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Elizabeth R ()

directed by , , , ,
featuring Glenda Jackson, Ronald Hines, Robert Hardy, Robin Ellis, Vivian Pickles

Political, romantic, and religious intrigue confront Elizabeth Tudor (1533-1603) in this acclaimed six-part television series chronicling her early life as a princess and her reign as queen of England (1558-1603). While still a princess, Elizabeth (Glenda Jackson) exonerates herself from a plot to kidnap young Edward VI (Jason Kemp). Then, after Edward dies, Elizabeth's sister, Mary (Caroline Harris), assumes the throne and imposes Catholicism on her subjects, but Elizabeth refuses to disavow her Protestantism. After Mary announces plans to wed the Catholic king of Spain, the people rise up in favor of Elizabeth, but Mary imprisons her in the Tower of London. Happily for Elizabeth, Mary dies without an heir, and Elizabeth becomes queen. Although urged to marry, Elizabeth stalls, content to maintain a relationship with Robert Dudley (Robert Hardy), Master of the Horse, whom Elizabeth makes Earl of Leicester. Then Mary Queen of Scots (Vivian Pickles) claims the English throne, and Elizabeth tries to pacify her in an unsuccessful attempt to marry her to Dudley. Meanwhile, the French -- battlefield rivals of the Spaniards -- propose an alliance with England and urge Elizabeth to marry the French king's brother, the Duc d'Alenton (Michael Williams), a Catholic. Though officials draw up a marriage contract, Elizabeth ignores it. By this time, Mary Queen of Scots is in prison, and Protestant agents implicate her in a trumped-up plot against Elizabeth. Elizabeth orders her execution. The angry Spanish then attack with their mighty Armada, but the English defeat them and strengthen Elizabeth's hold on power. In the later years of her reign, Elizabeth attempts to appease an unruly court favorite, the Earl of Essex, with special appointments, but he eventually turns against her and leads an uprising against the crown two years before the queen's death. Mike Cummings, Rovi Hide synopsis

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