This period drama frames the tumultuous affair between Queen Elizabeth I and the man who would be King of England, Robert Devereux, the Earl of Essex. Ever the victor on the battlefield, Devereux returns to London after defeating Spanish forces at Cadiz. Middle-aged Elizabeth, so attracted to the younger Devereux but fearful of his influence and popularity, sends him on a new mission: a doomed campaign to Ireland. When he and his troops return in defeat, Devereux demands to share the throne with the heir-less queen, and Elizabeth, at first, intends to marry. Ultimately sensing the marriage would prove disastrous for England, Elizabeth sets in motion a merciless plan to protect her people and preserve her throne. Written by
Elizabeth I's love for the Earl of Essex threatens to destroy her kingdom.
Did You Know?
As well as shaving two inches off her hairline at the forehead, Bette Davis
also had her eyebrows removed. She later complained that they never grew back properly and that ever after she had to draw them in with an eyebrow pencil. See more
Elizabeth completely smashes a mirror but in next shot a large shard of it still remains in the frame. See more
Robert Devereux, Earl of Essex
[after being slapped hard by Queen Elizabeth I
I would not have taken that from your father the King; much less will I take it from a king in petticoats!
Lyrics written by Walter Raleigh
Sung by Olivia de Havilland
(dubbed by Faith Kruger
Lute playing dubbed by an anonymous lutist See more