The Virgin Queen explores the full sweep of Elizabeth's life: from her days of fear as a potential victim of her sister's terror; through her great love affair with Robert Dudley; into her ... See full summary »
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Series cast summary:
 William Cecil - Lord Burghley 4 episodes, 2006
 Sir Thomas Radcliffe - Earl of Sussex 3 episodes, 2006
 Courtier 3 episodes, 2006
 Baron Casper Breuner / ... 3 episodes, 2006
 Francis Walsingham 3 episodes, 2006
 Earl of Pembroke 2 episodes, 2006
Rodrigo De Veccha ...
 Alvarez De Quadra 2 episodes, 2006
 Mrs. Odingsell 2 episodes, 2006
 Dr. William Cowes 2 episodes, 2006
 Sir James Melville 2 episodes, 2006
Joanna Griffiths ...
Daniel Evans ...
 Robert Cecil 2 episodes, 2006
 Sir Walter Raleigh 2 episodes, 2006
 Francis Bacon 2 episodes, 2006
 Charles Blount 2 episodes, 2006
 Earl of Southampton 2 episodes, 2006
Simon Anderson ...
 Courtier 2 episodes, 2006
Gavin Brocker ...
 Young Man 2 episodes, 2006
Jordy Cernik ...
 Period Guard 2 episodes, 2006
Dirk Smith ...


The Virgin Queen explores the full sweep of Elizabeth's life: from her days of fear as a potential victim of her sister's terror; through her great love affair with Robert Dudley; into her years of triumph over the Armada; and finally her old age and her last, enigmatic relationship with her young protégé, the Earl of Essex. Written by CaptainStigmata

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


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Official Sites:




Release Date:

13 November 2005 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Elizabeth I: The Virgin Queen  »


Box Office


£6,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on  »

Technical Specs


(4 parts)

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?


[just before her death, reflecting on her reign]
Queen Elizabeth I: To be a king and wear a crown is a thing more glorious to them who see it than pleasant to them who bear it. For myself, I was never so much enticed by it as humbled that God chose me as His instrument to defend my kingdom from peril, dishonour, tyranny and oppression. There will never be a queen with more zeal and devotion for her country and her subjects, but it is my desire now to reign no longer than for your good.
See more »


God Breathed
Composed by Martin Phipps
Sung by Dessislava Stefanova & Eugenia Georgieva with "The London Bulgarian Choir"
Published by BDI Music
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User Reviews

What a disappointment.
30 January 2006 | by See all my reviews

I was really looking forward to this as Elizabeth is my favourite historical personage. However it's turned out to be a festival of historical inaccuracies, anachronisms and above all, poor casting.

The death of Mary Tudor didn't take place as was depicted, and in episode one Chancellor Gardiner was shown announcing Mary's death to Elizabeth in 1558, but Gardiner died three years before that in 1555. In the second episode Elizabeth used the quote "To err is human, to forgive, divine", which was written by Alexander Pope over 100 years after Elizabeth's death! Anne-Marie Duff, fine actress though she is, hasn't the fire and authority to play Elizabeth as she should be played. Sam Hardy is too wimpish for Dudley, which needs an actor with a commanding presence to play him. Jeremy Irons was just right for the part in the Channel 4 production "Elizabeth I" last year. Ian Hart is too young for Cecil, and Dexter Fletcher, who normally plays "cheeky Cockney" type roles, isn't right in the part of the Duke of Sussex either.

The scenes after Elizabeth's coronation were conducted in a room which was Jacobean, and the Victorian standing candelabra at the side of the throne were an anachronism. The stakes which the Protestant bishops Latimer and Ridley were tied to were nicely finished instead of being just a plain tree trunk as they would have been in reality - surely Mary's government would have thought that a bit of a waste when all they're going to do is get burnt? And to cap it all, they were burned in their best frilly nightshirts!

Lazy research by the writer, anachronistic quotes which seem to have escaped the script editor and lines no self respecting actor should have allowed to pass their lips have all combined to make The Virgin Queen a very poor example of a historical drama, which the BBC usually do so well (Charles II was excellent). Call me picky, call me pedantic, but if you're going to make a drama on one of the most famous women who ever lived, for god's sake get it RIGHT!

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