Queen Elizabeth (Cate Blanchett) grows into a powerful ruler, gradually learning who she can and cannot trust. Pressured by her advisers to marry and produce an heir, she is courted by eligible aristocrats and royalty from across Europe. Elizabeth keeps all suitors at bay except for her favorite and most trusted adviser, Lord Robert Dudley (Joseph Fiennes). She determines she will never marry, refusing to share power or align England with another country. Conspirators plot her overthrow, but they are uncovered and executed (the Duke of Norfolk, the priest who carried letters from The Vatican, Mary of Guise, Monse


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Norfolk: To the North, I present Elizabeth, your undoubted Queen.

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Trivia: The film rolls two conspiracies against Elizabeth into one. The first was the Ridolfi plot of 1571, in which the Duke of Norfolk was executed and Arundel arrested. The second culminated in 1586 when a priest named John Ballard was sent by the Pope to coordinate an English Catholic rebellion that would clear the way for an Italian invasion. As far as we know, Sussex and Dudley were not involved in any treachery as alleged in the film. Importantly, the film makes scarce mention of Elizabeth's cousin Mary, Queen of Scots (as a Catholic it was she who the rebels wished on the English throne and she played a central role in all the conspiracies).


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