The duke of York, nicknamed Bertie, was born as royal 'spare heir', younger brother to the prince of Wales, and thus expected to spend a relatively private life with his Scottish wife ... See full summary »
Mary Stuart, who was named Queen of Scotland when she was only six days old, is the last Roman Catholic ruler of Scotland. She is imprisoned at he age of 23 by her cousin Elizabeth Tudor, ... See full summary »
The death of King Henry VIII throws his kingdom into chaos because of succession disputes. His weak son Edward, is on his deathbed. Anxious to keep England true to the Reformation, a ... See full summary »
Helena Bonham Carter,
In this comprehensive documentary, Henry VIII scholar David Starkey turns his attentions to the tyrant's daughter. Although most people who have a smattering of English history will know that Elizabeth ordered the execution of Mary Queen of Scots, probably few will realise that she was in some ways every bit as ruthless as her dear old Dad, that for example on one occasion she ordered a pamphleteer who had overstepped the mark have his hand amputated. And we complain about censorship today!
Another surprise is that she once accepted a proposal from a much younger suitor only to change her mind the very next morning. The big question though is was she really the Virgin Queen? Starkey doesn't really address that, but few people will take issue with the claim that her friendship with Robert Dudley was more than platonic.
Elizabeth and her court are brought to life in this series, and there are also interviews, including with a certain Anthony Babbington.
This may have been the first Elizabethan Age but it was also the rise of England and later the British Empire, and this is reflected therein. The latter may be gone forever but our own Queen Elizabeth has already long outlived and outreigned the original. And long may she continue to do so.
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