Elizabeth I (2005) Movie Script

All is as
it should be, ma'am.
Thank you, Dr. Lopez.
Her Majesty is still capable
of bearing children.
Virgo intacta.
Thank you,
Dr. Lopez.
So we may proceed
with her marriage.
If we're to trust
her doctor.
If she were too old
to bear children, my lord,
there will be little sense
in her marrying.
Do we only marry
to bear children?
To contemplate the prospect
of an heir, certainly.
Is there
another reason
we should not approach
the Duke of Anjou?
and of course
the Earl of Leicester.
Francis Walsingham.
My Lord Burghley.
Married men both,
and peddlers of the matrimonial state.
You should wed each other since you
think so highly of the condition.
Certainly speed up the process
of government.
The Earl of Leicester
has the familiar touch.
If we are to make an alliance
against Spain,
Anjou would seem
the obvious choice:
Brother to
the King of France,
and giving us
a Catholic ally.
Where do you stand
on the issue, Francis?
I think the French make better
acquaintances than friends.
Tell Anjou we still need
the Queen's permission
to start
Thank you, my lord.
Your Majesty.
What's the news,
old friend?
That I am as I
have always been.
Oh, well am I
changed then?
- There is talk of...
- Talk...
talk is free.
And I would be so, too.
No no no,
be not afraid...
I will not marry.
we have each other
still then?
We have each other
always, Robin,
since that way
our affections tend.
Who can tell the heart
where it should lead us?
Our hearts
cannot be told.
Time has worn away the promises
we made to each other once.
What promises,
my lord?
To amuse each other.
Your Majesty, l...
I do not trust
the Duke d'Anjou.
Because he's
a Frenchman?
Because I do not trust him to love you
as you should be loved.
- I'm afraid, Bess.
- Of what?
Of the dangers
in bearing a child.
The danger to you.
What is the world
without you in it, hmm?
- Oh, this is most flattering.
- How?
Because you are
And why
should I not be?
Do I not live in the sun
of your favor?
And does not the world
condemn me for it?
For 19 years,
Your Majesty,
this Council
has implored you
to secure your succession
by marriage.
You have refused
all suitors, but now...
I do not say I will not marry,
Lord Burghley,
the question
before us is whom.
Spain is
the threat.
Our only hope is to divide
the Catholic powers.
- Put Spain against France.
- Oh God.
A union with the ruling house of France
would do precisely that.
Anjou, as brother
to the King of France...
Might I remind
the Council...
that although
he may oppose
the Spanish interests
in the Netherlands,
the Duke of Anjou
is still a Catholic.
But he is of the quiet kind,
my lord.
Biddable, they say.
He will pray in a corner, if you ask him.
He was a friend to the Protestant cause
in France.
He's has even had private conversation
with Master Walsingham
who eats Catholics.
...words with you
in the Presence Chamber.
My Parliament
seeks words with us,
and we must
seem to listen.
Since you
of all of us
has met this
fellow Anjou...
what of him?
His religion, madam,
his politics,
his sincerity
or otherwise
in his support
of the Dutch Protestants?
His appearance,
Master Secretary...
is he a man
to my liking?
I couldn't say,
Your Majesty.
Well, is he well-favored
or is he ugly?
Is he a master
at serving women?
He is Catholic.
He only serves the Pope.
He was not ugly,
he was not
Well, gentlemen,
I have come to hear you talk
and I trust you will watch me
while I listen.
Your Majesty.
We beg to raise the question
of your marriage.
Well, so long as you
do not come to me
to complain about your wives,
I am content.
Sir Leicester...
here stands my master of music
who wrote this very piece for me.
A Catholic,
but an Englishman first.
Thank you so much
for the anthem.
You see, a man may be a good Catholic,
and a good Englishman.
Not at the same time,
Get him up.
Take him away.
You're quite safe,
Oh Robin.
Quite safe, ma'am.
No hurt, ma'am.
Shh... no hurt, ma'am.
Clear the way!
Clear the way!
- Oh God.
- Your Majesty, take my arm.
- How did he get in? Who is he?
- Calm yourself.
And how does
Your Majesty now?
The Queen does not know
how she does, Leicester.
How she does and what she
feels seems questions of little account.
She sometimes wonders whether she
is allowed the luxury of feeling anything.
That villain was as close
as you are now to me.
No one could be
as close as we two, Bess.
You mustn't be
alone tonight.
- No.
- No.
Nor shall I, my lord.
Our prisons in the tower were as close
as our two apartments are now.
Sweet imprisonment.
In your sister Mary's reign
when I was in the tower,
and looking to die every day,
I remember the morning they brought you
in through the Traitor's Gate.
Over your shoes in water
as you stepped off the barge.
I sat down on the stone steps
and refused to move.
My usher broke down and cried.
I rated him severely.
"Truth is what matters,
not misfortune."
That's what I said.
And that none of your friends
should ever have cause to weep for you.
No. Nor shall they,
Some things still
are possible.
I cannot stay.
Is this the marriage
to Anjou?
If I marry,
I must marry royalty.
I could not marry you.
I could not raise up a subject so.
Just kiss me, Bess.
Good night, my lord.
That's enough.
Shh, shh, shh, shh.
Shh, shh, shh.
Who sent you
to attack the Queen?
The French?
The Spanish?
The Pope in Rome?
You have something to say.
Good morning,
Your Majesty.
For the safety of my person
and my kingdom
I must proceed
with this match.
Bess, I beg you.
I mean who was this
would be assassin?
In the pay of Spain?
Well, how many more will they send?
And how much more secure
will you be with Anjou?
His interest is purely selfish
in the Netherlands.
Your people will...
Why, you have company!
My Lady Essex has
come to court.
I crave
your pardon, ma'am.
I here since the death
of Lord Essex,
upon your
service in Ireland.
I have made an offer
to assist the new Lord Essex.
We were sad to hear of it.
so young to succeed
to a title.
We will kiss you.
You look well,
my Lady Essex.
Perhaps you're in search
of new offers of marriage.
She has an eye for you,
Oh, the portraits
of your ancestors
- look well on your walls, my lord.
- Yes.
Pity so may of them
proved to be traitors.
No, only my grandfather
and father, ma'am.
The present generation
is entirely devoid of treason.
We are pleased
to hear of it.
She knows.
She knows nothing.
She knows.
Those eyes of hers...
like a snake's.
She knows.
She has an eye
for you, Leicester.
She knows nothing.
The villain who attempted
your life has been put to the rack.
And it seems likely that
the so-called Queen of Scots
has solicited Spanish
help against you
- with the blessing of the Pope.
- Likely?!
"It seems likely"? This is our cousin,
Master Walsingham.
Is she not confined by us?
Is she not under guard
at our command?
Do we have proof positive that she
was involved in this attempt?
Has the young man
named her?
She long has been the focus
of such conspiracies.
But the active agent
of such plots?
If the Spanish seek a Catholic
for the throne of England, Madam,
then the Royal Catholic cousin
of the Queen of England
would appear to be
the obvious choice.
We did not ask to be lectured
on our dangerous cousin Mary.
If we are ever inclined to forget
our dear dear cousin
then the Council can be
relied upon to remind us.
Oh, Robin.
I am set about by enemies,
and I know not who to trust.
Well, not France,
I beg you.
Since I know you think
I argue for myself...
You speak for your
stomach sometimes.
I'll talk self interest.
What do you imagine Monsieur
will do with me after he has your hand?
Shall I be Catholique?
Shall we all be Catholic?
The Duke's religion is a private matter,
Robin, as is yours.
I will not make windows
into men's souls.
Yet he will be your master.
Monsieur will be bound
by strict conditions.
the only things that will kiss
in this affair
will be lawyers' pens
and lawyers' papers.
He has foul breath
they say, and a hump.
Poor England
stands alone, Robin.
Well, gentlemen...
if marriage it must be
then it must be.
Oars up.
Oh, gentlemen,
why such long faces?
Are we about a marriage
or is a funeral in prospect?
Jean de Simier, chief aide
to the Baron de St. Marc,
and chief darling
to the Duke of Anjou.
Is this what passes for charm
at the French Court?
Are you what passes
for lack of it at the English one?
- Touche.
- I bring you jewels
from the Duke
his own self.
He's in ecstasy at the thought
of your beauty.
His representative
does him little credit.
A monkey.
A most obvious
Personally I have always found
monkeys charming, and amusing.
- And intelligent.
- Oh.
Ah, Master Davison.
Thank you, Monsieur.
Welcome, Monsieur, to our poor country...
...full of miserable protestants.
The pleasure is mine, My Lady.
This way.
I'm sure Your Majesty
appreciates that
while the Duke is most
sympathetic to your faith
it is simply not possible
for my master
to convert to
the Protestant religion.
We would not ask it of the heir
to the throne of France, Monsieur.
I do not
know you well, ma'am,
but I know you would never
make a Catholic.
You do me great honor,
My master the Duke is not one
to make issue of his beliefs.
Then he and I
are well suited.
We understand the Duke
seeks an annual income of...
60,000, madam.
Which the Council
has rejected.
Are we to talk
terms here, Robin?
Or do you think to drown my marriage
prospects in "No, maybe, perhaps"?
Let us continue to talk...
...walk with me.
My master was
so eager to see you.
I said to him, "But, Sir,
the Queen is waiting."
We are ourselves somewhat anxious,
dear Sir.
So when will he arrive?
He is already
on the boat, madam.
- What?
- We have come in disguise, Your Majesty.
Oh Monsieur, of course,
excuse me... no?
- No.
- No?
I wish to present
His Highness Francois,
Duke of Alencon and Anjou.
Brother of the most
Christian King,
Henry III,
King of France.
We are most pleased
to make you welcome, Monsieur.
I cannot move, madam.
I am dazzled
by your beauty.
So do you think
your queen like our master?
Much hangs on the result
of our conversation.
Oh, our every glance will
be weighed and discussed.
A man and a woman were never
at less risk of being natural.
I am not even supposed
to be here, Elizabeth.
And yet...
I have never felt
more natural.
And I too.
Both of us, I fancy, have spent
so long in the glare of court gossip
that... that privacy
seems unnatural.
- Mistress Val Leseur?
- No, sir.
Lady Anne?
Where is everybody?
Where is Her Majesty?
We understand
she is at Greenwich.
She spends
much time there.
The air is good there.
- What?
- Good Air.
And why are you
not with her?
That is indeed
a very good question.
My Lord?
I think it may be that...
Simier's Master
has arrived.
At Greenwich?
The Queen
is ready to be wooed.
Why should he not
be here, my lord?
Is it any
concern of yours?
You know my concern,
Lord Burghley.
I counsel
out of love for her.
This marriage
will not go.
Her heart
will be broken.
Not yours.
Or his, if he had one.
Personally I never
cared for the Dutch.
I find them common.
But you came to their aid.
They are a nation
of shoemakers, ma'am.
But I would rather have
them than the Spanish.
And besides,
they are Protestant...
and I have this weakness
for Protestants.
Does it extend to becoming
a Protestant yourself?
My Catholic relations
are far worse than yours.
They keep trying
to kill me.
- Mary, Queen of Scots.
- Ah.
You charming
French Cousin.
When she was betrothed
to my elder brother Francis
who was to be
the King of France,
it seemed most romantic.
But of course
Mary was only five.
Poor little thing.
She was Queen of France after all!
Queen of France,
then Queen of Scotland
and now...
she's nothing.
The park's deserted.
Empty of Frenchmen.
The duller for it then.
Why did you hide it
from me, Bess?
Can I not keep my counsel
if I choose?
Am I bound to you, sir?
If you cannot read my silence
then you are nothing.
So what manner of man
is this Duke d'Anjou?
- He is personable.
- Oh.
We like him well.
So you'll help him
retake the Netherlands?
Can you not
wish me happy, Robin?
Would my contentment
be such a burden to you?
I swear, I did not think it
would ever be granted me,
but these
last few weeks l...
- I cannot lie to you, madam.
- There's a new failing in you.
This marriage must not be.
When we were young and fair,
and favor graced us,
I sought you for my wife.
But you spurned me.
You said "Go.
Go seek some otherwhere.
Importune me no more."
And now...
And now?
Now would you bid me
hide a passion...
when a passion's caught me?
Late fruit of the tree,
a breath away from withering.
I pray you do not work on your brothers
in the council in this matter.
That is my stern command.
I am not allowed
to dance with her.
I understand, I am not yet
one of her intimates.
But this?
Is this still necessary?
Am I to go out in a veil
like a Saracen's wife?
Officially, Monsieur,
you are not here.
Unfortunately the Earl of Leicester
is not the only Protestant...
...in this miserable country.
Does the fellow
not dance?
The Court watches us
too closely.
How many hours
you and I...
...Have wasted dancing.
- Don't say wasted, Bess.
Each dance was worth
a lifetime's wait.
Don't marry him, Bess,
he's a dull fellow.
It's a pity...
...she is quite pretty.
Look at her,
simpering like a girl.
Does she love you still?
That may change.
Seems I am carrying
your child.
Give welcome to his Grace,
the Duke of Anjou.
He is of the most
Royal House of France
and we graciously
receive him here
as suitor to our hand
in marriage.
I am most glad to be welcomed
to the English court.
Louder, you dogs!
Is not this
what you wanted?
Is this gentleman
not to your liking?
Must I consult you all before I find out
whether he is to mine?
Monsieur, le Duke.
Why do we still waste so much time
on this matter, gentlemen?
The French clown
should be sent packing!
My Lord of Leicester,
may I remind you we are
but Her Majesty's Council?
We follow the Queen.
Her Majesty doesn't
seriously contemplate...
She is taken
with the Duke, sir.
- Huh!
- I say she is taken with him.
And the security of our nation
demands this match.
What security?
An alliance with France
will protect us from Spain.
The Catholic powers
in Europe...
Are the natural
enemies of England.
Anjou invaded the Netherlands
as the protector of the Dutch Protestants.
Was he though?
My lord, I have doubts
as to his sincerity.
- I'm sorry?
- Whatever his motives...
he was thrashed
by the Spanish General.
The Duke of Parma
destroyed him.
He may simply be using us
to regain his lands in Holland.
The question
of the security...
If we forge an alliance
with France...
We will put our religion
in the gravest of dangers.
The Frenchman is not
serious in his affections.
Marriage to our Queen is
not something he desires...
except insofar as it may
further his ambitions.
She is far older than him anyway,
and I don't think...
I'm minded to box
your ears, Leicester.
Your Majesty.
Do you think no one could
be interested in our person?
Are we so unattractive?
Your Majesty is old
only in years.
Why I could dash off the points
of a dance on that table.
I could be brisk
or grave or gay.
I could be as suave
as a courtier.
Or as sulky as a member
of the Privy Council.
The Queen is as young as
the wives none of you deserve.
I am so sorry,
I would stay but...
the Duke of Anjou craves
my attendance at dinner.
I must ask you this...
are you minded
to take me as a husband,
in all seriousness?
You know that during
your stay, l...
Ma'am, I am as anxious as
you to avoid the tyrannies
of too much certainty
in religion.
But I am a Catholic.
And this is
a Protestant People.
I have not yet seen
open hatred for me, but...
If it is not possible,
I will understand.
I think you understand
what it is I have begun
to feel for you.
Indeed I do, ma'am.
Indeed I do.
But we are born to the same life,
you and I, Elizabeth,
in which even our gestures
are not are own.
Does not a prince feel?
Does he not have hands,
eyes, a tongue, and...
a disposition to be loved?
He does, ma'am.
And if you do,
shall we not dare to risk
the displeasure of others?
I have asked the Earl of Leicester
not to approach Your Majesty, but...
Your Majesty, l...
Your Grace...
forgive me.
I had no idea you were here.
But I have some papers
which I felt...
Her Majesty should see.
Instructions in the art
of courtship, perhaps?
Who wrote this?
There is no name, ma'am.
I felt you should
see it since...
What exactly have they written?
"Advancing in years
as she is..."
Oh, I don't know.
"...our Queen has no need to tie
herself to an odd fellow,
a Frenchman by birth,
by profession a papist,
and an atheist
in conversation,
an instrument in France
of unclean..."
This is a most
serious insult
to our royal guest
and ally.
We shall return
to Whitehall
and we will have the author
of this vile rubbish
found an punished.
You have my word for it, Monsieur.
We shall proceed
with this marriage.
We would have
the papers prepared.
What profit did you think
to gain by this, my lord?
I did but...
- Bring me news I did
not wish to hear.
Men have been hanged
for less.
We will proceed.
This is agreeable?
It is why I am here,
- Find me the man who wrote this.
- Yes, ma'am.
This fellow Stubbs is the one
who wrote the pamphlet.
He is a dog.
And I keep my dogs tethered.
He seems quite
The crowd are silent.
English do not like
public torture?
Usually their preferred way
of passing an afternoon.
I did what I did
for love of Her Majesty.
As an Englishman,
I love her beyond all else.
And if I dared speak against
the French marriage
it was only to show
the love we all hold for her person.
Perhaps they would
enjoy it more
if it was a French hand
being chopped off.
God save the Queen!
I have here the hand
of a true Englishman
who loves his Queen
and his country.
He loves me enough to insult me,
like so many men.
It would appear that the people
have little stomach for this marriage.
Death to the French!
Then the Queen
has little stomach for the people.
As we talk of marriage,
how is you wife, my lord?
Is she well?
Your... wife, Robin?
I understood that you
and Lady Essex are married
and that she carries
your child.
Oh, you son of a whore!
Your Majesty,
you must know that...
Know what, my lord?
...that I would never
have taken a wife
if there were but a chance
you would smile upon my suit.
I never...
I never wish to see
your face again.
My heart still runs
on you, I swear it.
Be off before I hang you,
I am minded to hang you now!
- With my own hands, too!
- Bess.
Get out of my sight!
We forbid you access
to our presence.
You are no longer
welcome at our court.
Be gone, sir.
You ask to know my inclination
as to the French marriage?
Your Majesty,
your subjects seek
only your happiness
and if it is
what you seek,
all we would urge you
is that if the voice of the people...
You all know my mind.
Could there be any more security
for my reign and my realm
than that I should marry
and have a child
and continue the line
of my father King Henry VIII?
Have I not been told
by you and you and you
that I should do as other women do
and get me an heir?
Yes, but the people...
Do you imagine I do not
want a child?
Do you imagine I do not have
the desire to hold a babe in mine arms?
Am I so unnatural to you
by virtue of my exalted position?
Now I have at last found a man
that is both royal
and to my liking,
may I not...
Am I made of stone,
And so...
Some princes do not
deserve their subjects.
It is the opposite
case with you, madam.
A courtier
and a scholar
and a poet
and a woman
of great beauty.
It is the last compliment
I shall treasure, my lord.
You know well what it is
that separates us.
It is the public practice of the Roman
religions... sticks in their hearts.
There is no prince in the world
to whom I would rather be bound
or with whom I would rather
spend the days of my life.
"I grieve and dare not
show my discontent.
I love and yet I'm forced
to seem to hate.
I do yet dare not say
I ever meant.
I seem stark mute,
yet inwardly do prate.
I am and I'm not.
I freeze yet am burned.
Since from myself
another self I turn.
My care is like
my shadow in the sun.
It follows me flying,
flies when I pursue it,
stands and lies by me,
does what I have done.
Or let me live
with some more sweet content,
or die.
And so forget
what love ere meant."
Well England,
the Queen is all yours.
Seven years later
Ah, Francis.
Your Queen has been
on progress, good people,
but she is glad
to be again home.
She should be kept
from the people.
Should she be?
Has she not need
of their love?
- I mean, with Leicester gone...
- Intelligence from Rome.
Not half as glad, it may be said,
as the lords who entertained her,
since they are relieved of the expense
of her entertainments.
She must be told.
But when?
And which of us
should tell her?
I'll tell her
straight, my lord.
I have the right face
for bad news.
...While people feast at
the expense of the nobility,
then there is hope
for England yet, eh?
- Your Majesty?
- Sir Francis.
News from Rome, madam.
No good news then.
His holiness...
declares you a heretic,
excommunicates you
and says that for all good Catholics
killing you
would be no murder.
Your Majesty! Your Majesty!
Your Majesty!
- Make way... make way.
- Get back.
- Make way, I say.
- Make way!
Let Her Majesty pass!
And am I supposed to return
the compliment
and slaughter them
where I find them?
It means His Holiness
to put a Catholic
upon the English throne.
He'll have to push
me off it first.
There are those who
would help him, madam.
Philip of Spain was ever anxious
to do the Pope's bidding.
He does not lace his shoes
without a Papal dispensation.
So we may expect him,
Or he may work through
loyal friends closer to home.
- Your cousin Mary...
- And you would have me act?
Strike, strike and strike again,
eh, Francis?
When the occasion
calls for it, Francis,
I will strike.
My lord... you may
remember this gentlemen.
He made the attempt
on Her Majesty's life.
He's a Catholic
and he's known to those
who know the so-called
Scottish Queen.
He will now help us
lead that devilish...
scheming woman
to betray herself in a way that Her Majesty
will not be able to ignore.
you will reveal to us
the conspiracies
in the mind
of this evil woman?
What if Her Majesty
Queen Mary
has no thoughts of conspiracy
in her head?
She will have them.
I am lately come
from the Presence.
I was within a sword's length of her
on two occasions.
Sir Anthony, speak lower
I beseech you.
What, Father Ballard?
Would not half this place
applaud our design?
To kill Elizabeth will be no murder.
- We will...
- What we will
is not yet decided,
Sir Anthony.
As I take it, you seek
to approach the Queen of Scotland.
Mary, the rightful Queen of England,
should I say, sir?
It seems you know everything.
And you also know I now
have the Pope's authority.
And there are plans
for the Spanish King
to invade England
on Queen Mary's behalf.
- When the occasion is right.
- Now is the occasion.
I have gathered about me
a group of Catholic gentlemen
who have sworn to free Mary
and take Queen Elizabeth's life.
No, we will slay her,
and then when
the King of Spain invades
we will place her cousin Mary of Scots
on the English throne.
Master Gifford tells me
you will approach
our Spanish friends.
I will let them know
of your design.
Good day, Babington.
The Duke of Anjou
is dead, Your Majesty.
we are sorry
to hear of it.
And so it seems the French
have made their peace with Spain.
King Philip has sent the Duke
of Parma against the Dutch.
His plan will be
to finish them,
then move against England.
To which end King Philip
builds an armada...
a fleet,
the largest ever seen.
Is there any good news?
I feel a knife
at my neck once more.
Our intelligences have revealed
a new conspiracy here in England.
- Sir Anthony Babington.
- Babington?
He may have ties not only
with the Spanish, but also with...
Your cousin Mary,
so-called Queen of Scots.
All I require, madam,
is the evidence.
These are hard times.
And no one to talk to,
no one in whom I can confide.
We have recalled
the Earl of Leicester.
Oh gentlemen,
these long faces you put on.
Is it any wonder
I crave amusement?
I have sent for the Earl of Leicester,
and he will come to court
no matter how long
your faces grow.
Faster, faster,
Tell me the difference
between love and friendship.
- There is none.
- How do you reckon that, my lord?
Well, we are here
walking arm in arm.
My marriage was forced on me, Bess.
Since I could not
marry you.
But what I felt
for you then,
I still feel.
And the case is not altered
with me, my lord.
I married to have
an heir, Bess.
And we had but one child.
A son.
He was but seven years old
when God took him from us...
even this year.
Oh, Robin...
what is it
the world does to us?
I have his things still...
his clothes,
his little suit of armor.
I can't seem to...
Forgive me, Your Majesty.
Well, Brother Leicester,
you must continue
to be my eyes,
for you see things
so clearly.
Here too, children is all.
For I have none
and therefore no successor,
and the vultures gather.
Mary of Scots...
Mary of France or Mary
of whoever will have her.
If I kill my cousin Mary then
the Spanish will declare war.
But if I leave her alive...
She will be obliged
to kill you...
to save her soul
and free her body.
So says Francis Walsingham.
He sifts the evidence and draws
the trap ever tighter round her.
- Her own son has betrayed her.
- How so?
King James VI of Scotland is now
a pensioner of the English crown.
England pays the wages
of the King of Scotland.
Bess, you are formidable.
The Scottish Queen
is little pleased by it.
Oh, I missed
Court intrigues.
I did hear you were
planning to help the Dutch
with military aid
against the Spanish.
You know, I've longed
to serve you.
- If the Netherlands fall...
- No no no. You are not to go, Robin.
I have not had you
with me these seven years.
I need you here by my side,
alive if possible.
Years ago there was a plan
that Mary and I should meet.
It was years and years ago.
It came to nothing.
And you wish
to revive it.
If I were to visit her,
it would have to be in secret,
for all at court
would argue against it.
- But it could be done, I imagine.
- Mm-hmm.
All these conspiracies
have her at the center.
Why should I not reason
with her, my lord?
If I cannot dissuade her
from the courses she is on
what else can I do
but seek her death,
upon which the whole world
will break about my ears?
It is not too late
to turn her.
Oh, tell me that is true,
for I would have it so.
Bess, you have the great weakness
of the clear minded.
You believe that other people
think like you.
I will arrange it.
So this is her prison.
Stand down the guard,
my lord.
- Where is she?
- Follow me.
- I heard she's grown fat.
- Mmm.
Well, she's had little else
to do but eat and sleep.
And plot,
Your Majesty.
Let us hope sweet reason
will reason her from her unreason.
Since we both know, my lord,
that the other way will lead
my sister to her death.
And on the other side of that
lies war with Spain...
for which poor England
is ill prepared.
You were not announced.
I'm not here.
Why do you come?
Is it curiosity?
To witness
my confinement?
To see what you
have brought me to?
As you see,
I am not well.
Perhaps this
pleases you.
Was it I who brought
you to this, Mary?
Who else?
I am more your friend
than you imagine.
I am the only thing that stands
between you and destruction.
Royalty stands
with itself, madam.
Who else will stand
with us or for us?
We serve the people, Mary.
I am a little bored
with the people.
I think it is time we sent out
for a different set of subjects.
Well, this is what my dog thinks.
- I am come to warn you.
- Of what?
There are those on my council
who would have you dead.
They say you conspire
against my life.
Your Majesty knows
I have never...
Sir Francis Walsingham
gathers evidence.
Of what?
And if I am given proof
I will have no choice
but to take the sin of your death...
the death of
a God-anointed queen...
upon my head.
No, you would not dare.
I would have no choice.
There will be war,
cousin, on my death.
A war of Spain
and France
against this little...
Vile country, nest of
Lutheran chickens?
I do not choose
to stay here.
Well, who would have you?
Or your
oh-so-grateful son?
You are hard, madam.
It's the business of living
that has made me so.
Oh, you cast a cold eye
upon me, cousin.
We are both prisoners
of the time, you and I.
Both prisoners?
Then shall we two
walk free together?
I say again,
I am come to warn...
No, I am...
I am come to counsel you.
I am come
to implore you.
I am come to beg you
not to persist
in your treason.
I swear to you, cousin,
that I have no
intent against you.
That all I seek
is liberty.
I pray to God the death
of one of us is not
the only way to buy
the freedom of the other.
We shall see.
At last I am able
to fight your cause.
The Dutch.
What in God's name do we
have in common with the Dutch?
Our religion, ma'am.
The Dutch have no religion,
they have cheese.
If we do not contain
the Duke of Parma
and his Spanish army
he'll be knocking at our door
by the end of the year.
I can't tell you how I appreciate
this command, madam.
And how I value
your trust in me.
You are a fireside
general, Robin.
- I would have you by my side.
- Bess!
My cousin Mary plots against
my life and you leave me.
Ah, the Earl of Essex,
my stepson, ma'am.
I have given him
a command.
Is that
Lady Essex's son?
'Tis, ma'am.
He fights alongside me.
He's grown
into a pretty youth.
Your Majesty.
I see a world
in your eyes.
They... they outshine
the stars.
You turn an excellent compliment
for one so young, my lord.
If I may return it,
it is rare to find such...
gifted with the power
of self-expression.
Come along, sir.
Oh well, off you go.
And don't the pair of you
look valiant indeed?
Farewell, my Bess.
Come back safely.
The Dutch.
Heaven help us.
You have news?
From Holland.
The Earl of Leicester
is safe.
Madam, we have
intercepted a coded letter
from the so-called
Queen of Scots
to Sir Anthony
Copy of the original,
and here...
the transcript.
There, and here.
"The affair being thus prepared
and forces in readiness
both within and without
the realm,
then will it be time
to set the six gentlemen...
to work on
the Queen's murder."
She gave me her word.
Proof positive that she...
conspires against you, madam.
How came you
by these letters?
Do we have someone of ours
in her confidence?
And if so, is this
his scheme or hers?
These gentlemen approached her,
Your Majesty.
And she has countenanced their scheme
and given it her encouragement.
This is plain evidence
she seeks your death.
As you do wish for hers, Sir Francis.
You've already marked it with the gallows.
Or did Queen Mary make
that mark herself?
There is no lie or counterfeit
laid here before you, madam.
And though it call down
the wrath of Spain upon us,
I say, she should
be dealt with.
I will not move
precipitately, sir.
The Spanish build ships
these last years
and we have none
to put against them.
I will not
move too soon.
I will write to
the Earl of Leicester.
the Earl's view, madam,
we must advise you that...
I am subject of plots
and conspiracies
and all I have to defend me
is you and...
sad old Lord Burghley!
I want Leicester!
Bring him home!
The army, madam,
have need of their general.
So... your spy,
our spy...
who is he, Walsingham?
The young man who once
tried to kill you, madam.
We turned him.
I have done what I have
done for your safety, madam.
Mary of Scotland
is a traitor.
Do you think because I am slow
to make war, that I am merciful?
You think women are kinder
than a man or more gentle?
I'll tell you, gentlemen,
we women have forgotten
more about cruelty than you
could ever remember.
What we do not like is lies.
Why should I not
hang you
as well as the fellow Catholics
you've duped? And I tell you, sir,
we'll hang them not a whit before
we cut them open for a traitor's death.
and shadows...
of shadows.
Being alive is punishment enough
for this creature.
For the others,
kill them as I have said.
I want them alive when you cut out
their heart and their bowels!
I mourn more for the death
of one good and faithful man
than I do for 20 traitors.
And now with those I love
across the seas
risking their lives
for my life,
I tell you I want to hang
those conspirators myself!
Oh, I am made of
cruel passions, my lord!
And when the time is right will so act
on them as to astonish the world.
I have love
and compassion too.
And as I can punish,
so can I yearn...
for those who are
true and faithful and...
and who love me according
to my true deserts
as their Queen.
Hang him! Hang him!
Queen Mary must be
brought to trial.
To try an anointed
sovereign, sir,
is no light matter.
The Earl of Leicester would
be in favor of a trial, madam.
Oh, really?
Well, shall we ask him?
My lord, how goes
it in Holland?
We seek your opinion
on an urgent matter.
- Madam, we must...
- How busily my subjects
set about to see
a Queen laid low.
Well, let it be done then.
Let it be done.
But I would have it done
with an eye
to the justice
of the thing.
All Europe watches us,
my lords.
And waits to see
how we will serve
my perjured Catholic cousin.
In nomine patris et filii
et spiritus sancti.
I am an anointed Queen.
And not subject to the ordinary
laws of England.
Madam, in England
a free prince
is subject to our laws.
Would you prefer to be tried
in your absence, lady?
I am no subject, sir.
And would die a thousand deaths
rather than acknowledge myself to be one.
But go to it...
for I see you are
all determined.
This letter
to Sir Anthony
Is forged.
I would not dare
make shipwreck of my soul
by compassing the death
of my dear sister.
Dear, indeed.
Yet we have proof positive
this is your hand
and given out by you.
So she is judged guilty.
By a fair trial, madam.
And both Lords and Commons
humbly petition Your Majesty
that you may pass
sentence of death upon her.
Oh, this goes hard with me.
What will my enemies not say that
for the safety of her own life
a maiden Queen
could be content
to spill the blood
even of her own kinswoman?
I may therefore
well complain
that any man might
think me given to cruelty
wherever I'm so guiltless
and so innocent.
Nay I'm so far from it that for mine
own life I would not touch her.
I pray you accept
my thankfulness,
excuse my
and take in good part
my answer, answerless.
Madam, this business
must be settled.
Both Lords and Commons
must needs have it so.
They are most passionate
in this wish, ma'am.
I will not sign the warrant.
I care not if you lay it before me
every day for a whole year
I tell you
I will not sign it.
We will remove
to our palace at Richmond.
Richmond! Vascillation,
Is it really him?
I think it is,
Your Majesty.
On whose side is he in this matter
of the Queen of Scotland?
I imagine he is on the side
of the Earl of Leicester.
I have failed you, Bess.
Things did not
go well for us.
What did I tell you?
You said I was
a fireside general.
And was I right?
You're always
right, Bess.
The Spanish have a clever
general in the Duke of Parma.
Now that the States
of Holland are theirs,
I fear they may think
the time is right to attack.
You are not well.
- You are tired?
- Am I?
- Sit.
- I am in the best of health, ma'am.
How could I be otherwise
when I'm looking at you?
Well, Leicester,
I have need of you.
- In what way, ma'am?
- Our cousin Mary, of course.
Both the Lords and Commons
set about me with
petitions for her death.
- It is not possible for me...
- Bess.
I cannot lie to you.
The Scottish Queen
must die.
There is her death warrant,
and all it requires
is my signature,
Master Davison.
Suffer or strike,
is that not the message
sent to me by the council?
Even Leicester
betrays me.
Her son
suggests I grant him
the succession
to take away the sting of killing
the woman who bore him.
Now there's a son
who loves his mother, eh?
This is a person
of royal blood.
This is our father's
sister's child.
Do you understand what
that means, Davison?
This is our cousin.
And what a pretty thing
the family is.
How it breeds love
and tenderness in the child.
How it trains us in sweetness
and honesty and affection.
There, easily done.
She is to be beheaded
at Fotheringay.
This is the last
I wish to hear of it.
As to the manner of her death
she is to be accorded
the privileges of someone
of royal blood.
I do not wish
to hear of it.
But someone is to give me
an account of it when it is done.
Do not give that
to the council until I say.
As for now, it is as if I never
signed it, do you understand?
- L...
- Now leave me!
Why should Her Majesty ask a man
of no great experience
to bring this document
to her for signature?
- An then...
- She chose him deliberately, my lords.
She wants the woman dead
but she cannot bear to give the order.
This was ever her way.
Sideways, sideways, sideways.
The Earl of Leicester is right.
We must all put our hand
to this order of execution,
or else I tell you,
we will all hang.
You and I have had
our quarrels, my lord,
but may I say,
we have need of wise
politicians at court.
Now who will witness
the execution
and tell her
the deed is done?
I will do it myself.
Don't cry for me...
...you promised me, Jane.
Pardon me, ma'am.
I hope that you shall bring
an end to all my troubles.
the color of
the Catholic martyr.
In nomine patris et filii
- et spiritus...
- Lord, have mercy on this sinner.
We pray according
to the reformed prayer book.
That our Lord gives help
to the helpless,
hope to the hopeless.
Lord, stay within us.
In the name of the Father,
the Son and the Holy Ghost...
I shed my blood
- for the ancient Catholic religion.
God save the Queen.
- God save the Queen.
- How can I ever tell the Queen of this?
How can I tell her
and keep her love?
Ah, Walsingham!
It is done. Will you...
will you tell her?
As you wish,
my Lord.
Forgive me.
Oh, Sir Francis, I did
not see you there.
do not stop, ma'am.
What is that?
Is someone married?
I think someone has died,
Your Majesty.
Who has died?
A very great traitor, madam.
Mary of Scotland.
Who ordered this?
I rather think
you did, Majesty.
Dead by my orders?
Oh... oh my...
Oh, you!
Where is the Earl
of Leicester?
Get me Leicester!
Your Majesty.
Why could you not
have stopped this?
I'll hang Davison,
you hear me?
And you too,
if you show your face!
- This is your Robin.
- Take him away!
Take him away!
Oh my God!
Oh, God forgive me.
- Oh God!
- Bess!
Stand aside.
O Lord...
Thou has set me on high.
If I swell against Thee
pluck me down in my conceit.
Though I have taken a life
the life of an anointed Queen.
Oh God, forgive me.
God, forgive me.
God, forgive me.
You are angry with me, madam.
That you of all people should
fail to understand
the case
in which I stood.
That went hard
with me, my lord.
I saw her die.
How did she die?
In truth, there were things
there that were done
not as they should
have been done.
She was denied
her rosary.
And they denied her
her priest.
This will not be in the report
the council gives you, but...
there were two...
- strokes of the axe...
- No, enough!
I tell you the truth
as I saw it.
yes, you do.
I know you do.
If I'd heard that
from another's lips...
but you were right
to say it.
I must remember who I am
and learn humility.
Before God,
what are the stumblings
and offences of my life?
What is there
between you and I?
What's a crown when
love's voice speaks to us?
None of the others
would have dared do
what you have done.
We must not.
Robin, we cannot.
There will be war.
Philip of Spain will
move to avenge her.
We must be strong,
both of us.
And since friendship
outlasts love,
and is stronger
than love...
let us be friends.
Will I be able
to fight, my lord?
I fear we shall all
have to fight, sir.
Will I be able to meet
Her Majesty again?
That, sir, is why
I brought you here.
Make way for the Earl.
I fear there are more important
matters at court today.
- Sir, make way, sir.
- My lord.
The Spanish Ambassador...
Don Bernadino.
Since our peace emissaries
have been withdrawn from Spain,
I see you're leaving us.
I have said farewell
to your heretic Queen.
The murderer
of her sister Mary.
When our fleet lands...
she will burn,
with all the other
And we will have
a new Queen in England.
Yourself perhaps.
You will apologize for speaking
of the Queen in that fashion.
Calm, sir.
Now, remember this.
Her favor changes
with her moods.
She is a woman.
But if you love her...
and I say this to you
as a father...
- love her constancy.
- We will consider this petition.
- For it is there.
- My lords.
Lady Anne.
Your Majesty.
You asked to see
the Earl of Essex.
We have need of young men
like the Earl of Essex.
How so, ma'am?
- Because you are so...
- Elegant?
Make that bow again.
There, you see, Leicester,
he never bows the same way twice.
Now that is a mark
of true sincerity.
I could have bent my mind
to a more retired course, ma'am,
and stayed in the country.
The country is very pretty.
But I do not like
to be dead.
Well, you'll have to learn more
of the ways of court, sir.
Now your stepfather and I
must talk of graver matters.
So the Spanish
fleet is assembled?
Their ships are said
to number more than 100.
- Father.
- Robert.
The last hope
for peace is gone.
The negotiations were...
Well, at least
I have you at home.
Perhaps it's
for the best.
We will throw them back
from whence they came.
So the Earl of Leicester will
be in charge of the land forces.
We'll set our army at Tilbury
where the Duke of Parma is like to land.
We have precious few trained
men to put against him.
Let's hope you do better
against him there
- than you did in Holland, Robin.
- Thank you, ma'am.
Their vessels are
too heavy in the water.
We will dog them
from the Lizard
and we will destroy them
before they get to Calais.
And when I do, ma'am, I swear they will
wish themselves back at Lisbon
kissing pictures
of the Pope's foot.
It has been suggested that Her Majesty
be removed to a place of safety.
You may hide in a hole in the ground
if you so wish, Lord Burghley,
I intend to be there
to meet them if they come.
A hundred ships.
What shall
I say to those
who are prepared to fight
and die on my behalf?
Your Majesty...
will give them courage.
And breathe scorn
on the invader.
The only words
I have for them
are love for them
and this...
this their sacrifice,
unwarlike woman
that I am.
Can that really be so?
Good morning, my lord.
I could swear
Your Majesty
had the heart
and stomach of a King.
Oh, Robin.
- Robin, you are not well.
- Excuse me, Your Majesty.
All is well.
I pray you.
Bring him over.
Do you lead me like
a groom, my lord,
to let England know you have
no designs to be my equal?
From where will
Your Majesty speak?
Why, from my heart
of course.
How long have you been
in the army, good man?
One month, Your Majesty.
Well, I'll wager you are
a very terror with that fork.
God save the Queen!
God save the Queen!
God Save the Queen!
Armies are not made
by their equipment, my lord.
Why have you persuaded
me to wear this?
It suits you
very well, ma'am.
I am among my people
who love me
and among whom I am
proud to die if I have to.
God save the Queen!
God save the Queen!
My loving people...
My loving people.
We have been persuaded by some
that are careful of our safety
to take care how we walk
among armed multitudes.
But I assure you
I do not desire
to live to distrust
my faithful and loving people.
Let tyrants fear.
I have always so
behaved myself that...
that under God I have
placed my chiefest strength
and safeguard
in the loyal hearts and goodwill
of all my subjects.
I am come among you
as you see at this time
not for my disport
or recreation
but resolved in the midst
and the heat of the battle
to live or die
among you all.
To lay down for my God,
for my kingdom
and for my people
my honor and my blood...
even in the dust!
I know...
I know I have the body
but of a weak
and feeble woman.
But I have the heart
and stomach of a king.
And of a King
of England too!
And I...
and I think it foul scorn
that Parma or Spain
or any prince of Europe
dare invade the borders
of my realm!
God save the Queen!
God save the Queen!
I'd be much happier if Your Majesty
returned to London.
The Spanish Fleet
is in the Channel.
We've had reports that
Parma may cross tonight.
Which may mean
that Drake...
Drake has the wind
behind him, Robin.
He will set his ships among them and they
will rue the day they ever came to England.
You're not well. This has taken
its toll of you. You should rest.
Oh, I'm...
- Reports of a ship, Your Majesty.
- Where?
Coming up the river.
Come, sir.
One of ours,
or one of theirs?
One of ours,
Your Majesty.
If the news was good
they were to put out flags.
Both white and black.
- Your colors.
- Well, have they?
Not yet.
The day is ours, ma'am.
My lord.
- Majesty!
- Robin!
See to the Earl.
- Robin!
- My lord.
A hard-won victory.
Oh, Robin, here.
I want to talk to you
about my stepson.
The young
Earl of Essex?
I am not his
natural father...
There are those
who say that you are.
Oh, Bess.
Lechery does not
interest me, Robin.
Love on the other hand...
Is that what it is
between us?
Oh yes.
And it is very proper.
I am glad to hear
you say it is love.
and is.
There are those who say
I was of the calculating kind.
But what I felt for you
I could not help.
Sometimes it...
did not help
my cause at all.
But truth be told...
it was as constant
as the heavens.
When I lost my way
it guided me
as stars...
do sailors.
No, I beg you,
do not weep.
You spoke of your son?
Of Essex.
He is all
the son I have.
I bade him hither.
May he approach?
Sir, your father
needs you.
Take care of her,
young man.
She needs...
Iooking after.
To be so strong
for so many people...
is not easy.
And I will not be there.
My love.
You will be with me
always, Robin.
I am for the dark, Bess.
My life is done.
Be careful of each other.
I stand here before you
among the captured
banners of our enemies,
and yet, in victory,
I say we still shall
humble ourselves
before our God
and our people.
We are mindful
that we have lost
a personnage...
who was most dear to us.
One who should
stand here with us today.
And as we commend
his soul to Heaven...
we turn ourselves
to our only solace,
which is the people
of this our England.
And let them know they may
have yet a greater Prince,
but they shall never
have a more loving one.
Next Time
Great things hang on a kiss, Robin,
when princes are involved.
I am in danger about
signing the Queen's Majesty.
My lord, I would
beg you to be careful.
Oh, my ladies
love to look at you.
Do you think the Queen
is mistress of her feelings?
I have offended you.
What I must not say
is that I love you.
We have
no need of that.
The look on your face
tells the queen
all she needs to know
about hers.
The looking glass
is banished
from our palace.
That one.
And those.
And that one and that one.
All gone.
This Accession Day is the 30th
since you came to the throne.
Your knights will fight
each other for your favor.
Perhaps he will follow this
by disappearing.
30 years a queen...
26 when she became one.
- That means she is...
- Astonishingly young.
Although not
as astonishingly young
as the Earl of Essex, Father.
He's a rising star, gentlemen.
We must learn to live with him.
What precisely are his talents?
I never can remember.
I hear he has
very expressive eyes.
After his father died
I was happy to have him
in my care,
but I could not say
I know him.
I, Sir Eglantine
of the Grange,
beg you to desist
from being the champion
of our glorious queen.
I love the Queen more
than you ever will, young man.
Stand aside,
for I am "Sir Greatheart,"
the sweetest knight
in all chivalry.
Sir Walter Raleigh's
knightly character
is obviously not based
upon his own.
Easy, easy.
Ah, Walsingham's daughter
seems quite an admirer
of the earl.
Kneel, boy!
Today it is Walter
that wears our favor.
My favor, Sir Walter.
Your Majesty.
I see every fool
must have a favor.
I'll call on you, sir,
for your apology.
- Shall I?
- No, no, no.
Dogs must have blood
somehow, my lord.
Lady Frances Walsingham
is wearing a very pretty dress.
One would think
Sir Francis's daughter
wishes to be
the center of attention.
The court of
Lady Frances Walsingham.
We could compose
anthems in her honor.
Your Majesty...
Come ladies, we are going to watch
the Earl of Essex
at his favorite pastime,
which is trying to kill people,
and Frances,
you will walk with me.
Yes, Essex.
That's it.
You look pale,
Good parry!
Anything the matter?
Whom do you favor,
Sir Walter or Essex?
Guard up!
Do you approve
of dueling, Frances?
- It is forbi...
- It is forbidden,
as are so many
other things.
Well done, sir!
Well done!
Pull his great heart down.
Do you not come out
on my side, ma'am?
No, no, no.
You must be checked.
Men like you
must be ruled,
as was the Earl
of Leicester in the end.
I am always
your servant, ma'am.
I do believe
you are.
Oh, but you're
Oh, I must dress
your wounds myself.
If I have offended
Your Majesty, l...
I ever loved
a loser, Wal-ter.
Fetch dressings, Frances.
Go on. Run, girl.
We are going to the Earl of Leicester's
apartments, ma'am?
Yes, they're yours now.
You like my present?
You like his rooms?
- Very much!
- Yes.
The Earl of Leicester
had excellent taste.
They're expensively
You like expensive things
and you have nothing but debts.
Well, go on.
They're yours now.
Everything I have
is yours.
Well, let us pretend
that it is yours.
It will spice up the act
of crossing the threshold.
Oh, you are looking
at my ankle, Essex.
Well, Your Majesty has
a very well-shaped ankle...
...and a perfect figure.
Yes, well, I have
a grateful nation
at my insides.
- Anne...
- Yes, ma'am.
Sit. We must
bind up your wounds.
We have no need
of you, Dr. Lopez.
Oh, you look like
a naughty schoolboy.
Why should you not like
that foolish girl?
I can see
that you like her.
- No, she's nothing...
- Nothing compared to me.
I know.
You're very
kind, ma'am.
I could be
even kinder.
Your Majesty knows
that my love for you...
Is not simply
a need for my favor?
How do I know that?
Mmm. Possibly.
You seem
sincere enough.
Great things
hang on a kiss, Robin,
when princes
are involved...
but you'd better
kiss me again.
Well, let us hear of your
proposed expedition.
It is not precisely
our proposed expedition,
Your Majesty.
Lord Burghley, do not distance yourself
from my displeasure
until you know
that I am displeased.
It may be a very good proposition,
for all I know.
Portugal is
occupied by Spain.
Their exiled
King Don Antonio
is therefore, on our side
against the Spanish.
Our thought was that
before the Spanish recover
from the loss of the Armada,
we attempt...
We should attempt
to reinstate
our friend Don Antonio
on the throne of Portugal...
- Precisely.
- Send a military expedition?
It may be
a sound notion.
If we succeeded,
Portugal would be ours
and we would control the Spanish
trade routes to the Americas.
Your Majesty is able
to read the minds
of her advisers.
Well, that is not
so difficult,
especially since you spend
all of your time trying to read mine.
You have my approval.
Do not inform
the Earl of Essex.
If he hears of it,
tell him
he is, under
no circumstances to go.
What's it going to be?
Ah, six again!
I swear you are playing
with loaded dice, ma'am.
Princes do not
cheat at cards.
They simply have the rules altered
to suit their needs.
Ooh, you lose too much.
And you, with
so little to lose.
We'll play a new game.
Which is?
"Essex's Folly."
I take all
the cards
and you have
to take them off me.
- By force, if necessary.
- Oh.
But not too much force.
For you to win
would be... treason.
There is no fun
in such a game.
Well, we'll not
play it then.
Stand there.
There, like that.
I know
the hour is early,
but if Your Majesty pleases,
we have need of conversation.
Affairs of state.
My lord.
You wait
for Her Majesty?
I wait for my father,
my lord.
I hope he pleads my case
with the queen.
I cannot believe you have
offended her, Sir Robert.
You were always
such a good boy.
I was obliged to be,
my lord, by my position.
Answer me this...
when I was
your father's ward
and we were growing up together
in Lord Burghley's house,
- was I...?
- What, my lord?
It is no matter.
He wishes me to have
a seat on the Council.
Well, well, well...
we grow great.
I have worked
for it, my lord.
Yes, yes.
You have. You have.
Well, Robert,
you have your place.
What it must be
to have a father.
Thank you.
Thank you, Father.
"Happy were he could
finish forth his fate
In some unhaunted desert,
where, obscure
From all society,
from love and hate,
Of worldly folk;
then might he sleep secure;
Then wake again,
and ever give God praise..."
How can I read when you
look at me like that?
How do I look
at you?
As if you were
whether or not
to eat me.
What do you wish for
from me?
For you
to be mistress
of what
you wish most.
Why then, you wish
for my happiness.
And to gain that I would have
to set aside my kingdom.
That being done,
who would have me?
I would, Bess.
I would.
You never say what it is
you feel for me.
- You know what it is I feel.
- Do I?
How do I know what you truly feel,
even though you never stop saying...
- I love you.
- There, you've said it again.
Does that
make it true?
There is an expedition
to Lisbon.
- What expedition is that?
- Is there more than one?
You should have not
even been told of it.
I gave strict orders.
Robin, you're forbidden to go.
Ma'am, I have no money.
I have to go.
I'm so far in debt,
my estates will be sold
to pay them off.
You promise me much, but...
You shall have what you need
when the time comes.
I could profit by the Lisbon
expedition, Bess.
There are Spanish ships
there piled high with Spanish gold.
Do you want a spoiled boy
by your side
or would you not have me
prove myself a proper man?
Just be patient.
There's a tax
on sweet wines.
I told you, Robin,
you're forbidden to go.
Let's stop our mouths.
No more talk.
You drink too much.
Sweet wine.
You're so kind
to me.
Shh, shh.
Sleep. Sleep.
Lie there.
Lie there
till morning.
What I must not say...
is that I love you.
The more I let you go,
the more I seem
to have need of you.
And it will not go away,
no matter how much
I command it.
Do you think the queen
is mistress of her feelings?
No, she's a fool
for love.
A hopeless fool.
Frances! Anne!
Where is he?
- Who, ma'am?
- Essex, you stupid, stupid girl!
Where has he gone?
How could you let this happen?
- We saw nothing, ma'am.
- Call the Master Groom.
Tell him to get
to the stables.
On no account is the Earl of Essex
to be allowed to ride out.
Hurry! Or I'll hang
the pair of you.
- Madam, the French Ambassador...
- Can wait.
Well, what shall I
tell him, ma'am?
Tell him the queen is looking
for the Earl of Essex.
Madam, it's too late.
The Earl of Essex
has already left.
He rode
for Falmouth overnight.
He is on his way
to Lisbon.
"On his way"?
Did you say...
"his way"?
Madam, had we known,
we would have...
"Would have"? I care not
what you would have done,
you traitorous dog!
I'll send you all
to the gallows!
You let him get away!
Shh, shh shh...
wearisome condition
of princes...
laid bare
for all the world to see.
One word of this,
and you die.
You hear me?
Well, there's work
to be done.
"Wading ashore
in his armor,
the earl was the first
to engage the enemy.
Indeed, he rode unaided
to the gates of Lisbon
where he drove his pike
into the wood
and challenged anyone
who doubted
your wisdom
and beauty to a duel."
Well, did anyone emerge
to take up the challenge?
I imagine not,
Your Majesty.
No, even a conversation
with the Earl of Essex
can be
an alarming business.
It was not all in all,
Your Majesty...
though the earl's behavior
must be applauded...
a profitable enterprise.
Little of substance
was achieved.
Lisbon was not taken.
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.
Brave indeed, to have defied
Your Majesty so obviously.
Brave young men are
to be encouraged, pygmy.
Welcome to
the Council, my boy.
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,
champion of our liberties,
our marvelous boy!
A great and public day,
Your Majesty.
Is it ever permitted
for a subject
to hurl themselves
into the queen's arms?
In private, it is sometimes
actively encouraged.
Then I am
When you are in my presence,
all is forgiven.
Eyes on me, Robin.
Eyes on me.
And Frances,
also eyes on me.
Welcome back,
my lord.
Close the door,
Do I seem old
to you?
Spare me
"You're old only in years."
You do not seem
old to me.
You have every appearance
of sincerity.
What do I have to do
to show you that I'm serious?
What do you think
you have to do?
You may proceed.
I have promised you much,
Robin, and you shall have...
What shall I have?
The tax
on sweet wines.
Ten percent of every barrel sold
is yours. It's worth a fortune.
- Bess, Bess Bess.
- You shall be rich, Robin,
and you will not need
to go to war.
- Dinner.
- Yes.
While I was away,
I thought of you each day.
And now I'm home,
I seek to prove my worth again.
Oh, my ladies
love to look at you.
Well, I do not charge
for the spectacle.
"Blue eyes,"
why so serious?
I think a deal upon affairs
of state, ma'am,
and if I had
some office, why...
And what office
might that be, Robin?
A seat upon
the Council.
Your Majesty...
What now, Dr. Lopez?
We were expecting dinner.
I bring your syrup,
ma'am, as always.
- Your Majesty is well?
- Is it not your task
to tell me
whether I am or no?
We purpose to outlive
our doctor, Lopez.
Yes, ma'am.
Matters of state
require the drudgery
of being both honest
and accommodating.
Are you
accommodating, Robin?
I can be.
I have as good a wit
as either of the Cecils.
I could serve you.
Oh, you shall have
your seat on the Council.
Oh, Bess!
What a boy!
I will make you proud.
- I esteem both...
- The Earl of Essex
has his seat on the Council.
The Council?!
She can
refuse him nothing.
Lf, as I think, he has an interest
in my daughter,
it may be that Her Majesty
will tire of him.
I mean no disrespect, Francis,
but why should the Earl of Essex
even consider
marrying your daughter
when he thinks he may be married
to the Queen of England?
The queen will
never marry him.
Not even the earl
would dream of such a thing.
Let one subject
raise himself up so
and there would be
blood, gentlemen...
blood as we've not seen
these 40 years.
You ask us why we must ask you
once again for money.
Like any housewife
to her husband,
I am loathe to beg...
but we do need subsidy.
And what is it for?
It is not
that we plan for war.
It is the fighting
of wars long gone
and the failure of the harvests
that eat away at England.
Not that war will ever
go away, gentlemen.
Nor will the Spanish.
And will the Crown's demand
for money ever go away, ma'am?
Time is the enemy of power
and this our kingdom,
aged but un-aging
in its glory,
wears out the fortune
and the strength of we who serve it.
And when the weight
of care oppresses us, we...
- Look to the queen!
- Burghley!
Stand aside!
Stand aside!
Stand back.
Give her some air.
Leave her to the ladies.
Take her through
to the privy chamber.
Full alarms.
Close the doors.
Dr. Lopez!
What do you say
to my breath now, Doctor?
Is it as sweet
as the Azores?
Sweeter, ma'am.
I can't imagine the cause.
I feel quite well.
My legs still seem to work.
I shall die at a time of my own
choosing, Doctor, and not before.
There are those who would
choose it for you, madam.
Who are they?
Is poison suspected?
- The Spanish.
- We cannot say...
with certainty.
Sir Francis Bacon,
my lord.
I have the misfortune to be
Lord Burghley's nephew.
That's a misfortune?
Well, he offers me
no employment.
Well, this is
the place to look
for employment,
for the queen is here.
- Indeed.
- No, no, no.
But does she trust
those she should
or does she only
listen to my uncle?
That's true enough,
Sir Francis.
I sit on the Council and no one
listens to a word I say.
Your uncle fawns well,
does he not?
The rising unto place
is laborious,
but by indignities
men come to dignities.
He flatters her is all,
Sir Francis.
Compliments do not seem
to advance my career
any faster than yours,
my lord.
I wrote the queen
a poem
complimenting her
upon her breasts,
in Latin,
and still I am
without a position.
We are ignored,
and in times
like this,
with talk of plots.
are like bats...
they ever fly
by twilight.
I have intelligences
working for me now.
Not quite the number
as in Walsingham's
but they
tell me things,
things that could
make you grow
in Her Majesty's
They tell me who
has plotted on her life.
Let us proceed
to the question
of the Attorney
While I hesitate
to lay my recommendations
before Your Majesty,
I feel this is
the right time...
Your Majesty,
I have uncovered
a conspiracy
here at home
against your person.
This morning I have arrested
your physician, Dr. Lopez.
Your Majesty, I am afraid
it is beyond question
that this man is a traitor
in the pay of Spain.
- What?
- I am an innocent man.
What is God's name
is this foolishness?
No foolishness, sir.
The proof is
in these papers...
signed confessions
from the doctor's associates
that bear witness to the truth
that your sudden illness
here at the court but two
weeks ago was no accident.
It was an attempt
to poison you.
Your Majesty, this is
some game of his lordship.
Dr. Lopez is a loyal servant
both to you and to the Crown.
Your Majesty, I beg you...
You rash youth!
Do but consider
this evidence.
Your Majesty,
this is absurd.
Whom am I
to believe?
These confessions
seem real enough.
His lordship has made earnest
of his convictions.
Yes, Your Majesty,
but what other proof is there?
What further proof
is needed, ma'am?
Your Majesty, this is a very
serious business and I must object...
Shall we have no more
of this feuding?
How may I act
when all present me
with their
partial arguments?
We are resolved...
His lordship acts
out of feelings for our safety.
Take him away.
Your Majesty,
I am your most loyal servant,
your most
loyal servant...
I am a loyal,
loyal subject,
a victim of plots
and conspiracies
by those high
in government.
- Filthy Jew!
- I am a Christian.
If he's a Christian, I'm an old Jew
and this is my gabardine.
This is the invention
of the Earl of Essex
and his friends!
- Hang him!
- Hang him! Hang him!
He has accused me
for his own profit
and his own...
- Draw him!
- Draw him! Draw him!
Draw him! Draw him!
Southampton says
we must have something for Francis.
Oh, your lordship
is too kind.
A rare triumph
for Essex's boys!
Her Majesty smiles
upon me again.
I shall demand something...
Warden of the Slashed Doublet and Ruff
with Extraordinary Hose.
Yes, but for Francis, Southampton.
Master of
the Cinque Ports?
Chancellor of
the Duchy of Lancaster?
Keeper of
Her Majesty's Pageboys?
Well, Robin.
You do look handsome this morning.
Your Majesty,
I meant to impress everyone
with my dignity
of dress.
Bacon, people
who compliment me
on my breasts,
even in Latin,
run the risk of being
thought impertinent.
We understand he is fond
of the company of pretty youths.
No wonder he is
the member for Middlesex.
And I say, sirs,
that there can be
no possibility
of peace with Spain.
They themselves admit
there can be no faith with heretics.
You breathe war,
slaughter and blood,
my lord.
"The bloody and
deceitful men
shall not live out
half their days."
Oh, in God's name
leave the boy alone.
Has he offended
so much, gentlemen?
At least our new recruit
speaks his mind.
I thank you
for your support, ma'am.
I crave Your
Majesty's pardon.
It may be we have been
disturbed by new evidence
which has come to light
in relation to Doctor Lopez.
It seems, ma'am,
the earl's confessions
were extracted
under torture.
What of it?
On the rack, my lord,
men may speak anything.
Our evidence suggests
the only clear proof of the doctor's guilt
are those most
tainted confessions.
Is this true?
Well, yes, ma'am.
I racked his associates
and they confessed
in detail
- to the doctor's plan...
- Leave us.
Leave us now!
As Your Majesty pleases.
The Earl of Essex
will remain.
I have offended you.
This was
a man's life, Robin.
Are we playing
at cards here
or making judgments
that affect the nation?
I sought only
to serve you, ma'am.
You act without thinking!
That is not service.
We will make restitution
to his widow.
You may go.
If thought inhibit action,
then I'll not think again.
I cannot deny it,
for I would act for you,
for you and you alone.
If you were in danger,
I would be there.
And if some politician
should talk against you,
then I will be there
to be your champion.
If I have offended you,
then I beg forgiveness,
for without that
I am nothing...
Oh, enough, enough.
You are forgiven.
May I raise the question
of the Attorney Generalship?
Is that not a question
for the Council, your lordship?
I would like to suggest
Francis Bacon.
would you suppose
I would accede
to such a request?
oh, what am I
to do with you?
What am I
to do with you?
Your Majesty plays
with great sweetness.
Do you bring me
music, pygmy?
Would that it were,
It is a pamphlet,
It seems to suggest
the Earl of Essex
should be your successor.
It is rather
well written.
Damn your
insolence, sir!
Fine paper,
bound carefully.
The person who printed it
must be wealthy, ma'am.
- Send for the Earl of Essex.
- If I may say...
You have no liking for him, pygmy.
That's obvious.
I have
a high regard
for his
good qualities,
even though those
may not always be
as much in evidence
as they should be.
Go on, pygmy.
It may be
that Your Majesty's
understandable fondness
for his enthusiasm and
courage for your cause
creates a climate
in the Council
which does not always...
I pet him too much.
Well, he is
a pretty boy.
I am sure he is unaware
of this foolishness.
Madam, I am distressed
to learn from Robert Cecil
that you might think I was
the author of that vile pamphlet.
You harbor no ambitions
in that direction?
If I did, would I be so foolish
as to commit them to paper?
Oh, you are fool enough
for anything, Robin.
But perhaps not this.
But you must understand,
there is speculation about you and l...
jealousy and faction
even in the Council,
and it may be that my favor to you
is the cause of it.
Never forget that government is
my sacred trust, Robin.
You know
I would never...
And yet my heart
still rises in me
when I walk into a room
and you are there...
oh, and these poor feelings
clamor to be heard.
I hear them, Bess.
Well, I never
let them see it.
But I do grow old,
as do those who are
long in service to me.
Come here.
- Madam...
- Sir Francis.
It is a matter
of urgency, madam.
You'd best
leave us, Robin.
It might be better
if his Lordship stayed
since it concerns him.
Oh, how so?
My daughter Frances
is with child
by the Earl of Essex
and I would seek
to know his intentions.
She's with...
She's with...
You treacherous
villain, you!
You villain!
You villain! You!
You villain!
I think the earl intends
an apology, madam.
He is in mourning
for the loss
of our favor.
And as might be expected,
the apology is
on a far grander scale
than the offense.
He looks well dead,
does he not?
None of us can
escape it, madam.
Francis, we hear
you are not well.
To tell you
truthfully, madam,
it is not thought that
I shall live out the year.
This cannot be.
I'm afraid it can,
Your Majesty.
We must look
to what comes after.
King James
of Scotland?
Is that to be
I feel we have
worn you out.
I have laid down
my life
for the Protestant
cause, madam,
and I have done it
Ah, the happy couple!
Oh, why such
long faces?
- We did not seek...
- To be happy, ma'am.
Hmm. Happy.
Her father has asked you
your intentions.
Well, I will tell you
your intensions, sir.
You shall marry her
and you will be happy.
We must all marry, Robin,
or so I'm told,
but such a thing
was not in prospect
where you and I
were concerned, was it?
The love I felt
for Your Majesty was...
But a marriage was
never in question.
Did you think
to be King, Robin?
Did you?
I sought your love.
Oh, all seek
attendance on the Queen.
She has
no shortage of suitors
and little inclination
to play the housewife.
So what could be
more satisfactory than this...
And you, Frances,
would you have your husband have
the Sovereign's love?
'Tis my dearest wish,
Your Majesty.
You may leave us,
Do you have
no words, sir?
No, you have
no need of words.
Your Majesty knows
the secrets of my heart.
I'm damned
if I do, sir.
But it seems
you must be married.
Oh, pretty, pretty...
We've heard that
some persons at Court
may have been
writing letters to...
King James of Scotland,
Why, we must have been
listening at the same door.
Of course, the mere idea
of that boy
succeeding to my throne
is absurd,
but if some fool
should take it upon himself
to make the idea public,
then we will have
any number of other fools
keen to implement it
as soon as possible.
"Out with the old woman
and bring on
the dribbling idiot."
Perhaps both descriptions
are a little harsh, ma'am.
We grow less
tolerant, pygmy.
We are alone too much.
Walsingham died.
Yes, ma'am.
Of course, I never cared
much for the man, but...
"But," ma'am?
For the moment,
you and your father
can fulfill
his responsibilities.
I am happy
to relieve Your Majesty
of some of this
great burden
of government business.
They say your marriage
is a happy one.
I am blessed
in my wife, ma'am.
she sees past...
Then there is hope
for the world still.
Who is it?
Your Majesty?
Who has been writing
these letters?
I would not like to...
Accuse anyone
of treason?
Some nobleman
with dreams
of greatness?
I'm a great admirer
of the English
aristocracy, ma'am,
but some of them
seek to fly so high.
Like Icarus,
they may approach the sun
of Your Majesty's
favor too closely
and burn their wings.
It's hard to believe,
but that creature in the hat
is the King of Scotland.
No one must hear of this,
Master Secretary.
Do you understand?
We understand each other
very well, ma'am.
My only wish, apart from to beg of you
your kindness as always
and to ask for an increase
in the pension
- which you have so kindly allotted to me...
- No.
...is to beg you
for some clear statement
as to my surely
undoubted right
to succeed you
on the English throne.
Your letter assures me
you will not be prejudicial to my cause.
I have come
to instruct you
to be less pleasant
to your Catholic nobility
and to ensure
you do not make overtures
to any nobles
of our court.
Overtures, ma'am?
What overtures?
I have little knowledge
of the English court.
Well, then you'll
have to acquire some
if you dream
of ruling over it.
It ill becomes me
to strive with a lady, but...
The fame of our nobility
has reached even
as far as Scotland,
I imagine.
Our poor country is so far
from the bright lights.
We go to bed early and have
little informed conversation.
Not even the Earl of Essex
is talked of?
I have heard
his name of course.
I have been told
he is a very...
handsome lad.
I've heard many tales
of the handsome lads of London.
Your Majesty.
Here is a messenger from the very place.
You will excuse me.
Tell me, how is it to be
ruled by a woman, my lord?
I like it well, Your Majesty.
She grows old.
As do we all.
And the Earl of Essex?
Was ever kind to me,
Your Majesty.
When I am King,
I shall have handsome
young men around me
and we shall use women
as dogs do bitches...
for our pleasure
and their profit.
I'm sure she called
that fellow over
so that she can watch us
at her leisure.
Carefully now.
On my life, ma'am,
I swear I have
written no letters
to King James
of Scotland.
So you never think
of the succession?
Why do you no longer
trust me, Bess?
Who is it that has
come between us?
Only the rest of the world,
poor foolish boy.
If I ever talked
of the succession...
God forbid
that a day should come
when England no longer
has you to guide them...
Then I did it
to your face,
unlike some others.
At the end,
Leicester and I were friends.
I would hold you close
to me in friendship.
When love is changed
to kindliness,
then I'll none of it.
If you seek a life
in politics, Robin,
you'll have to learn
to be a politician.
The same name,
but not the same.
I loved the Earl
of Leicester well.
And like him,
you love to go to war,
and since you love to fight
my quarrels for me,
we offer you
command of the army.
The Spanish
have attacked Calais
and we intend to respond
by taking Cadiz.
Oh, what a boy
it is still.
What a boy.
The greatest command
of his Lordship's career, ma'am.
You have no doubts?
He'll join the fleet and sail
for Cadiz tomorrow.
Let us pray Philip's
new Armada is ill-prepared.
God bless Her Majesty!
And damnation
to the King of Spain!
God save the Queen!
The Queen! The Queen!
The Queen!
I think this is
probably the end
of peace negotiations,
Your Majesty.
Let us fervently hope
for the success of His Lordship.
I can't believe you actually
mean that, pygmy.
I think
what the boy means is...
I never know
what the boy means.
I never know
what any of you mean,
but I've not ruled England
these many years
to be taken for more
of a fool than I am.
All's faction now
in England
and you wish for nothing
but the failure of our friends.
Well, I think we've waved enough.
Let us go in.
We declare today
a public holiday
on account
of the great victory
won over
the Spanish at Cadiz
by his Grace,
the Earl of Essex.
"If ever a man
desired to see
an image of hell,"
it has been said,
it was at the battle of Cadiz
most lively figured.
And our own
Earl of Essex
fought most valiantly.
The Earl's carriage
throughout the engagement
was marked
to be most manly...
Thank you, ma'am.
The sermon is not
to Her Majesty's taste.
Oh, I think she has
little patience
for compliments
not directed at her.
You see?
I'm in danger of outshining
the Queen's Majesty.
Oh my lord, I would
beg you to be careful.
One would think the Earl
sacked Cadiz on his own, ma'am.
He came, he killed,
he returned home to celebrate.
His Lordship wants war,
but wars must be paid for,
and so our people
And now there is bad news
from Ireland, ma'am.
A Catholic country
on our doorstep...
we shall have
war there next.
Speak Irish, pygmy?
- No, Your Majesty.
- No. No one does.
Would you like to be
Lord Deputy of Ireland?
- No, Your Majesty.
- No.
Maybe we could send
the Earl of Essex.
Your Lordship must
dine with us tonight.
If the people
will let me, Bess.
My person
is not my own.
Come, my lord.
The people need you.
The Archbishop ordered
a day of celebrations
for my victory
across the entire kingdom.
Why did you restrict them
to London, Bess?
The love that people
have for me is so strong.
you have not
kissed me yet.
I did not presume...
Presume. Presume.
There. Does that surprise
you, my lord,
that an old woman
should have
such lusts
of the flesh?
You're not old, Bess.
Maybe not, maybe not.
You know how I
still feel for you.
Perhaps I do.
Yes, of course I do.
It's just that l...
well, I lack the assurance of youth.
I question everything.
And how is married life?
You should
take it seriously.
It is a very sweet and serious thing
to be married.
is that why you've never
undertaken it, ma'am?
You surprise me, my lord.
I never took you for one
who expected women to be
consistent in their attitudes.
What did you expect... for me
to fall upon your neck in gratitude
for 50,000 pounds lost
and no hope of return,
the jewels you brought back
lost or stolen or embezzled?
- I wish...
- You wish, you wish, you wish.
Do you wish to be
Lord Deputy of Ireland, Robin?
I hardly know
how to respond, ma'am.
That's obvious.
Nobody wishes to be
Lord Deputy of Ireland.
Isn't it curious
how time brings in changes?
Once upon a time we'd walk
in those gardens down there
and pay each other
say the sweetest things.
- And now...
- What now?
Now all I can talk about
is the war in Ireland
and all you can talk about
is yourself.
I think what you should
do now, Robin, is leave.
Yes, ma'am.
Of course.
So who is to be?
Who is to undertake
the governance of the Irish,
since the Irish do not
seem to want to do so?
I'm told the climate
is mild enough
and there are people who have
spoken well of the whiskey.
Do not be so bashful,
They may not break out
into open rebellion.
They may do it quietly,
without informing us.
It doesn't always
rain there.
And they're not savages.
Well, not all of them anyhow.
Why are you all studying
the table so closely?
- In my view, ma'am...
- Yes, my lord.
...Lord Burghley's son
would make
an admirable ruler
of that country.
Yes indeed, ma'am.
Yes, his great powers of statesmanship,
his eloquence and
his application would all...
Oh, you are pleased
to joke, Robin.
No, ma'am, I'm doing
no such thing.
I think you are.
I think that I am not.
You spoiled
and foolish child!
I will not suffer one more day
of your insolence!
Take your hands off me!
I would not endure an insult
of that nature from any man,
and that a woman should
think she could do so...
You are speaking
to the Queen of England, sir!
I tell you, I would not have suffered it
from your father's hands.
Have you any idea
what you are doing?
Yes, I have a very
good idea, old man.
You dare to question
my authority?
cannot princes err?
Cannot subjects
receive wrong?
Is an earthly power
or authority infinite?
Pardon me.
Pardon me, madam,
but I can never subscribe
myself to those principles!
Then it is hard to know why you
remain at Court, sir.
Well, gentlemen,
I think
we have found
the right man for Ireland.
He would certainly
blend in well, ma'am.
When deprived of our favor
for long enough,
he will
soon come to heel.
My dogs wear
my collars, sirs,
and let no one at this table
ever forget that fact.
With the exception
of Lord Burghley,
who is under strict orders
to get better.
You're not well,
old friend.
Your poor hands,
worn out with writing.
Writing and gout, madam...
my closet friends.
Your brother is much
affected, as are we all.
This was no
common funeral.
The whole world
mourns your father.
He resides
in a better place.
I see the Earl of Essex
has finally made an appearance.
What a deal
my silence can do.
He was my father's ward,
Your Majesty.
- We grew up together.
- Oh yes, of course.
What kind
of a boy was he?
So graceful,
quick as sports...
Ioved by all.
And cruel to you?
As only boys will be
when there were
none to see.
I was his pastime.
Turn around
so I may see your face.
Tears, Robin, tears.
I wonder for whom
you shed them.
I know how you loved
Lord Burghley
and when I was his ward
he was ever kind to me.
That was
a long time ago, Robin.
I want to serve you.
But you want to do
glorious things in my service.
Well, I can
offer you that.
I can offer you
great glory, Robin.
There is open rebellion in Ireland
and along with the governorship,
I can offer you a great army
to bring the Irish to heel.
Oh, Your Majesty shows
great faith in me.
It is impossible to govern
unless we trust those whom we rule.
See, there are those
who tell me not to trust you.
And I know that one day
you may come
within a hair's breadth
of betraying me.
Your Majesty, Bess,
I beg you...
You will come
as close to treachery
as a snake
to the ground.
But I also know that you will never
betray your country.
Since your country
is none other
than this poor
self of mine
and you have loved me
as men will love women...
blindly, without
counting the cost,
not thinking
what they do...
so you're mine,
poor boy.
You're all mine.
You may go to Ireland
on our behalf.
I ever loved you, Robin.
Take this ring
as a testament to it.
Thank you, gentlemen.
is there no news
from Ireland?
But little, ma'am.
The Earl is there
near six months.
Yes, we know that.
- He has upwards of 16,000 men.
- Yes?
He has...
He has knighted
many of his followers.
Oh, God in heaven!
And yet
he seems unwilling
to engage the Earl
of Tyrone, ma'am.
What does he
think to do?
Why does he not move
into Ulster now?
And we have
so commanded him.
We have heard that there is
sickness amongst his soldiers
and we do fear for him,
but why does he not
shake and sway
the branches
of resistance now?
We think
the Earl of Tyrone
may expect a force from Spain,
Your Majesty.
What are Essex's
What's his army for,
Is he...
I ask this
with fear in my heart...
is he still loyal to us?
There is no way
of knowing, ma'am.
- Let me pass.
- My lord!
- Let me pass!
- What is this noise?
I will see her.
Where is the Queen?
Your Majesty.
Hold still, Your Majesty.
- Where is the Queen?
- My cap.
Bess! Bess!
What's the matter?
Why are you...
I rode all night to be here.
They would not let me pass.
What has happened?
Is anyone with you?
- I knew you were angry with me.
- No.
- No one is angry with you.
- Tyrone is no fool, ma'am.
My men rode after him,
but they would not fight.
Shh, shh.
You must rest.
They came at night
and they killed men in their sleep.
You're with me now.
You're with me.
Shh shh shh.
Sit. Sit.
I made a truce, ma'am.
I made a truce
with the Earl of Tyrone.
Oh, you poor boy.
Well, you must
tell me everything,
but first
you must rest.
How can I rest when you are
the victim of false counsel?
Bess, Cecil works against me.
I swear it, Bess,
and you listen to him.
He works against us.
He writes to King James
of Scotland...
I have it
on good authority...
securing himself
with your successor.
Don't think
about the Secretary.
Don't think about
the little pygmy.
- You understand, don't you?
- Yes.
- You understand I had no choice?
- Yes, I understand.
Shh. Shh.
You must sleep.
Sleep and then
we'll talk.
Do you love me?
Of course.
- Dorothy, see to the Earl.
- Yes, Your Majesty.
Let me help you
with these, sir.
Your Majesty,
do you want...?
- Ma'am.
- The Earl has deserted his command.
He seeks our approval.
He has concluded some sort
of truce with Tyrone
on his own initiative.
- How many men has he?
- Only a handful.
Sir, are you sure the army
- is still in Ireland?
- As far as I know, ma'am.
That he should
do this to me
by whom he had
so many favors.
When he is awake and dressed,
call him to our presence.
May I withdraw when he comes to you,
ma'am, with your permission?
No, you do not
have my permission.
You can stay and watch
your little friend.
Time to find out who is with us
and who is against us.
Thank you, again,
my dear.
Whispering to your
mistress, pygmy?
The world will think
you are sharing secrets.
I did not
expect so many
to be present
at our meeting, Bess.
Sometimes it is
to have witnesses
to conversations, my lord.
- Why so cold, ma'am?
- The charges against the Earl of Essex
are as follows: That he has been
contemptuously disobedient
to Her Majesty's instructions
by returning to England;
- that on several...
- Stay a moment, sir.
Is this a trial?
Have... have I done
to offend Your Majesty?
You have come unannounced
into my chamber.
You have returned from your commission
with no victories gained
and no peace imposed
upon the territories in Ireland.
You have had
private conversation
with the notorious
traitor Tyrone
whose submission or death are
the only things we require of him.
You have made free
with our person.
You have thought to touch
the scepter of a prince,
which is a thing
not commendable in you.
I have come here only
seeking your help and support
in return for the great services
I have offered you.
Take him under guard
to Essex House.
The Earl is
to be confined there
- until our pleasure dictates otherwise.
- Guards.
Bess. Bess.
Bess, Bess, Bess,
You said that you loved me!
I ever loved you well
and ever did you service,
but I no longer recognize
the thing I loved!
Love alters
when it alterations finds.
- You said you could never...
- I said, I said.
I said more
than I should, perhaps.
But government
of the tongue
is not a science you ever
learned well, my lord.
I am amazed to see you
in this company, Francis.
The way to great office
is by a winding stair.
Get him out of my sight!
And now what are we to do
with the Earl of Essex, eh?
What is heaven's name
are we to do with him now?
Is the army loyal to us?
Mountjoy, the Earl's man,
has the army,
even if he is
still in Ireland.
But the Earl still has
powerful friends here.
Unfortunately for him,
they no longer include
you and me. Eh, pygmy?
we may proceed
to trial?
No. No, for the moment
we do nothing.
We wait.
We must be seen
to treat him well.
Relax the guard on him...
how loyal is he?
Very well.
Oh, my dear
Are you in mourning
for your husband's reputation?
I wear your
colors, ma'am.
You were always
a good girl, Frances.
As I love him, Your Majesty,
I wish him to love you.
- How does the Earl?
- Not well, Your Majesty.
Oh, we are sorry
to hear that.
I do believe that,
- He should have company.
- He should.
Tell me, has he heard
from Mountjoy from Ireland?
Letters passed
between them,
but my lord has not heard
from Ireland of late.
Oh, that's a shame.
But perhaps it's not good
for him to be in touch
with those with military
I am sure he means to be
a loyal servant to Your Majesty.
Oh yes, I'm sure.
Has he heard from King James of late?
From Scotland?
You can tell me,
We know he had dealings
with him from before.
If we are to prevent him being
a danger to himself,
we must know
these things.
You know, I speak out of love
for him, Frances.
The Earl carries a black bag
around his neck.
He never
takes it off.
I believe they are
letters from Scotland.
Letters from Scotland, I knew it!
- The man's a traitor.
- Ma'am.
Mountjoy will not move
the Irish army to assist him,
so he waits for
the King of Scotland.
Well, he's going to wait a long time
for that young man.
What are
Your Majesty's wishes?
To force him
into action.
Since he is not ready,
unreadiness is all.
He's fool enough.
Send someone
to the Earl of Essex.
Tell him we require him
at Council.
Would you wish me
to go, ma'am?
No, pygmy.
Send Sir Francis Bacon.
He's a persuasive enough fellow.
Keep Lady Essex here
until it is all over.
Well, little Bacon...
and what, sir,
I wonder,
are you about, hmm?
Her Majesty requires your presence
at the Council.
And I am sure
to be there, Sir Francis,
but at the moment I am
all of a sweat after playing tennis.
And the court is no place
for a sweaty man.
She requires it
at once, my lord
and her conditions...
Her conditions!
Her conditions are
as crooked as her carcass!
I command you all
to put down your weapons
and to depart
to show your allegiance
to the Queen
But we
will not do so.
Take him to the hall
and keep him there until we return.
Treason, my lords!
The Queen has had
her mind poisoned
by evil counselors,
my lords.
Robert Cecil.
Robert Cecil will sell us to Spain.
Let's die
before we let him.
To court!
...for was not Lucifer
cast out for just that sin?
To the court!
To the Queen!
There is a plot
laid for my life.
Sir Robert Cecil is
a traitor to this country.
Who will join us
to get rid of him?
You promised us the Sheriff of the City,
my lord. I do not see him.
- He will come out for us.
- Soon, I hope.
We must hang together
or we shall hang separately
for the people
are not with us.
To the court!
There is a plot laid for my life.
- Your Majesty...
- There's a noise below.
Is there some fray
in Fleet Street?
Ma'am, there is
great danger.
Do you have no confidence
in your queen, pygmy?
We do not seek to fight.
All we seek is the removal of certain
counselors of yours
who have worked against
those of us who really love you.
You do not come
to seek justice.
You come to decide
which of us
shall rule this kingdom...
you or I,
and I tell you, Essex,
it is I who rule.
- Do your work, Sir Thomas.
- Ma'am.
Return fire!
Return fire!
Return fire!
- My lord.
- Barricade those doors!
Where are the hostages?
It seems they were
let go, my lord.
- Burn these letters from King James.
- No.
Burn them now.
Burn everything!
In the name of the Queen,
open up!
To the river!
Which way now,
my lord?
All is lost.
We are dead men.
Halt! Halt!
What of the mad
ungrateful wretch?
He is captured,
I swear before God,
that I bear a true heart
to Her Majesty.
I was in fear of my life
from my enemies.
My lord, you remind me
of the Athenian
who cut himself
and then cried murder.
Was it to defend yourself
that you imprisoned me
and those whom the Queen sent to you
to call you to your senses?
Oh, Sir Francis,
whom I ever served well
and to whom
I gave my love freely,
have you served your Queen
so faithfully?
Have you not lied
and pretended
friendship to me
and deceived her
as to your loyalty that...
I loved you,
my lord,
as long as you continued
a dutiful subject.
And I have
spent more hours
to make you a good subject
to Her Majesty
than ever I did
about my own business.
Which has of late
been to crawl
upon your hands and knees
to Robert Cecil.
And Robert Cecil
is in the pay
of Spain.
My Lord of Essex...
the difference between
you and me is great.
For wit, I give you
the preeminence.
You have it abundantly.
I thank you.
Have you come to apologize?
For nobility also
I give you place.
I am not noble,
though a gentleman.
I am no swordsman,
but I have innocence, conscience,
truth and honesty
to defend me.
You have a wolf's head
in a sheep's clothing, sir.
Oh, Master Secretary,
I thank God
for my humiliation
that you are come here
in the ruff of all your bravery
to make your oration
against me today.
Who says I am
in the pay of Spain?
Name your authority.
Or is this some
new fantasy of yours?
Why, that is easy answered.
He stands next to me.
The Earl of Southampton
told me
that he knew it
for a fact.
I am sorry for it,
my lord, but l...
l... l...
Did not you say that?
I did not, my lord,
and you know
it is not so.
I never said
that the Secretary
was in the pay of Spain.
Then I am damned,
my lord,
and you with me.
- Guilty.
- Guilty.
- Guilty.
- Guilty.
You have been pronounced
guilty of treason.
And you will suffer
the punishment
of traitors...
which is death.
No! No!
I swear upon mine honor,
I never meant any harm to Her Majesty.
And if I have been
led astray,
then I humbly beg
your pardon,
but I am
no traitor, sirs.
My lord, you know I ever loved
the Queen and I told you so.
So be it, my lords.
While I would not
have it thought
that I despised
the Queen's clemency...
I would not make any cringing
submission to obtain it.
There is also the question
of monopolies, ma'am.
Just as some thought
the Earl of Essex
abused his privilege
of the ownership
of the tax
of sweet wines,
so now some
of the Parliament see
the profits of many
in the hands of too few,
Your Majesty?
The Queen cannot be safe
while I live...
and I do humbly
ask her pardon.
I give her thanks
that she has moderated
the terrible
sentence of treason,
but I do solemnly swear
that the four quarters of my body
are hers,
were always hers,
and I do yield them
up to her with a glad heart.
I ask forgiveness
of my sins...
which are numbered
as the hairs on my head...
and most especially
this last,
this great
and infectious
sin of mine...
against her
whom I swear
I did always love
with all my heart.
"Our Father,
Who art in heaven,
hallowed be Thy name,
Thy kingdom come,
Thy will...
strike home.
Put his lapdog, little Southampton,
in the Tower.
No more blood.
Please, God, no more blood.
I will spare the others
where I can.
Send me their names.
Yes, Your Majesty.
You knew what it was
to love him too, I think.
I think I did,
Your Majesty.
Well, you may go,
little pygmy.
I mean no harm
by the name.
It's but my humor.
Yes, Your Majesty.
"Her conditions were
as crooked as her carcass."
Well, well, well.
You may leave us now.
He had sent you
this ring
and these verses.
"My prime of youth
is but a frost of cares,
My feast of joy
is but a dish of pain,
My cup of corn
is but a field of tares,
And all my good
is but vain hope of gain.
The day is gone
and yet I saw no sun,
And now I live,
And now my life is done."
Why so many glum faces?
Are my people
out of love with me?
Money is all, ma'am.
Many in the House speak
against the monopolies
you grant the traders.
They say only a few
are favored.
Taxes were granted
to the Earl of Essex
which should not
have been granted.
The enemy of monarchs
is the overmighty subject.
If this poor old wife
before you has offended
by granting profits to the few
and not to the general number,
then let us have an end to that.
Let us be one.
I do assure you
there is no prince
who better loves
his subjects
nor whose love
can countervail our own.
There is no jewel, be it
of never so rich a price,
which I set
above this jewel.
I mean, your loves.
For I esteem it
more than any
treasure or riches...
for that we know
how to prize,
but love and thanks
we count invaluable.
And though God
hath raised me high,
yet this I count
the glory of my crown...
that I have reigned
with your loves.
- God save the Queen!
- God save the Queen!
God save the Queen!
God save the Queen!
The doctors can find
no cause of it, sir.
Is Your Majesty
in pain?
Is the sickness
in your side or...?
I'm not so sick
as some would have me.
Bring me a mirror.
Bring me a mirror.
There was a man once...
Does Your Majesty mean
the Earl of Essex?
Does Your Majesty mean
the Earl of Leicester?
The hardest thing
to govern
is the heart.
Raise me up.
Your Majesty
must rest.
Your Majesty,
please consider.
Leave me.
She has stood like that
about 15 hours now, sir,
never once talking.
How long since
she has eaten?
It is three weeks
since she has eaten.
Go to. Go to.
Your Majesty?
you are to tell me
to take to my bed.
If you saw such things
in your bed
as I see in mine,
you would not
go there.
Ma'am, you must...
Tsk, tsk, tsk.
Out. Out.
That man...
whoever he was...
Fetch me a priest, girl.
I'm minded to die.