Elizabeth R

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Elizabeth R is a BBC television drama serial of six 85-minute plays starring Glenda Jackson in the title role. It was first broadcast on terrestrial channel BBC Two from February to March 1971, through the Australian Broadcasting Corporation in Australia and broadcast in America on the premiere season of PBS 's Masterpiece Theatre. The acclaimed series is considered to be a largely accurate historical portrayal of the life of Queen Elizabeth I of England.



  • The Lion's Cub - The fragile succession heralds dangerous times for the young Princess Elizabeth. Having narrowly avoided implication in Sir Thomas Seymour's attempted abduction of her sickly half-brother, the boy King Edward VI; she becomes an unintentional figurehead for a Protestant rebellion led by Thomas Wyatt the Younger when her half-sister Queen Mary I of England, a devout Roman Catholic, succeeds to the throne. Will the Princess Elizabeth survive her emotionally unstable half-sister's reign?
  • The Marriage Game - The new Queen Elizabeth I is 25 years old - and unmarried. Her council, particularly the man she trusts most Sir William Cecil, urges her to marry quickly, (to ensure the succession, among other valid reasons). Only Lord Robert Dudley, at first her Master of the Horse, and eventually the Earl of Leicester, seems to interest the Queen. When Dudley's wife dies under mysterious circumstances, Elizabeth must decide if she really wants to marry; and if so, is Dudley the right choice?
  • Shadow in the Sun - Elizabeth meets her most eligible suitor yet: Fran├žois, Duke of Anjou. A marriage will cement France's sought-for alliance with England. Both Sir William Cecil and Thomas Radclyffe, 3rd Earl of Sussex (especially the latter), eagerly support this marriage offer. Despite the Puritans' rousing opposition in the country (which her zealously anti-catholic councillor Sir Francis Walsingham secretly approves of), Elizabeth seems taken with the witty and flower-tongued Francois. As her duties as Queen clash with her feelings as a woman (and she discovers to her fury that Dudley has secretly married her cousin Lettice Knollys), Elizabeth faces her toughest decision. In the end, her good friend and councillor Sussex helps Elizabeth make her painfully honest, final decision. Elizabeth does not want to marry - ever!

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