When Elizabeth Tudor comes to the throne, her (male) advisers know she has to marry. Doesn't she? Thus starts a decades-long political/ matrimonial game, during an age of high passions and high achievement.
The Virgin Queen explores the full sweep of Elizabeth's life: from her days of fear as a potential victim of her sister's terror; through her great love affair with Robert Dudley; into her ... See full summary »
Lucy Worsley gets into bed with our past monarchs to uncover the Tales from the Royal Bedchamber. She reveals that our obsession with royal bedrooms, births and succession is nothing new. ... See full summary »
After the downfall of Cardinal Wolsey, his secretary, Thomas Cromwell, finds himself amongst the treachery and intrigue of King Henry VIII's court and soon becomes a close advisor to the King, a role fraught with danger.
Ian McDiarmid is best known for playing Senator/Chancellor/Emperor Palpatine in the Star Wars film franchise. In the prequels, he appeared with Oliver Ford Davies, who played Polonius in Hamlet (2010). Polonius was largely modelled after McDiarmid's character, William Cecil/Lord Burghley. See more »
During the execution of Mary, Queen of Scots; as Elizabeth's envoy is speaking how best to inform the Queen of the beheading; they are outside, in a courtyard. Contemporary accounts show that Mary's real execution took place indoors at Fotheringhay Castle. See more »
When the series was repeated on British TV in 2006, the footage of the Babington plotters being tortured was cut, and the execution of Queen Mary was cut so that she was beheaded with one stroke, although the scene of Leicester telling Elizabeth that it had taken two strokes was left in. See more »
I'm so brainwashed about Elizabeth I, Bette Davis, Judi Dench, Glenda Jackson, Flora Robson that it was startling at first to get to know the woman behind the icon. Helen Mirren is beyond superb, she is a miracle worker. Meryl Streep called her "an acting God" and she wasn't kidding. I'm not going to go into the story, we all know it, more or less, but I can assure you we've never seen it quite like this. Her imposing presence doesn't cancel her humanity, her rages, her pain, her longing her capacity for love and compassion with the fierce awareness that she is the queen and not just any old queen but Elizabeth I Queen of England. A total absorbing delight from beginning to end. Long Live Helen Mirren!
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