Becoming Elizabeth (2022) s01e01 Episode Script

Keep Your Knife Bright

Ha!
Yah!
Whoa.
Whoa, you.

Take it.

Let's go get the children, then.

Is he dead?
Open the gates!
Come on, Edward.

- Where are we going, Uncle?
- This way.

Elizabeth.

Elizabeth.

You have to come now.

What's happening?
I don't know.

Brother.

Bar the door.

Why did you bring us all here?
What do you mean to do to us?
Is this it?
The king is dead.

Long live the king.

Thank you.

- This way.

- I know.

Princess Elizabeth.

My lady.

- Lord Somerset,
-Elizabeth, please.

Edward.

Forgive me, Princess.

The king has an early start.

There.
You've said your goodbyes now.

Where are you two going?
Your Grace should get dressed.

Where are you going, Edward?
With his uncle, Your Grace.

You can see this.

Can a king not speak for himself?
Your Majesty, your sister wishes
for you to speak for yourself.

I don't know where I'm going.

Exactly why I was speaking for him.

Excuse us, Your Grace.

The king must take priority.

Your Grace must be very cold.

You should go inside.

Wait for instructions, and have faith.

In what, sir?
Come!
Already the wheels are turning,
and no one even takes breath to grieve.

We grieve.

His subjects for their king.

His children for their father.

The queen, she will be grieving.

Who's he with?
Catherine fucking Parr.

Drink.

So did the old king
make you come like that?
Hmm?
He'd had enough practice.

Did his servants
have to prop him up for you?
I have dreamt of this day.

Why spoil it with talk of him?
Hmm?
They won't make us wait
to marry, will they?
I can't wait for you again, Thomas.

There'd be no reason.

Everyone would know there's
no way I could be pregnant.

Everyone saw the state of him.

The servants could bear witness.

Tell the world the king
couldn't fuck his own wife?
Do be sensible, my love.

And I'll be damned
if you go back to France
or, worse, up to Scotland.

Enough blood and money has been spent.

I'll tell Edward.

Mm, don't tell Edward anything.

He's the new king.

We mustn't make him feel pushed around.

He is a child,
and I am the only mother
he has ever known.

Who else would speak to him
or for him but me?
And you, you're his favorite uncle.

It's not difficult.

You've met my brother.

We've sent for Elizabeth and Edward,
so we're ahead of them all for now.

- Mm.

- We need to keep it that way.

Where the Lord Dudley is.

Where your brother is.

Asleep three rooms down from here.

I, um
Do you mean your brother, Sir Thomas?
The Lord Somerset?
Listen in, why don't you?
Yeah.

Pull up a chair.
Have some wine.

Take your trousers off.

Your brother left in the night, sir,
to go to the new king.

Oh, for fuck's sake.

Don't let them see you doing that.

You're not Edward anymore.

You're not a boy anymore.

You're the king of England.

Do you think your father cried?
No, sir.

No, sir, he did not.

We're to meet with the council.

Your father's will assigned
16 of us to rule for you.

Do you understand?
- Y-yes.

- Yes.

Now, 16 is many voices.

The court can be a forest of opinion.

No clear path through it.

Even your father could get lost.

You saw how they swarmed around him,
even as he was dying.

Now he's gone.

A great hole has opened up in the world.

Men are going to be
scrambling to fill it,
but the more you let in,
the more you leave yourself exposed.

You need one voice.

Are you listening, Edward?
- Yes.

- Yes?
One voice.

So permit me to be that voice.

Your voice.

The king's voice.

"A most gracious lady,"
you said to me when you first met her.

She takes you into her home.

Queen Catherine.

She's not queen anymore.

A queen is made by marriage to a king.

Whether he's dead or alive
is not the issue.

But I suppose
I can excuse your perversity.

Your father's death weighs on you.

It's just the target that his death
has placed on my back.

My brother, my sister, and me.

It's a great game
of "keep or kill" to them all.

I will not be killed.

Why else do they bring me here?
Washerwomen, not princesses,
run their houses at your age.

To act like age is any protection
from the designs of men.

Oh, the designs of men.

Let me see you.

You look thin, and you look sad.

I am very grateful
for your invitation for me
to stay here at Chelsea with you.

My loving mother.

But I am not, am I?
But I can be, as good as.

So pay no attention
to the designs of men.

They forget them
as quickly as they make them.

My designs, however
these, you should worry about.

What are they, may I ask?
For you to live here
and to be happy
and to be safe.

Your father and my husband may be dead,
but he made his wishes for you
and this country plain.

And they will be followed
as if they were writ by God himself.

I mean, 16 is a lot.

Is it even 16, though?
Who knows what it says?
Only my brother's got the bloody key.

He's the only one who's read the will.

I read the will.

Oh, so we're now calling
writing "reading," are we?
Like I say, 16 is a lot.

Poor boy, my poor nephew,
16 people pulling at his strings.

Your brother thinks there
should be a Lord Protector.

Someone to speak for the council,
be the head of it.

So only one man with the strings.

Oh, yeah, 'cause 16 people
are gonna give up
their say in the kingdom
in deference to him.

They already have.

And you're happy
playing bridesmaid to him,
are you?
Oh, I play it so well.

You're here.

I'm not the one who's been off
on nighttime excursions.

Why didn't you send me?
I'm fast on a horse.

I've seen it many times, brother.

Galloping away
from the trouble you started.

You're there.

Oh, good.
You haven't begun.

Bar the door.

What, no Henry?
Uh
No.

No fucking Henry.

My lords, now we are all assembled,
the new king of England,
His Majesty Edward VI,
would like to say a few words.

M-my lords.

Thank you for your service
to my father, King Henry VIII.

I'm very grateful
for the Lord Protector,
my uncle, Lord Somerset.

Lord Protector are we now?
You heard the king.

I did.
I did indeed.
I did indeed.

But let me ask you,
is your mother my mother, sir?
Yes.

And forgive me for asking,
but as the elder brother,
you'd know better than I.

Our mother
she isn't a whore, is she?
Brother or not, hold your tongue.

So I am your brother.
You agree.

For if you are my brother,
we shared the same sister.

Did we not? The good king's mother.

Was she not?
Making us both the king's uncles.

Are we not?
You are both my uncles.

- Two.

- Yes.

So how come one Lord Protector?
No one has anything to say?
Every man in here for sale, are they?
And I wasn't even asked to the market.

Why don't you calm down, Thomas?
Outside.

Your Majesty.

What the fuck is this, Thomas?
La-la, la-la, la-la!
God save the king! God save the king!
- Come on! Da, da-da, da-da!
- Shh!
- God save the king!
- Sir Thomas, please.

God save the king.

- God save the king.

- Please, shh.

- God save the king!
- Thomas, please.

Richard, sing it with me.

Sir Thomas, please.

Shh.

It's the Princess Elizabeth.

Sir Thomas Seymour.

Do you remember me, Princess?
Of course I remember you, sir.

That's good.
It's good to be
it's good to be memorable.

You're my brother's uncle.

Well, how disappointing,
to be remembered for what I am
rather than who I am.

Status over personhood.

Would you have remembered me
if it was not for my status?
You do yourself a disservice, Princess.

Your face
I'd remember that.

What do you think you're doing,
barely dressed and out here?
Oh.
Sir Thomas.

Good night.
Good night.

Good night, Elizabeth.

Glory to you, Princess Elizabeth!
For goodness' sake, sir!
I've, um I've come
as a messenger for the king.

Downstairs.

Good night.

We must show some level of decorum,
for he clearly knows none,
turning up to a lady's house
in that state
in the middle of the night.

The boy is the king,
and my brother
my brother is in charge.

Leave us.

What devil down there
is playing finger puppets with us all?
My brother is the Lord Protector.

He runs the council.

Uh, he is the council.

He is in, and we are out.

Your brother might have
his pawn in the game,
but I have mine.

You just met her.

-Mm-mm,
-You're drunk.

You're still here?
Yeah.

Yeah, I'm I am still here.

Full of regret.

And shame.

And wine.

So have your tutors assigned me
as something for you to study?
Huh?
What lesson am I?
Sir Thomas, you have awoken.

Mm.

Have you apologized
to my poor Elizabeth here?
As if she needs to see
a man of the council
make such an utter disgrace of himself.

Today of all days.

She will think her brother is governed
by the feckless and the witless.

Well that very well may be true.

Ooh.

F
Oh, my God.

Don't.

Don't you dare.

Oh.

Oh!
Ugh.

We'll find you a bucket of water
for you to dunk your head in,
sober you up.

You know what? That actually
sounds quite marvelous right now.

Are you done?
Please stop flirting
so outrageously with Elizabeth.

After the coronation,
your brother, I hear,
is to go to Scotland again.

Ah.

Any excuse for a fight, that man.

So the boy king will be alone.

I think your brother's had
his ear long enough, don't you?
You're offering me
the king's ear, are you?
Actually, I'd like to offer you
the queen's hand.

If you'd like it
after all this time.

And my brother's going away, you say?
Hmm.

Well
best marry you
while I have the chance, then.

Sir Thomas.

F-farewell.

They say it's a good likeness.

I think she's quite beautiful.

She's five.

It was your father's wish, as you know.

I was just a prince when this
Mary, Queen of Scots,
arrangement was made.

And I shouldn't have to send an army
to fetch a wife for myself,
especially one that's five years old!
Especially one that's Scottish.

We have a long day ahead of us, sir.

Perhaps we wait until the crown
is on your head
before we change the king's wishes.

I am the fucking king!
We can't afford a war anyway.

It's a prosaic worry,
Your Majesty, is it not?
Very well.

But if you lose,
there will be serious consequences.

If I lose, I'll be dead.

Will that be consequence enough for you?
"Prosaic worry"?
You're the most prosaic man
I've ever met.

But if the boy doesn't want
The king.

If neither the king nor Scotland wa
Scotland wants the girl
married off to France.

A Scottish-French alliance
leaving us pincered
between the stupid and the godless?
No.

Scotland brought to heel.

The king married.
England strong.

No one will see us as a country
governed by a child then.

Whoa!
Ooh.

Who will Spain acknowledge
as the new ruler of England?
Ambassador.

A man of no true standing,
the Lord Protector,
or the child in need of his protection?
If you, Princess Mary,
as the daughter
of Queen Catherine of Aragon,
think this best for your country,
Spain would be guided by that.

If you think it not,
Spain will be guided by that also.

Jane, stand close to the king.

Ooh!
Yay!
My brother is king.

Your and my opinions, Ambassador,
are best kept to ourselves,
for they are of no worth.

Princess.

Oh.

I'm sorry.
Sorry, Your Grace.

I shouldn't be in here.

I'm sure I shouldn't be either.

You outrank me.

I don't believe
I outrank anyone, really.

I mean, surely those of rank
have some power.

Ah.

You up here craving power, Princess?
We'll have to keep an eye on you.

No.
I just
like to be able
to make decisions in my life.

Ah.

Ah, well, I'm quite sick
of decisions, myself.

Quite overwhelmed by them.

Your father died, and every
door has just been flung open.

How the hell am I meant to know
which one to walk through?
There's death behind a lot of them.

There's death behind all of them, sir.

Eventually.

I'm sorry.

What on earth are you sorry for?
The king is dead.

No.
No, no.

No, he's not.

That's the thing with kings.

The old one breathes life into the new.

And is then forgotten.

I don't believe any of us
are gonna forget your father.

Yeah.

Clapped me round the face
as if I were a schoolboy.

And he had all those rings.

Even my face
could not forget your father.

Memories.

Memories keep a man alive.

I've got so few of him, though.

Every lord and lady out there
knew him better than me.

Every servant too.

His children stand
knowing least about him.

I believe that true of all children.

You learn
much more about your parents
after they're dead
than you ever did when they were alive.

And as for kings, ah, Lord,
now we only know the truth
of kings in 100 years
when their actions' consequence
can truly be seen.

You cannot sob
for not knowing your father,
because none of us do yet.

So what had you done
to deserve a clap in the face?
So no question
whether it was deserved, then?
I venture a guess.

I had ideas of marrying people
I should not,
and I was sent away for it.

You remain unmarried, sir.

Uh
it's another one of those doors.

I listen at the keyhole.

Huh.

Is that the sound of peaceful breathing,
or is that the sound of a lion
waiting to gobble me up?
This is beautiful.

I remember the book you made
for the late king's birthday.

Not a word out of place.

Not a correction.

It was close to his heart.

She took great pains with that.

Did he have it with him when he died?
I was not with the king when he died.

It was the Lord Somerset.

I wouldn't be surprised
if it was, though.

Golden child.

Speaking of the Lord Somerset,
my lady, are we to see any more
of his brother, the admiral?
The admiral?
I hear that is Sir Thomas Seymour's
new position lord high admiral.

Did they not tell you?
There've been a great number
of movements at court.

It takes a while to adjust to them,
but now I suppose, yes,
your brother Edward did tell me
that Sir Thomas was now the admiral.

- Good luck.

- Come!
The admiral.

He is a handsome man, I will admit.

You have a husband.

And eyes too.

Do you think my lady Catherine thought
I asked about Sir Thomas
because I wanted to know more of him?
Know more.
Discuss more.

See more.

I only wanted to know more of court.

I'm still in mourning,
and you'd now have me gossip
with you like a fishwife,
talking of men like a common
whore?
What would people think?
What would she think?
I would hope she would not think
either of us whores, Princess.

Not you, obviously.

I carry the sins of my mother.

People think it of me.

Your mother may be Anne Boleyn,
but no one thinks any such thing.

I never dreamt you'd have such
new and sudden-found
maturity.

Sir Thomas is a fine man.

He's my brother's uncle.

His brother is the Lord Protector.

There could be no reason
the council would object.

I cannot marry a foreigner,
not when I'm so near in line
for the throne.

Marry?
Sir Thomas Seymour?
If the Lord Protector
returns from Scotland,
you should raise the idea
to Lady Catherine.

You have no permission.

We ask permission.
It won't be given.

We have to force their hand.

- If you wait
- Wait?
To be sold off again
to the highest bidder?
How do you think I ended up in
the king's bed to start with?
Peasants have more ownership
over their futures than I do.

I beg the freedoms of a peasant.

The Lord Protector will
The Lord Protector isn't here.

But when he is?
If he ever is again.

He is at war.

But if I can't beg it
I will buy it.

For the poor box.

What will you tell your brother?
I'll say, "Brother
you don't rule me anymore.
"
And what will you tell Elizabeth?
That no woman with any wit
should allow herself
to become a piece for barter
in other people's games.

Hey.

Hey, now.
Wait one minute.

And the king?
We will tell the king
when the time is right.

And what will they do? Execute us?
We're family.

That's never stopped that family before.

We are gathered together
in the presence of God
and his angels and all the saints
before the church
to join together two bodies,
which is to say
They may yet give us the girl.

Consent to the marriage.

You might not get to kill anyone today.

Go on, Pedro.
Break his heart.

They surrendering?
No.

They've asked for this
to be settled by you.

Single combat.

They think I've come all this way
with 16,000 men for that?
- Must think I'm mad.

- I'm gonna get a drink.

Looks like I might need it
if we're catching queens today.

As ever, you are taking war
much more calmly
than the rest of you English,
if I may say so.

As ever.

You seem quite calm yourself.

I'm not English.

I've been trapped in court
like a fly under a glass.

Playing schoolmaster
and nursemaid to the greedy,
the feckless, and the stupid.

If only problems at home
were as easily solved
as they are here
with a sword
and some strength of character.

I'm glad to see you
on this side, my friend.

I dread the day when my enemies
have managed to pay for your sword.

So do I.

N-not because I like you, sir,
but because it will mean
you have forgotten my worth.

Or that you have.

Princess.

Lady Catherine.
Lady Kat.

Have you come to collect those papers?
Yes.
Yes, of course.

If my brother survives Scotland
We pray every night that he does.

Of course, but if he does,
I think we should have a tournament
or some games or some such.

I'd like to prove
my worth to you, Princess.

To me, sir?
You would find me the best man,
I promise you.

Best man in the field, in the stands,
anywhere about,
saving His Majesty the king.

My lord thinks
a great deal of himself today.

I'm the best for aim.

I'm the best for riding.

I'm the best for strength.

For courage.

My horse, he is greatly
impressed with me.

He told me so.

Perhaps not the best for riding.

For the rest, I'm sure.

Lady Elizabeth is quite the rider.

Huh.
Well, then
I bow to the princess'
superior knowledge.

Perhaps you would permit me
to ride with you one day.

I'd be your student.

Come, sir.
She is at practice.

Let's let her alone.

Your mother is so strict.

And loving.
But mostly strict.

Kat.

We shall ride together, sir.

A promise is made.

I thought you were being
fanciful talking of marriage,
but goodness.

I will never question
your judgment again.

You saw what I had not.

You think he likes me?
Likes?
He comes to Chelsea in
the middle of the day, alone,
to make chatter with you.

Unspeakably bold and inappropriate.

And bold.
Bold as anything.

- He is bold.

- So are you.

Lord, you deserve each other.

That's for sure.

A pair of bold, stubborn-minded cats.

No.
No.

Even if you fool Kat
which is easily done
and Elizabeth, there are
still others that see.

We must be the ones that tell the king.

Our news cannot reach him from others
that will poison his mind.

The sex lives of the court
aren't regularly recounted to the child.

This is not court gossip.

I am not your mistress.

I am not.

I know.

And the way you behave with Elizabeth
Oh, come, now.

I care for her.

She is not another amusement
for you, and nor am I.

Catherine.

Cut them down!
You're alive.

Congratulations.

Well, so is your brother.
Hey, tell me.

Have you really been as foolish
as I hear you've been?
With Catherine bloody Parr?
Lord Dudley, I feel
you should be scrubbing shirts
in a river somewhere
with the other washerwomen.

You consider me
a valuable piece in this game,
whether you admit it or not.

Now, my position is
Uh, never mind your position, Thomas.

You'll be lucky to keep your head.

Thomas!
Thomas, my wife is cousin to the king.

My daughter is in line for the throne,
and your brother isn't even here.

So why are me and my family
still relegated to the back
of the fucking hall?
Come on.

Six thousand Scottish dead
and only 200 English.

The new Josiah, Edward VI.

The new Josiah, Edward VI!
Uncle, I don't see
why I have to marry this girl.

If we have her here, that not enough?
Well, you have to marry someone.

Is no one to marry for love?
Who do you love?
Don't love anyone.

- I just
- Jane Grey, eh?
I-I barely know her.

She played cards with me
when I was a boy.

And if anybody
should be getting married,
it's my sisters.

Mary's far too bold.

She needs a strong hand
to bring her round to the true faith.

Good luck to the man up to that task.

Are you not?
Princess Elizabeth,
put your eyes back inside your head.

Do you know what rooms
like this become for women?
Cattle sales, as owners barter
over our value.

Well, I have no owner.

So you sell yourself?
Let's speak to him.

We were waiting for the right moment,
and that moment has come.

Your brother is returning as we speak.

It's treason, what we've done.

But it is done, Thomas.

Yeah, well,
no one knows about it.

God knows.

Your Grace, can we talk? Come with me.

Have you heard from your
brother the Lord Protector, sir,
how he fared at the battle?
Come.

You must speak
with your brother, Princess.

Come.

Sister they're married!
Well
these are the warmest
fraternal congratulations
I've ever witnessed.

Heavens, I knew that you loved me, sir,
but to see you take such joy
in my marriage.

You and that woman
are not to see the king again.

How do you propose to enforce that?
With the authority of the crown.

With my authority as Lord Protector.

With my authority as
the de facto ruler of England.

See how the king likes that.

Won't be long until your head's
on a spike, then, brother.

What the hell got into your mind?
Why go marry the woman?
As if you would have let me marry Mary.

As if you would have let me
marry Elizabeth.

The princesses?
You never would have let me.

God, man.

Neither of us were made
to marry princesses.

Neither of us were made to marry
Speak for yourself.

Speak for your own
your own weakness
and your frailty
and your lack of ambition.

Catherine Parr has loved me
long before Henry
stole her into his bed.

Love.

You really expect me to believe
you married her for love?
I married the queen.

You thought I was gonna
let you do what you're doing.

Build up the power
and then leave me out,
like you have Henry Grey.

Henry Grey is a fool.

That's why I leave him out.

I made you admiral.

It's just enough.

It's just enough,
just enough to keep me
looking the other way
while you put a knife to my throat.

You've lost your senses.

I know what you are.

I'm your brother.

I spit on that.

I trust you no more than I trust a
rabid dog.

Now, you go tell the king.

Go on.
Go tell him.

Go tell him he's not to see me
or the only mother he's ever known.

Go tell him, and I'm sure
that your trifling victory
in Scotland will soften the blow.

There was a war.

I could have died.

Well
war is never over.

So with any luck
you'll still get yourself killed.

We're too late.

It does not take a fleet
to ferry the little
Scottish queen to France.

I fear we have missed one departure
but are just in time to witness
a much greater arrival.

So I don't have to marry her?
Well, it seems
the Scottish queen has fled
to France.

The feeling, perhaps, was mutual.

We won.
Six thousand dead!
We won, and garrisons in Scotland
will keep what we have won.

We won nothing!
You went to get the queen
of Scots for my wife.

You sent word that we won.

I told the whole court! We had a feast!
The French sent help.

They smuggled her to a ship.

If we'd pressed on,
if we'd taken Edinburgh
You said we won.

You won.

You lost what we went for.

I had to return to court.

Thank God I did.

Hundreds spent on a feast.

My brother married
I gave permission.

Yeah, after the fact.

You wanted their marriage, Sire?
I wanted not to look a fool!
Well, for a boy
who hardly saw his father,
he's uncannily like him.

I suppose they were both
children in their own way.

I do grow tired of serving children.

Don't you, Lord Prote
Talk like this again,
I will have you whipped.

We must pass quickly.

You?
Lady Elizabeth.

I am to live here now, they say.

Lady Elizabeth.

As I am in line of succession.

I think they thought that
to be under Lady Catherine
and Sir Thomas' care
My brother's children,
my sister, Mary, and I
are in the line of succession.

It's a nonsense to talk of you
I meant legitimately in line.

Because he has no children,
and you and your sister
could be found illegitimate.

What did you say?
Some still say you're a bastard.

I know your father didn't want it so.

I I know he made
You-you dare speak
as if you knew the king.

- As if you know anything.

- I'm sorry.

I should strike you
for thinking such a thing.

What are you thinking now?
"Oh, her mother was a whore.

Her mother was a traitor.
"
I'm thinking nothing.

Then what are you doing here in my home?
I'm sorry.

None of this was my idea.

I wanted to stay with my family.

- I wanted
- Who cares what you want?
You think I've ever got
what I've wanted?
- You're a princess.

- Exactly.

You think I've ever got
what I've wanted?
You dishonor my father.

You laugh at his memory.

You marry again.
You lie to me.

You force me to come live with you,
and now I am to live with that brat?
With a child already fantasizing
about taking my brother's throne.

Forgive me, sir.

I didn't know you were there.

Well, as you say,
I married your stepmother.

Afraid I live here now too.

Along with the brat.

Elizabeth, I am so sorry.
I
You don't need to apologize, my dear.

It's me.

The brat Jane was my idea, I'm afraid.

I didn't know.

If you want her to go
Of course I don't.

You are my princess.

You are the king's daughter.

Sister.

Sister.

How does anyone listen to me?
If she's to leave, then she's to leave.

Why don't you leave us a moment?
Shall I be honest?
I believe one always should be.

Your brother has eyes for Jane.

For Jane Grey?
She's a good Protestant girl.

Excellent family, she's English,
and as meek as a mouse
unlike some others I could name.

I'm sorry.

Never be sorry
for a personality, Elizabeth.

I'll tell you a secret.

I have one myself.

I find it hard to picture you
a matchmaker.

Well, I'm only trying to help.

And your brother is the only reason
I'm not locked in the Tower
for my marriage to Catherine.

A decision, I now realize,
that if you'd been queen,
perhaps would have gone another way.

I wouldn't lock you in the Tower.

You wouldn't?
Well, that's very kind of you.

I had to act fast.

Your brother had it in his mind
that I'd marry your sister.

Mary?
I'd stamp the Catholic out of her
or something along those lines.

Although apparently I'm not
made to marry princesses.

Who said that?
The Lord Protector.
Who else?
So I suppose I never
would have married Mary.

I suppose not.

And anyway
if I had the choice of sisters
do you think I would have chosen her?
You chose my stepmother.

You chose Catherine.

Choices, choices.

They're difficult to make
especially when you're
bound by brothers and councils.

Wives who take the initiative.

You think you need
to explain that to me, sir?
No.

I suppose I don't.

If only we were all
free.

Free to act as we chose.

To do what we want.

If only.

What are we gonna do, Elizabeth?
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