary?
—Ma'am? I...

I told you you were to marry her.

The choice was not entirely mine.

No, it was mine, as your prince, to tell you,
my subject, what you should do.

Did I give you leave to write to her?

—Who told you I did?
—Do you say you didn't?

—If I did, it was only to...
—Did you say you would not marry her?

No, I... Could I say that I loved her?

At my command, yes!

How dare you?

How dare you interfere with my plans?

This is what has left her free to marry Darnley,

who has a claim to both
the thrones of Scotland and England.

You are a traitor.

You are a traitor!

And so are all who wish you well!

Was ever a man in such a dilemma?

The Queen abuses me because I did not
press my suit to Queen Mary.

But if I had, my dear sister...

I sometimes think the whole thing was a plot
by Cecil to put me out of favour with the Queen.

You're not really out of favour?

She refuses to speak to me
or to anybody who wishes me well.

She blames me
for Queen Mary's marriage to Darnley,

but if she wanted to stop it,
why did she let him go to Scotland?

Perhaps because only half of her
wanted to stop it.

One thing she wants with her whole heart
is that you should go back to court.


—She misses you. So do I.

The Countess of Essex is good—natured enough.

Lettice Knollys was never good-natured.

She likes me.

She likes any man.

The Queen has been giving her favours
very freely of late to Thomas Hennige.


Well, two can play at that game.
I shall see what a little jealousy can do.

Try a flirtation of my own.

Not with Lettice Knollys.

Why not, my lord, if it pleases you.

But I'm sure you have
more important things to do.

What could be more important
than being with you?

Well, that depends
on what you think is important.

You are important to me, Lettice.

Am I?

More important than the Queen?


There are many queens at court.
You are one of them.

—I am to leave court soon.
—You could not be so cruel.

You know your going would turn
a garden into a desert?

Well, what about my poor husband,
all alone in Ireland?

It's enough for him to be your husband.
He shouldn't expect anything more.

What would you expect if you were my husband?

The warmest bed in Christendom.

And if I were your husband,
I would share you with no one.

If you were my husband, you wouldn't have to.

—Do you turn your back on me?
—You turned your back on me.

So I did, and so I will whenever I choose to do so.

Your Majesty, I request permission
to leave the court.

Yes. Go!


I cannot bear to part with you.

I need you with me.

For you are like my little dog.
When people see you, they know I am nearby.

—My lord, the Queen does not wish...
—How dare you come in here!

How dare you try to keep me out!

By God, my lord, you presume too far.

I will have no master and only one mistress here.

I gave you what you have.
I made you what you are.

If you try to take more, I will destroy you utterly!

Robin, Robin, how could you speak of leaving me?

Do you think I want to?

—What do you want of me?
—just to be here.

—While you give your favours to Thomas Hennige?
—I will send him away.

And after him, who will it be, and how many more?

You ask too much of me.

For eight years I have loved you,
been faithful to you, thought of nobody but you.

For six years, I have begged you to marry me.

If you were not Queen...

If I were not Queen...

Then I should know what to do.
I should know what to say to you.

What would you say?

I should say...

come to St Swithun's churchyard
opposite the Earl of Oxford's house.

Come Wednesday next at 11:00 exactly.

If you come, then we will be married,
and I will love you forever.

But I will not wait.

If you do not come, then I shall leave and...

never care for you again.



You came.

But too late.

You waited. But not long enough.

Did you mean to come late?

God knows what I meant.

When you were eight years old,
you told me that you would never marry.

Did I?

I did not believe you.

You have forgotten what happened
when I was eight years old.

Catherine Howard?

She was always kind to me.
More like a sister than a stepmother.

She tried to reach my father to beg for her life.

But they wouldn't let her speak to him.

He was her husband,
but they wouldn't let her speak to him.

They dragged her away,

and then they cut off her head.

I learned then how dangerous life was.

You and I have both known what it is
to have an axe fall very close to our own heads.

—And yet to live.
-But never to live safely again.

Yielding can bring a kind of safety.

You would learn that on our wedding night.

As my mother did.


As I am now, I owe my life to no man's goodwill,

except the goodwill of the people,

and I have always known how to keep that.

Shall we go back to Greenwich?

Oh, my eyes. My dear, loving eyes.

Yes. Let us go back to Greenwich.


I am here.

HORSEMAN: Go on. Get on!