[00:00.00]Welcome to Movie English!
[00:07.21]In her last sickness, with the sense of her end coming on fast,
[00:11.53]Elizabeth I had the ring she had worn since her coronation
[00:15.61]filed away from the royal finger.
[00:18.49]It was a tricky operation, for the skin had grown in over the gold,
[00:24.41]but then it was supposed to be a tight fit.
[00:27.13]This was, in a manner of speaking, her wedding band,
[00:30.13]put on when she had joined herself to England, 45 years earlier.
[00:35.81]Now it seemed the two were to be put asunder.
[00:48.29]She was supposed to be immortal, of course.
[00:51.37]And the odd thing was, despite the garish auburn fright wig,
[00:56.01]the white face mask and the wrinkled bosom,
[00:58.65]foreign diplomats who saw her at court and had no reason to be gallant,
[01:02.85]swore they could still see the young woman, no more than 20 years of age.
[01:15.37]It doesn't do to be too starry-eyed about the Virgin Queen.
[01:20.53]Elizabeth I was only too obviously made of flesh and blood.
[01:25.65]She was vain, spiteful, arrogant, she was frequently unjust,
[01:31.61]and she was often maddeningly indecisive.
[01:35.73]But she was also brave, shockingly clever,
[01:39.37]an eyeful to look at and on occasions she was genuinely wise.
[01:44.53]In other words, she had all the qualities it took
[01:47.93]to make the genius politician she undoubtedly was.
[01:56.89]Just a few feet away from Elizabeth's tomb in Westminster Abbey
[02:01.09]lies the body of another woman, Mary, Queen of Scots,
[02:04.69]who had haunted and fascinated Elizabeth for so much of her life.
[02:10.65]No virgin, that's for sure. No politician either.
[02:15.81]A complete disaster as a ruler, you would have to say,
[02:18.73]but Mary managed something that eluded Elizabeth.
[02:25.37]This is the story of two queens and, more importantly,
[02:29.13]two women - one a politician, the other a mother.
[02:33.09]It's the story of a painful birth, the union of England and Scotland,
[02:38.57]the birth of Britain.
[03:24.97]A cherished tradition has it that when Elizabeth heard the news
[03:29.37]that she was to become queen, on November 17th, 1558,
[03:33.45]she was seated beneath an ancient oak tree.
[03:36.61]Her first words were from Psalm 118,
[03:40.13]"a domino factum est mirabile in oculis nostris" -
[03:44.37]"this is the Lord's doing and it is marvellous in our eyes."
[03:50.09]She was right, it was marvellous.
[03:52.49]In fact, it was little short of a miracle that she had made it to that day alive.
[03:58.17]Tudor royal politics were a bloody affair, especially for Tudor women.
[04:08.21]She had been only two, after all, when her mother, Anne Boleyn,
[04:11.93]had gone to the scaffold, her sin, in Henry's mind at least,
[04:15.85]being her failure to produce a son.
[04:18.01]It must have been a body possessed by others, by the devil.
[04:22.81]An unclean piece of flesh, it had to be cut away.
[04:30.93]So Elizabeth would never be free from suspicion.
[04:34.65]Out of her dark Boleyn eyes, she watched herself being watched.
[04:39.73]Inevitably, there were times when her guard was down.
[04:43.29]She was barely a teenager when trouble first struck.
[04:48.41]She was living with her guardian, Katherine Parr,
[04:51.29]Henry VIII's widow, when Parr's new husband,
[04:54.57]Thomas Seymour, started paying playful visits to her bedroom.
[05:00.65]When Katherine Parr died, a rumour started circulating
[05:04.77]that Seymour had his sights set on marrying Elizabeth.
[05:09.05]To even think of such a thing was treason.
[05:11.85]Even worse, some wagging tongues said that Elizabeth was pregnant with his child.
[05:19.69]It took all of Elizabeth's already extraordinary composure and self-confidence
[05:25.45]to persuade Lord Protector Somerset that she was innocent.
[05:30.93]My Lord, there goeth rumours abroad
[05:33.89]which be greatly against my honour, which be these:
[05:37.01]That I am in the Tower and with child by my Lord Admiral.
[05:40.49]My Lord, these are shameful slanders.
[05:43.45]I most heartily desire your Lordship
[05:45.61]that I may come to the court and show myself there as I am.
[05:49.37]Your assured friend to my little power, Elizabeth.
[05:56.17]She was, remember, just 14,
[05:59.13]but there was already the fortitude, the clarity and the courage.
[06:03.65]Just as well, because she would need these qualities five years later,
[06:08.45]when facing the most traumatic and dangerous crisis of her entire life.
[06:16.61]When her Catholic half-sister, Mary, came to the throne,
[06:20.25]Elizabeth found herself in even deeper trouble.
[06:24.01]She found herself in the Tower
[06:26.45]when a Protestant plot to get rid of Mary backfired.
[06:30.49]Elizabeth managed to talk herself out of being charged with treason,
[06:34.97]but she remained under close surveillance.
[06:38.09]Danger only turned to deliverance five years later
[06:42.01]when Queen Mary died childless.
[06:46.69]So here she was, Elizabeth, under the oak,
[06:50.01]about to be the Protestant queen.
[06:53.29]She had survived, just, but she must have been full of dark knowledge
[06:58.45]and experience about how difficult it was all going to be.
[07:02.25]Her mother had been killed for producing just a daughter and a stillborn,
[07:07.89]and her sister Mary's womb produced only the tumour that killed her.
[07:12.89]However dazzling Elizabeth looked, however clever she was,
[07:17.37]she must have known how rough the road was going to be
[07:20.93]for a ruler of the wrong sex.
[07:32.97]The 25-year old Elizabeth came into an inheritance
[07:36.89]of high hopes and deep anxieties.
[07:42.89]The celebrations at her coronation were carefully designed
[07:47.13]to show off the young queen as the paragon of virtue.
[07:51.09]This charade of piety, though, was hardly enough to compensate
[07:55.37]for the misfortune of having another woman on the throne.
[08:00.01]All the same, the sceptics must have been reassured
[08:02.93]by Elizabeth's precocious self-possession, the air of controlled energy
[08:07.77]she exuded in public, right from the start.
[08:12.37]You might suppose that her first appearances at the council
[08:16.45]would have been an ordeal, but what the councillors saw
[08:19.49]was not some girlish ingenue, but someone who seemed full,
[08:23.21]it was said, of manly authority.
[08:29.05]Elizabeth did all the things women in 16th-century England
[08:33.01]weren't supposed to do - she looked men in the eye and spoke out of turn.
[08:40.01]She had been schooled to it by her tutor, Roger Ascombe.
[08:46.01]Ascombe was not just another low-rent don.
[08:49.33]He was public orator at Cambridge University, and it was his outlandish idea
[08:54.53]to teach the teenage girl a discipline most people thought
[08:57.81]unsuitable for a woman: The art of rhetoric, the art of public speech.
[09:03.45]This was Elizabeth's first and would remain her strongest political weapon.
[09:11.57]But Elizabeth brought something to the management of sovereignty
[09:15.77]that was entirely her own; something, for that matter,
[09:18.97]which none of the princely conduct manuals spelled out,
[09:22.45]that statecraft was also stagecraft.
[09:27.29]Her father and mother had both known this instinctively.
[09:30.73]Elizabeth had the actress's gift in spadefuls.
[09:34.77]She simply adored being adored.
[09:44.29]Adoration, though, wasn't the same thing as allegiance.
[09:48.69]For her most important advisor, her surrogate father, William Cecil,
[09:53.69]charisma was no substitute for the one thing
[09:56.77]which would secure the future of a Protestant England - an heir.
[10:05.21]Cecil knew that the majority of the country was still Catholic
[10:09.61]either actively or passively. He also knew how little it would take
[10:13.97]for the hard-earned gains of the Reformation to be undone.
[10:18.17]Though the queen kept telling everyone it was none of their business,
[10:22.13]Cecil constantly reminded her that the realm needed her to have a husband.
[10:29.29]Her body required it too, since in the 16th century
[10:34.09]prolonged virginity was thought to bring on the potentially toxic condition
[10:38.89]known as green sickness, the abnormal retention of female sperm.
[10:44.85]Marital copulation, then,
[10:47.17]was what the doctor ordered for the good of the realm.
[10:50.89]The problem, though, as Cecil was painfully aware,
[10:54.97]was that if he pushed Elizabeth too hard, she might just end up
[10:59.25]plumping for the man everyone assumed she really loved.
[11:03.45]That man was Cecil's rival on the council, Robert Dudley.
[11:12.17]Dudley was everything Cecil was not - flashy, gallant, a noisy extrovert,
[11:18.01]and not least, incredibly good-looking, especially on a horse.
[11:21.93]To a queen who liked being surrounded with lookers
[11:24.89]and was capable of dismissing those she thought physically unpleasing,
[11:29.37]this mattered a lot.
[11:31.53]They shared a past, the same tutors, the same childhood traumas.
[11:36.85]His father had been executed for treason, so both were orphans of the scaffold.
[11:42.37]In the grim years of Mary's reign, he'd sold lands
[11:45.73]to help Elizabeth out. That sort of thing she never forgot.
[11:54.05]But how much of a couple were they?
[11:57.57]Did they, as the gossips in Europe and the diplomats
[12:01.05]and movie-makers since have assumed, become lovers?
[12:08.29]In the way was Dudley's wife, but she had been ailing for years.
[12:13.33]When she died, Dudley would be free,
[12:16.05]and sleeping with your intended was not unusual in Tudor England.
[12:20.01]But this would have been outrageous for a queen who paraded her virginity
[12:25.61]at her coronation by leaving her hair down.
[12:29.89]When pressed about the rumours, she airily retorted
[12:33.25]that it was impossible when surrounded day and night by her ladies.
[12:38.21]With the example of the fate of her own mother before her,
[12:42.65]it would have been foolhardy to the point of insanity
[12:45.37]for her to sleep with Dudley.
[12:47.53]The politician in her was, as always, ruling the lover.
[12:56.25]Something then happened which did terrible damage to their relationship.
[13:02.01]Dudley's wife, Amy, was found at the bottom of a staircase
[13:06.01]dead from a broken neck.
[13:09.17]An accident seemed altogether too convenient to be credible.
[13:14.17]This was, after all, the golden age of gossip
[13:17.77]and gossip did not believe Amy had fallen but had been pushed.
[13:24.89]Elizabeth immediately sent Dudley away until cleared of suspicion.
[13:29.53]Officially he was, and though the queen always insisted
[13:33.49]that Dudley had been vindicated, it still cast a shadow
[13:37.61]over their relationship, just when they had become free to marry.
[13:42.49]Perhaps it was a case of, "Beware of wishing for your heart's true desire
[13:47.21]"lest you end by getting it".
[13:53.37]For the next few years, Elizabeth swung mercurially
[13:57.21]between endearment and exasperation, drawing up documents
[14:01.17]to make Dudley an Earl, only to shred them in front of him.
[14:05.21]And other times, especially when she felt nagged by the council,
[14:09.13]she would torment them by pretending their marriage
[14:11.69]was just about to happen. It never did.
[14:17.21]By 1563, Elizabeth had given up on the possibility of ever marrying Dudley.
[14:24.53]She was prepared to offer him to someone else -
[14:27.77]someone whose own marriage prospects were of tremendous significance
[14:33.33]for the balance of power in Britain - Mary Stuart, Queen of the Scots.
[14:44.65]Throughout the whole tortured history of their relationship,
[14:47.85]Elizabeth was eaten up with curiosity about her cousin, Mary.
[14:51.97]Trapped in a neurotic beauty contest,
[14:54.49]interrogating her ambassadors as if they were mirrors on the wall
[14:58.33]as to who was the taller, fairer, wittier, the cleverer.
[15:01.97]Elizabeth may have won for brains, but from the few pictures we have of her,
[15:07.57]Mary, with her heart-shaped face, heavy eyelids and creamy complexion,
[15:12.05]had the stuff to reduce grown men to warm puddles on the floor.
[15:18.05]She was more than just competition.
[15:20.25]To Elizabeth, Mary, Queen of Scots, was a menace.
[15:25.57]The reason was obvious. Mary was a Catholic
[15:28.93]and a Catholic Church did not recognise Elizabeth's right
[15:32.77]to be Queen of England.
[15:34.53]To them, she was a product of Henry VIII's illegal marriage to Anne Boleyn.
[15:39.37]In Mary's Catholic eyes, then, Elizabeth was simply illegitimate.
[15:44.69]How could Elizabeth not take this personally?
[15:48.81]Mary was not only a Stuart, she was also a Tudor
[15:53.25]through her great grandfather, Henry VII.
[15:55.97]So long as Elizabeth was childless,
[15:58.61]Mary was next in line to the English throne.
[16:07.73]From the moment Mary arrived in Scotland at the age of 18
[16:12.17]from the French court where she had been brought up,
[16:15.17]the relationship between the cousins was tainted with mutual suspicion.
[16:20.41]At the first opportunity, Elizabeth behaved badly, almost irrationally,
[16:25.69]denying Mary safe conduct through England to her new realm
[16:29.33]and forcing her to sail the long way round to Scotland.
[16:33.45]Though the injured party,
[16:35.65]Mary's response already betrayed the theatrical self-pity
[16:39.65]which so got up Elizabeth's nose.
[16:43.73]I trust the wind will be so favourable,
[16:46.69]as I shall not need to come on the coast of England.
[16:49.85]And if I do, Monsieur L'Ambassadeur,
[16:52.25]the queen, your mistress, shall have me in her hands
[16:56.61]to do her will of me, and if she be so hard-hearted as to desire my end,
[17:01.65]she may then do her pleasure and make sacrifice of me.
[17:08.89]Perhaps things might be better between the two of them
[17:11.89]if Mary accepted Elizabeth's choice of a safe Protestant husband for her,
[17:16.41]in the winning form of Robert Dudley.
[17:20.49]One tiny problem with this plan, though.
[17:23.09]Mary had no intention of being told what to do by Elizabeth.
[17:27.25]Anyway, everyone knew that after the death of his wife,
[17:31.25]Robert Dudley was spoiled goods.
[17:37.13]Lord Henry Darnley, the handsome poster boy of Scottish nobility,
[17:41.81]seemed a much better prospect.
[17:44.17]One look at Darnley's shapely calves and Mary decided she must have him.
[17:49.41]It helped that he too had Tudor blood flowing through his veins.
[17:54.29]Unfortunately, a lot of whisky ran through them too.
[17:58.41]Too late, Mary discovered she had married a lazy, dissolute drunk,
[18:02.53]incapable of doing even the minimal things required of a co-sovereign.
[18:08.53]Stuck at Holyrood with the task of ruling Scotland without him,
[18:12.57]Mary increasingly relied on her private secretary,
[18:16.25]the Italian Catholic, David Riccio.
[18:19.49]Naturally, the Protestant nobles in Scotland
[18:22.85]were convinced that Mary was plotting to turn Scotland back into a Catholic country.
[18:29.37]So Darnley's increasing estrangement from his wife
[18:33.45]gave the lords most offended by Riccio's access to the queen
[18:37.81]the opening they were looking for.
[18:41.01]In 1566, a group of them approached Darnley
[18:44.61]and proposed what amounted to a violent coup.
[18:47.89]Get rid of Riccio, who was her lover, they said, not just her secretary.
[18:54.09]"Ah," thought Darnley, "That would explain why she's such a bitch.
[18:58.49]"I'll show her who's in charge."
[19:05.25]On March 7th, while she was dining, Darnley and his fellow plotters
[19:09.93]burst into Mary's chamber, tore the terrified Riccio from Mary's skirts
[19:14.85]and stabbed him to death in front of her.
[19:33.33]Between 50 and 60 wounds were discovered on his body
[19:37.01]after it was thrown down the privy staircase.
[19:40.05]At some point the murderers turned to Mary,
[19:43.01]pointing a pistol at her heavily pregnant belly.
[19:49.93]Perhaps at that moment, Mary knew how to turn terror into power,
[19:54.97]for in the months to follow, she milked the melodrama
[19:58.25]of the threatened womb for all it was worth.
[20:02.93]Instead of being reduced to a weeping wreck, Mary was strangely calm.
[20:08.45]She knew she could be strong because she was carrying
[20:12.29]her greatest weapon inside her womb.
[20:15.69]Whatever happened to her useless, drunken, homicidal,
[20:18.89]nitwit of a husband, she knew a baby would be born.
[20:22.85]Mother and child were going to survive.
[20:30.21]On June 19th, at Edinburgh Castle, Mary gave birth to the boy
[20:34.93]who would become James VI of Scotland.
[20:37.89]On hearing the news, Elizabeth's reaction was to cry,
[20:42.01]Alack, the Queen of Scots is lighter of a bonny son
[20:47.25]and I am but of barren stock.
[21:07.61]Mary was by now so consumed with contempt for Darnley
[21:12.21]that she resolved to be rid of him.
[21:14.45]Possibly all she meant was to be rid of him as a husband
[21:18.25]but there were some devotees, in particular the Earl of Bothwell,
[21:23.33]who took her sighs to mean something altogether more decisive.
[21:28.93]Bothwell, one of the great landowners of Scotland,
[21:32.21]was rich, promiscuous and dangerous.
[21:35.49]He could also turn on the gallantry,
[21:37.93]and in her distress Mary turned to him as protector,
[21:42.05]and Bothwell was only too happy to solve Mary's Darnley problem.
[21:50.37]On the evening of March 9th, 1567, while Mary was attending a ball,
[21:56.77]Bothwell supervised the lighting of a fuse
[22:00.01]that at two in the morning would detonate an immense quantity of gunpowder
[22:04.33]beneath the house where Darnley was asleep.
[22:12.25]The house was blown sky high. Darnley was dead,
[22:17.33]but not bumped off according to plan.
[22:19.41]Minutes before the explosion, he'd heard suspicious noises,
[22:22.61]and had himself lowered out of his bedroom window on a chair.
[22:26.69]Running through the garden in his night-shirt, he ran into the plotters,
[22:31.61]who promptly throttled him to death.
[22:43.05]Darnley's murder was a turning point in Mary's life.
[22:46.97]From now on, death followed Mary like a lady-in-waiting.
[22:52.85]She was already sick, vomiting black mucus.
[22:56.45]She needed help, and the unscrupulous Bothwell was at hand.
[23:01.33]His power over Mary made him reckless.
[23:04.37]He announced to the Scottish lords that for the proper government of the country
[23:09.21]it was necessary for Mary to have a husband.
[23:12.77]Very decently, he offered himself for the job.
[23:18.41]Bothwell's idea of a marriage proposal was to abduct Mary
[23:22.69]and take her to his grim castle in Dunbar.
[23:26.17]There he planted his flag as prospective King of Scotland
[23:30.29]by planting himself - violently, it was said - inside her body.
[23:36.73]Now he supposed the traumatised Mary would have to marry him,
[23:40.81]and, to most of the country's horror,
[23:43.77]Mary did just that, a few weeks later, at Holyrood.
[23:50.49]It was at this point that Mary lost it - lost control over her own body,
[23:56.21]lost the priceless political asset of her motherhood,
[23:59.69]soiled by her relationship with Bothwell.
[24:03.05]Lost Scotland, lost the whole damned shooting match.
[24:06.41]The thing is, it need never have happened.
[24:09.37]Had she been half the politician Elizabeth was,
[24:12.41]she would have distanced herself from Bothwell, not married him.
[24:15.85]Then she'd have come down like a ton of bricks on Darnley's murderers,
[24:20.29]professing herself to be shocked at the crime, truly shocked,
[24:24.57]then presenting herself to the people of Scotland
[24:27.69]as a doubly victimised mother.
[24:29.85]Instead, the mother let herself be turned into a whore.
[24:37.53]Mary now faced the rebel armies loyal to the murdered Darnley.
[24:41.77]But on the verge of battle, Bothwell conveniently
[24:44.89]disappeared to gather reinforcements, or so he said,
[24:48.65]leaving Mary to face the enemy on her own.
[24:51.89]It was the last she would ever see of him.
[24:55.89]Dragged back to Edinburgh, a captive, filthy and dishevelled,
[25:00.41]she appeared at a window, her dress torn from her shoulders,
[25:04.33]her breasts exposed, and was greeted by a mob howling abuse.
[25:10.13]Handbills featuring her as a mermaid began to appear,
[25:14.05]a mermaid being another name for a prostitute.
[25:17.29]Mermaids were not fit to sit on the throne of Scotland,
[25:22.13]so Mary was forced to renounce it in favour of her baby son.
[25:26.49]Her Protestant half-brother, the Earl of Moray,
[25:29.69]took charge of baby James and made himself Regent of Scotland.
[25:35.09]Mary was 25 years old.
[25:38.73]Her history seemed done, but of course it was not.
[25:54.89]She had one last weapon - her air of tragically damaged beauty.
[26:00.81]Incarcerated in Loch Leven Castle, in the middle of a deep, cold lake,
[26:06.01]she unleashed her seductive charm on her jailer,
[26:09.25]one of the usually hard-bitten Douglas clan, who melted in adoration.
[26:18.77]After ten months of imprisonment, in May 1568,
[26:23.17]Mary made a getaway across the loch.
[26:28.89]There was only one way to get her throne back -
[26:32.57]an appeal to her cousin Elizabeth.
[26:35.65]Her next journey, across the border, was to be in the nature of a temporary refuge.
[26:41.61]She must have supposed her stay would last a month, a year at the most.
[26:46.77]Had she known the real answer, 19 years,
[26:50.77]she would surely have avoided the passage across the Solway Firth.
[26:55.57]There she was, an exhausted, bedraggled figure,
[26:59.85]her hair cropped for disguise, sitting hunched in a small boat,
[27:04.85]her eyes fixed on the disappearing shoreline of Scotland.
[27:16.89]Mary's appearance on English soil threw Elizabeth into turmoil.
[27:22.17]Was Mary her heir or wasn't she?
[27:25.09]After all, Elizabeth wasn't getting any younger, 35 in 1568.
[27:31.57]The royal laundresses were still sending Cecil monthly evidence
[27:35.81]of her capacity to produce children,
[27:38.29]but she was no nearer to getting married.
[27:42.13]Would the fugitive Queen of Scots be treated like the next in line
[27:46.97]or at least as a fellow sovereign, a guest?
[27:50.69]Not exactly. Mary's first request to Elizabeth was for some clothes
[27:55.37]that befitted her status rather than the rags she had fled in.
[28:00.69]What she got, after much complaining, was a packet of linen.
[28:09.09]Just as well perhaps that she didn't know
[28:12.21]that Elizabeth was already wearing Mary's favourite pearls,
[28:15.97]stolen from Mary by her enemies and sent to the English queen.
[28:22.09]In fact, Elizabeth didn't know what to do with Mary.
[28:25.69]All her royal instincts were outraged by the humiliations and indignities
[28:30.25]heaped on her royal cousin.
[28:32.85]If Mary would agree to keep her hands off the English throne,
[28:36.77]Elizabeth was tempted to help her regain the Scottish crown.
[28:43.61]Elizabeth could also see the wisdom of the opposite view,
[28:48.01]that it was folly to restore a Catholic queen to the Scottish throne,
[28:52.09]giving a back door entry to Britain for the French and Spanish.
[28:57.69]There was a safe Protestant regime in Scotland now, run by Mary's enemies.
[29:02.65]Why rock the boat?
[29:04.81]So if Mary imagined she could rely on the sisterhood of queens, she was deluded.
[29:10.77]The first thing Elizabeth did was order an inquiry
[29:14.45]into the murder of Mary's husband, Lord Darnley,
[29:17.57]which turned into a trial in all but name.
[29:24.21]Now Mary could have no illusions that she was anything except a prisoner.
[29:29.45]She was shuttled from house to house
[29:32.33]under the watchful eye of the Earl of Shrewsbury,
[29:35.13]who got the unenviable job of being her jailer.
[29:38.57]Some of the houses were not much more than a damp ruin,
[29:42.05]others, like Wingfield here, were more tolerable.
[29:45.97]Wingfield is in Derbyshire, and that tells you something
[29:50.13]about the nervousness of her captors.
[29:52.69]Mary had to be kept a long way from any possibility of rescue,
[29:57.85]far away from Scotland, far away from London, far away from the coast.
[30:02.49]In fact, in the Midlands.
[30:04.97]But wherever she was, she had become maximum security problem number one,
[30:11.21]not just a headache but a magnet for conspiracy.
[30:23.29]There were many political heavyweights
[30:26.25]for whom Mary was a legitimate, attractive alternative to Elizabeth.
[30:30.97]They were not just a bunch of wild-eyed Catholic dreamers,
[30:34.65]but men close to the heart of Elizabeth's government.
[30:39.89]Their most ambitious plan was to annul the Bothwell marriage
[30:43.57]and marry the Queen of Scots to the premier duke of the realm,
[30:47.21]Thomas Howard, Duke of Norfolk.
[30:50.33]Although Norfolk may have been a Catholic at heart, he was, like so many of this time,
[30:56.29]outwardly at least, a conforming Protestant.
[30:59.77]It was reasonable to see the marriage plot
[31:03.49]as a way of binding up the unhealed wounds of the Reformation,
[31:07.97]but the queen wasn't fooled for a moment.
[31:11.65]When the plot was exposed, she sent Norfolk to the Tower.
[31:22.33]The plot collapsed.
[31:24.73]There was, though, a different kind of fury waiting to happen,
[31:28.17]and this WAS burning with a Catholic flame.
[31:37.09]In the north, Catholicism had not only not been rooted out,
[31:40.97]it fed on the burning resentment and fierce independence
[31:45.65]of the great aristocratic families who ran things here.
[31:50.25]They'd been here for centuries, and weren't about to be pushed around
[31:54.41]by a bunch of Tudor bureaucrats.
[31:56.65]They weren't to be told what was what in their government and religion.
[32:02.25]So, for them, Mary Stuart was not just a successor,
[32:06.81]she was a replacement, as in immediate replacement.
[32:15.53]So the Catholic north fought the Protestant south.
[32:19.41]For a while it looked as though the North might win.
[32:23.77]As rebels swept through Lancashire, Yorkshire and Northumberland,
[32:27.81]it must have seemed that Catholic Britain had been reborn.
[32:32.09]Now Elizabeth's government really knew what it was up against,
[32:37.29]the latest act in the endlessly drawn out religious war that began
[32:41.65]when Henry VIII made himself Supreme Head of the Church.
[32:46.41]12,000 troops were mustered and the rebellion brutally crushed.
[32:57.49]Perhaps the brutality worked, because the northern rising
[33:01.77]was the last great rebellion to disturb Tudor England.
[33:05.37]It's tempting to feel the country settling at last
[33:09.37]into its Elizabethan finery, feeling fat, safe, comfortable.
[33:14.89]But it was always a jittery kind of grandeur.
[33:27.41]Elizabeth was 20 years into her reign and suitors had come and gone.
[33:33.25]There was always something the matter with them - too lowly,
[33:36.61]too Catholic, too stupid.
[33:39.17]And besides, now her suitors had rivals -
[33:43.05]millions of her subjects, who had become jealously possessive
[33:47.01]and thought that the queen was theirs alone.
[33:53.17]In the 1570s, they got her.
[33:56.61]The cult, the religion of Elizabeth, was spectacularly created.
[34:10.65]Her accession day became the greatest of national holidays,
[34:14.93]more sacred than all the heathen events on the papist calendar.
[34:30.57]Her image began to appear everywhere in allegorical pictures,
[34:35.29]Elizabeth as the sun who gave the rainbow its radiant hues.
[34:40.33]Even those on the inside, who could plainly see
[34:44.97]the elaborate scaffolding from which this image was projected,
[34:48.93]who knew that the pale moon glow of the queen's face
[34:52.49]was just pulverised eggshell, borax, alum and mill water,
[34:57.01]even these knowing types were total captives to the cult.
[35:03.13]She had this effect on all kinds of people, especially men,
[35:06.45]even when they got older and should have known better.
[35:10.85]They built huge prodigy houses in her honour.
[35:14.57]It was in its way a desperate need to impress,
[35:17.53]a sign of the culture's raw immaturity,
[35:20.97]its hunger for glitzy gorgeousness,
[35:23.69]Elizabethan razzle-dazzle, thigh-hugging hose,
[35:27.37]oak-panelled libraries with yards of unread classics,
[35:31.61]ballrooms as big as playing fields.
[35:42.33]You'd think devotees would be queuing for a glimpse of the national Madonna,
[35:48.41]but many knew that hosting the show came at a heavy price.
[35:53.81]If you were a burgess of the City of Warwick,
[35:57.01]it's hard to know which lot would have made you more nervous.
[36:00.61]The royal wanderers, after all, came with 200 carts of the queen's baggage,
[36:07.01]each pulled by a team of six horses.
[36:10.09]That's a lot of stable room to find, that is a lot of hay.
[36:14.09]Then, a week before the event,
[36:16.69]men from the office of purveyors would come and buy up
[36:21.09]everything in sight for the visit, at prices they decided were fair.
[36:25.93]Then the lords and ladies, so notoriously hard to please.
[36:30.37]Supposing they rolled their eyes at the entertainment,
[36:34.21]supposing they wrinkled their nose at the fair?
[36:37.89]Last of all, there was Queen Bess herself,
[36:41.13]a bejewelled apparition with a chalk-white face
[36:45.05]like some goddess on earth.
[36:47.85]But, like the immortals, she was evidently frightening as well as majestic.
[36:57.49]You could revel in the Elizabethan glamour show
[37:00.53]as long as you didn't think too hard about what was going on
[37:04.65]beyond the sceptr'd isle.
[37:06.81]For out there, in Europe,
[37:08.89]a total war between Catholic and Protestant powers was about to ignite.
[37:14.81]The rivalry between Mary, Queen of Scots, and Elizabeth
[37:18.65]was no longer a girlie soap opera,
[37:21.57]it was right at the centre of that global struggle.
[37:25.41]In Rome, the Pope declared Elizabeth was to be considered a heretic.
[37:30.53]"Whoever sends her out of the world," the Pope decreed,
[37:33.85]"not only does not sin, but gains merit in the eyes of God."
[37:39.21]In response, England became a national security state.
[37:43.89]Infiltrators and double agents were recruited by the government.
[37:48.29]Gentlemen vigilantes were sworn to take out, in advance,
[37:52.73]anyone so much as suspected of plotting against the queen.
[37:59.01]At the heart of the operation was Elizabeth's chief spymaster,
[38:06.01]"Intelligence is never too dear," was Walsingham's motto.
[38:10.97]His whole career was an applied demonstration that knowledge is power.
[38:17.89]But if Walsingham was ferocious, he was not paranoid.
[38:22.37]There were underground conspiracies, organised in France, Rome and Spain,
[38:28.01]all working to one end - the assassination of Elizabeth
[38:32.85]and the enthronement of Mary Stuart.
[38:38.29]Elizabeth might have been queasy about taking care of Mary,
[38:42.37]but Walsingham wasn't.
[38:44.65]It was his job to get his hands dirty for England, that's what spymasters do.
[38:49.61]But he knew well enough he couldn't just do her in.
[38:52.93]Elizabeth had to be free of suspicion of complicity in murder.
[38:57.49]On the other hand, the Mary problem could not be allowed
[39:01.41]to drag on for another 15 years.
[39:04.49]Walsingham realised he would have to force a solution.
[39:09.53]So he engineered a trap... and it was a gem.
[39:16.81]Mary may have been under house arrest,
[39:19.57]but she was allowed to lead the life of the country lady.
[39:23.89]Then, in December 1585, Walsingham made a change.
[39:30.61]Mary and her household were suddenly packed up
[39:33.69]and sent to close confinement at Chartley Manor, Staffordshire,
[39:37.37]where she was guarded by the unsmiling puritan, Amyas Paulet.
[39:44.65]As Walsingham had intended, Mary was furious,
[39:48.61]desperate to find a way out of her prison.
[39:51.61]So she was thrilled when she discovered an ingenuous means
[39:55.77]to smuggle coded letters to her supporters.
[39:59.49]The letters were secretly put in a watertight packet,
[40:03.25]slipped in the bunghole of beer casks, delivered to and from Chartley.
[40:10.49]What Mary didn't know was that this was a trap.
[40:14.13]Walsingham had set the whole thing up.
[40:17.29]The letters were intercepted.
[40:20.81]When Mary's latest champion, the rich merchant Anthony Babbington,
[40:25.33]supplied Mary with details of a plot to murder Elizabeth
[40:28.81]and put Mary on the English throne, Mary wrote back with encouragement.
[40:35.89]The trap was sprung.
[40:43.41]At Chartley, Mary felt the skies lighten.
[40:46.13]After nearly 20 years of unjust imprisonment,
[40:49.25]she could feel liberty at hand, so close she could practically taste it.
[40:54.13]One morning, unusually, Paulet allowed her to go riding, hunting.
[41:00.45]From a distance, she could see a group of horsemen approach.
[41:04.73]Mary must have imagined,
[41:07.45]"This is it -news from Babington. Freedom at last."
[41:13.25]But it was in fact the warrant for her arrest.
[41:17.69]Babington and his fellow plotters had been tortured and had confessed.
[41:24.69]Mary was taken away while her rooms at Chartley were searched,
[41:29.09]turning up hundreds of incriminating documents.
[41:34.89]In London, Elizabeth wrote an ecstatic letter to Amyas Paulet.
[41:41.09]Amyas, my most faithful and careful servant,
[41:44.93]God reward thee treble-fold for the most troublesome charge
[41:49.09]so well discharged.
[41:59.37]There was just one more stop, one more castle
[42:02.77]in the career of the wandering queen:
[42:05.37]Fotheringhay in Northamptonshire.
[42:08.73]It's just a grassy mound now, which is just as well,
[42:12.53]since no ruin, no standing building for that matter,
[42:16.17]could take the weight of the drama that was to follow.
[42:22.73]Anyone expecting Mary Stuart to crumble into tearful confession
[42:28.17]had seriously misjudged her.
[42:30.85]Up against it,
[42:33.01]she drew on something inside her long and mostly disastrous career
[42:38.13]which made her resolute and unnervingly lofty,
[42:41.61]as if she was above this squalid charade.
[42:45.53]From the moment of her arrest to the moment of her execution,
[42:49.85]she gave as good as she got.
[42:54.21]As a sinner, I am truly conscious of having often offended my creator.
[43:00.05]I beg him to forgive me.
[43:02.97]But as queen and sovereign,
[43:05.29]I am aware of no offence for which I have to render account
[43:09.25]to anyone here below.
[43:14.69]Her second tactic was to lie her head off,
[43:17.73]denying all knowledge of the Babington plot,
[43:20.53]though she was on stronger ground when she accused Walsingham
[43:23.97]of having set up the whole thing to get rid of her.
[43:29.85]Elizabeth did not see it exactly in this way.
[43:34.17]She wrote to Mary as if the Queen of the Scots
[43:36.77]had been an ungrateful house guest who'd made off with the towels.
[43:43.21]You have planned to take my life and ruin my Kingdom by shedding blood.
[43:47.93]I never proceeded so hastily against you.
[43:51.09]On the contrary, I have maintained you and preserved your life
[43:55.25]with the same care which I use for myself.
[44:05.13]On the 15th of October, 1586, the formal trial began.
[44:10.81]In a typical gesture, half plea, half threat,
[44:14.93]Mary warned her prosecutors to look to their consciences.
[44:19.09]"Remember," she said, "the theatre of the world
[44:22.73]"is wider than the realm of England."
[44:24.89]It was to that audience, world-wide and across the ages,
[44:29.29]that she now took centre stage.
[44:34.69]Mary hobbled into the room, by now painfully infirm,
[44:39.17]dressed head to foot like a glamorous Mother Superior,
[44:42.45]in swathes of black velvet and a white headdress.
[44:46.09]Deprived of any lawyer, she turned to the big guns
[44:49.49]of the Privy Council facing her.
[44:52.97]There is not one, I think, among you,
[44:56.53]let him be the cleverest man in the world,
[44:59.21]who would be capable of defending himself
[45:02.65]if he were in my place.
[45:07.29]Of course, it wouldn't have mattered what she said.
[45:10.93]The trial resumed in London without her
[45:13.81]and passed swiftly to her conviction.
[45:19.49]All her adult life, Elizabeth had been spooked
[45:23.13]by her fascinating, infuriating cousin,
[45:26.09]who seemed to personify all the cliches about women
[45:29.77]which Elizabeth had rejected.
[45:32.13]Now she had a precious opportunity to get Mother Mary off her back.
[45:36.97]Parliament was impatient to be rid of her,
[45:39.33]the people were positively baying for Mary's blood.
[45:43.53]Yet, somehow, Elizabeth couldn't bring herself to do the deed.
[45:47.65]It wasn't that she was sentimental about Mary, it was that she was scared -
[45:51.97]scared to be seen by the world to have her fingerprints on the axe.
[46:00.05]This is what was robbing Elizabeth of her sleep,
[46:03.53]the tormenting question, whether by killing Mary
[46:07.33]she was getting rid of trouble or inviting it.
[46:12.97]On February 1st, 1587, Elizabeth finally put her signature
[46:19.17]on Mary's death warrant.
[46:37.21]All the chaos, squalor, reckless adventuring, rash conspiracies,
[46:43.05]pathetic delusions, histrionic bouts of self-pity, all the escapes and rescues,
[46:49.01]they had all led her to this one supreme moment.
[46:52.97]She would be a Catholic martyr.
[47:02.61]When Mary was told she was to be executed the next morning,
[47:07.45]by a weeping Scottish courtier, she told him to be joyful instead,
[47:12.69]"For the end of Mary Stuart's trouble," she said, "is now done."
[47:19.89]Carry this message from me and tell my friends that I died
[47:24.41]a true woman to my religion
[47:26.77]and like a true Scottish woman and a true French woman.
[47:40.81]When she undressed for the executioner,
[47:43.57]the demure black gown fell away to reveal a crimson petticoat,
[47:48.73]the blood-red hue of the martyr.
[47:52.57]Mary's eyes were bound with a white silk handkerchief,
[47:56.45]embroidered with gold,
[47:58.85]and she lay with such utter stillness on the block
[48:02.49]that it actually unnerved the executioner.
[48:18.81]His first blow cut deep into the back of her head,
[48:22.41]the second severed it but for a hanging thread of flesh.
[48:29.37]Even now, Mary contrived to remain centre stage.
[48:33.97]For 15 minutes after the last blow of the axe,
[48:37.25]the lips on her severed head, so witnesses reported,
[48:41.05]continued to move as if in silent prayer.
[48:52.89]When the executioner, by now probably wanting to die himself,
[48:57.25]held up the head to the spectators,
[48:59.41]he made the mistake of grasping it by the mass of auburn curls...
[49:03.73]but that was a wig.
[49:06.45]To general horror, Mary's skull, the hair cropped into short grey stubble,
[49:11.17]fell from his grip and rolled along the floor.
[49:23.93]At that moment a terrible howling
[49:26.61]came from the crimson, blood-soaked petticoat.
[49:31.17]Mary's lap dog had to be taken away from the wreckage of her mistress.
[49:37.17]They tried and tried to scrub it clean of the clotted blood.
[49:41.05]They did so, but it wouldn't eat, it languished, it died.
[49:45.57]It was just another martyr to Mary's pathetic, tragic life.
[49:50.77]Perhaps that little dog was the first mourner,
[49:53.45]it certainly was not going to be the last.
[50:00.29]Among the mourners, astoundingly, was Queen Elizabeth,
[50:05.13]in deep denial of what she had done.
[50:09.29](MAN) When she heard, her countenance changed, her words faltered
[50:14.05]and with excessive sorrow she was in a manner astonished,
[50:18.05]in so much as she gave herself over to grief,
[50:20.57]putting herself into mourning weeds and shedding abundance of tears.
[50:40.37]Some of Elizabeth's anguish may have been genuine remorse,
[50:44.41]some of it was downright fear - and she was right to worry.
[50:49.97]Even before Mary's execution, King Phillip of Spain
[50:53.77]had accelerated his plans for the "enterprise" of England,
[50:57.61]and with Mary now dead, there would be no stopping him.
[51:01.57]Suddenly, Elizabethan England looked very small, very vulnerable.
[51:12.29]This was Elizabeth's worst nightmare, a full-scale Catholic invasion,
[51:18.49]and now Phillip was launching one.
[51:22.37]The Spanish admirals, however, were deeply pessimistic of success.
[51:27.57]They knew English ships had a massive edge in speed and manoeuvrability.
[51:33.25]The miracle was not that England was saved
[51:36.53]but that the Spanish came so close to pulling it off.
[51:40.13]Only a few miles of the Channel
[51:42.45]and an unhelpful wind direction made the difference.
[51:46.33]The weather, as usual, batted for England.
[51:55.29]But it was a close thing.
[51:57.81]The English were right to be scared in the summer and autumn of 1588.
[52:04.57]What do you do when weepy and terrified? You cry for Mummy.
[52:08.81]That, courtesy of Robert Dudley - dying of cancer now,
[52:12.61]but still the great impresario of Elizabeth's shows -
[52:15.93]is how she appeared to the troops at the armed camp at Tilbury -
[52:20.45]the mother at last, the virgin mother of England
[52:24.41]and the kind of mother you'd want on your side,
[52:27.89]a mother dressed in a breastplate of steel.
[52:33.01]Everything Elizabeth had ever learned came together at Tilbury.
[52:37.85]Charisma in a costume, the shell burst of oratory,
[52:41.77]and, perhaps most importantly, what all mothers know instinctively,
[52:46.01]that there's no substitute for being there.
[52:49.85]And there, on August the 8th and 9th, she certainly was,
[52:54.41]arriving in a gilded coach, escorted by 2,000 ecstatic troops.
[52:59.93]And what she produced for the expectant crowds was pure gold,
[53:05.17]the first great speech by a queen, recorded in history.
[53:09.57]This is where the real event of 1588 happened,
[53:12.97]not out on the high seas, but on the soapbox at Tilbury.
[53:19.45]My loving people, I come among you, not for my recreation and disport,
[53:26.93]but being resolved in the midst of the heat of the battle,
[53:31.37]to live and die amongst you all, to lay down for God and my Kingdom
[53:38.81]and for my people, my honour and blood even in the dust.
[53:46.53]I know I have the body of a weak and feeble woman,
[53:50.85]but I have the heart and stomach of a king and a King of England too,
[53:57.65]and think foul scorn that Spain or any prince of Europe,
[54:03.33]should dare invade the borders of my realm
[54:07.05]to which rather dishonour I myself will take up arms.
[54:17.97]It's spin and hype, but hype for England and it did make a difference.
[54:24.69]Just like Churchill's rhetoric made a difference in 1940.
[54:28.85]Instinctively, the queen knew what it was her people needed to hear.
[54:33.89]"Look," she said, "I may be a goddess but I'm also flesh and blood,
[54:38.25]"your flesh and blood. Whatever you go through, I'll go through it with you."
[54:43.25]That made the difference between terror and determination,
[54:47.37]that is what we have queens for.
[54:53.25]You couldn't top that and Elizabeth couldn't.
[54:56.73]The euphoria of 1588 was short-lived.
[55:01.57]In the closing years of the Tudor century,
[55:04.21]famine across the country triggered food riots.
[55:08.09]Cut-throats and beggars prowled the roads.
[55:10.69]The Irish, spoken of as savages, were driven into a nine-year war.
[55:17.13]For the queen, the distance between the mythology of her ageless body
[55:24.25]and the shrivelled reality, became more glaring.
[55:28.97]Thoughts inevitably began to turn to her succession.
[55:32.85]Everybody knew that would be James, son of Mary, Queen of Scots.
[55:43.57]In the end, was it Mary, Queen of Scots, the mother,
[55:47.01]who had triumphed from the grave over her rival, Elizabeth?
[55:52.61]Elizabeth had one comfort - James had been brought up a Protestant,
[55:57.49]forced to disown his own mother after her disgrace.
[56:04.17]But still, he was Mary's child, the fruit of her womb, not Elizabeth's.
[56:13.25]When Elizabeth died in 1603,
[56:17.09]nearly half a century after that day under the oak,
[56:20.85]as gently as an apple falling from a tree, someone said,
[56:25.41]and when her underthings were taken from her body,
[56:28.57]it was seen that they still fitted the contours of the virgin -
[56:32.81]wasp-waisted, slim-hipped, long-limbed.
[56:37.49]It was a body which, according to some, had not fulfilled the purpose
[56:41.69]for which God had fashioned it, to have joined itself to a husband,
[56:46.25]to have grown his seed, to have given him and the country posterity.
[56:52.25]She had done none of this.
[56:54.61]But no one thought that she had failed her people.
[56:58.37]She had been different, that's all.
[57:05.77]When the ring which united Elizabeth to her country
[57:09.65]was removed from her finger, it was carried 400 miles north to Scotland.
[57:16.49]Now it would symbolise a new marriage, one between two nations.
[57:23.73]Elizabeth and Mary Stuart never met.
[57:28.05]It took James I to bring the two women together at last,
[57:32.49]closer in death than they'd ever been in life.
[57:36.85]There was an old, wonderful joke doing the rounds in the 1560s,
[57:41.89]that all their problems would be solved
[57:44.61]if only Mary and Elizabeth could marry each other.
[57:48.29]In one sense they had.
[57:50.81]For at least, together, at a terrible price and with so much pain,
[57:55.01]they had had a baby.
[57:57.29]It was a little thing with a big name, Magna Britannia - Great Britain.
7 The Body of the Queen（1558——1603）
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