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A film of the early years of the reign of Elizabeth I of England and her difficult task of learning what is necessary to be a monarch.
Lord Robert: Remember who you are. Do not be afraid of them.
Sir Francis Walsingham: There is so little beauty in this world, and so much suffering. Do you suppose that is what God had in mind? That is to say if there is a god at all. Perhaps there is nothing in this universe but ourselves. And our thoughts.
Sir William Cecil, Lord Burghley: Forgive me, Madam, but you are only a woman... Elizabeth: [cuts him off firmly] I may be a woman, Sir William, but if I choose I have the heart of a man! I am my father's daughter. I am not afraid of anything.
[last lines] Elizabeth: Observe, Lord Burghley, I am married... to England.
Lord Robert: For God's sake, you are still my Elizabeth. Elizabeth: I am not your Elizabeth. I am no man's Elizabeth. And if you think to rule, you are mistaken. Elizabeth: [to all] Elizabeth: I will have one mistress here... and no master.
Lord Robert: Marry me. Elizabeth: On a night such as this, could any woman say no? Lord Robert: On a night such as this, could a queen say no? Elizabeth: Does not a queen sit under the same stars as any other woman?
[Offering Elizabeth his coat before putting her in the tower] Arundel: Madam, you are cold. Elizabeth: I do not need your pity. Arundel: Accept it, then, for my sake. Elizabeth: Thank you. I shall not forget this kindness.
Elizabeth: Aye, but marry who, Your Grace? Would you give me some suggestion? For some say France and others Spain, and some cannot abide foreigners at all. So I am not sure how best to please you unless I married one of each. [laughter] Noble: Now Your Majesty does make fun of the sanctity of marriage. Elizabeth: I do not think *you* should lecture me on that, my lord, since you yourself have been *twice divorced*... and are now upon your third wife! [laughter]
De la Quadra: [to Dudley] My lord, what will a man not do for love?
Queen Mary: Why will you not confess your crimes against me? Elizabeth: Because, Your Majesty, I have committed none. Queen Mary: You speak with such sincerity. I see you are still a consummate actress. My husband is gone. They have poisoned my child. They say it is a tumor. [Moans in pain] Elizabeth: Madam, you are not well. Queen Mary: They say this cancer will make you queen, but they are wrong. Look there, it is your death warrant. All I need do is sign it. Elizabeth: Mary, if you sign that paper you will be murdering your own sister.
[about Elizabeth] Norfolk: She is just a child and yet still you piss yourselves!
Elizabeth: This is the Lord's doing. And it is marvelous in our eyes.
Elizabeth: Kat... I have become a virgin.
Queen Mary: [shouting] My sister was born of that whore, Anne Boleyn! She was born a bastard! She will never rule England!
[Elizabeth presents her ideas of religious reform to Parliament; the bishops are outraged and begin to argue] First Bishop: Madam, by this act... by this act, you force us to relinquish our allegiance to the Holy Father. Elizabeth: How can I force you, Your Grace? I am a woman. [Bishops laugh] Elizabeth: I have no desire to make windows into men's souls. I simply ask, can any man, in truth, serve two masters, and be faithful to both? [Bishops start to argue again] Bishop #2: Madam, this-this is heresy! Elizabeth: No, Your Grace, this is... common sense. [Bishops murmur in semi-agreement] Elizabeth: Which is a most English virtue. [Bishops laugh]
[on the Virgin Mary] Elizabeth: She had such power over men's hearts. They died for her. Sir Francis Walsingham: They have found nothing to replace her.
Elizabeth: When I am queen, I promise... to act as my conscience dictates. Queen Mary: Well do not think to be queen at all!
Elizabeth: Tonight I think I die.
Lord Robert: When you are Queen... Elizabeth: I am not... [whispering] Elizabeth: I am not Queen yet! Lord Robert: You will be. Elizabeth, Queen of England. A court to worship you, a country to obey you, poems written celebrating your beauty, music composed in your honor, and they will mean nothing to you. I will mean nothing to you. Elizabeth: [laughs gaily] How could you ever be nothing to me? Robert, you know you are everything to me.
Sir Francis Walsingham: [referring to Elizabeth] Her Majesty rules with the heart... not with the head. Mary of Guise: [smiles] Hm, I understand. It is hard for a woman to forget her heart.
[regarding Elizabeth's impending reign] Unseen Gentleman: Your Grace, Protestants are already returning from abroad. Norfolk: Yes. And have made plans to massacre every Catholic in England. There would be butchery indeed if such a plan were even conceivable. Norfolk's Man: They say Walsingham will return from France. Norfolk: Walsingham is nothing! [aside to Norfolk's Man as he is leaving the room] Norfolk: Be sure he does not.
Arundel: War is a sin, but sometimes, a necessary one.
Sir William Cecil, Lord Burghley: Now, I really must... Elizabeth: The word "must" is not used to princes!
[speaking to a priest he is having tortured] Sir Francis Walsingham: Tell me, what is God to you? Has he abandoned you? Is he such a worldly god that he must play at politics in the filth of conspiracy? Is he not divine? Tell me the truth, as if you were face to face with him now. I'm a patient man, Father.
Sir Francis Walsingham: Your Grace is arrested. You must go with these men to the Tower. Norfolk: I must do nothing by your orders. I am Norfolk! Sir Francis Walsingham: You were Norfolk. Sir Francis Walsingham: [shows him his own signature on the treasonous letter from Rome] Sir Francis Walsingham: The dead have no titles.
Lord Robert: Monsignor Alvaro! Monsignor Alvaro! Monsignor Alvaro, tell me. As well as ambassador, are you not also a bishop? De la Quadra: I am, my lord. Lord Robert: [referring to himself and Elizabeth] Then you can marry us! De la Quadra: Marry *you*? Elizabeth: [laughing] Perhaps he does not know enough English to perform the ceremony!
Duc d'Anjou: [as he stands before Elizabeth and entourage in a dress, speaking in a heavy French accent] What? Huh? What? Wha-do, what? You stare, Madame. [snorts] Duc d'Anjou: What is it, do you see... somesthings... strange perhaps? Heh-heh... Hmm? Elizabeth: You are wearing a dress, Your Grace. Duc d'Anjou: Oh, yes, I am wearing a dress! Yes, yes, I'm wearing a dress! Wha- I wear a dress like this, my mother, and you... Hm-hm. But I only dress like this-a, when I'm alone, in private, with my friends... Hmm? Elizabeth: Your Grace. [approaches and offers her hand for him to kiss, which he reluctantly does] Elizabeth: Although my affection for you is undiminished, I have, after an agonizing struggle, determined to sacrifice my own happiness for the welfare of my people. Duc d'Anjou: [sarcastically, fully expecting her rejection] Oh! My God, ha-ha...
Elizabeth: [referring to Dudley] He shall be kept alive to always remind me of how close I came to danger.
Bishop Gardiner: [Walsingham comes down the stairs into the holding area where the Catholic bishops are being held] Walsingham! I would know by what authority you have kept us locked up here! Sir Francis Walsingham: Your Graces must forgive me, but you are now free to go. Bishop Gardiner: I am sure this infernal work has not saved your bastard queen. Sir Francis Walsingham: Her Majesty has won the argument. Bishop Gardiner: By what count? Sir Francis Walsingham: By five, Your Grace. [Looks up at the six bishops standing behind Gardiner] Sir Francis Walsingham: Five. [turns to leave] Bishop Gardiner: You will be damned for this! And I pray God your wretched soul will burn in hell!
[Mary, on her deathbed, is refusing to sign a warrant for Elizabeth's execution] Norfolk: Will you leave your kingdom to a heretic?
Lord Robert: You blush, Lady Knollys. Are you in love? Isabel Knollys: No, my lord. Lord Robert: Then you should be, or waste all that beauty. [the ladies-in-waiting giggle]
Sussex: Princess Elizabeth. You are accused of conspiring with Sir Thomas Wyatt and others against Her Sovereign Majesty, and are arrested for treason. I have been commanded to take you hence from this place... to the Tower.
Elizabeth: I have rid England of her enemies. What do I do now? Am I to be made of stone? Must I be touched by nothing?
Norfolk: So cut off my head, and make me a martyr. The people will always remember it. Walsingham: No... they will forget.
[to a wounded boy, handing him a handkerchief stained with his blood] Mary of Guise: Go back to England, and take this to your Queen. Hm? Mary of Guise: [in French, to herself] English blood on French colors. [turns to her officer] Mary of Guise: Send him back to his Queen, and make sure he remains alive. Tell that bastard Queen not to send children to fight Mary of Guise!
Elizabeth: There will be no more talk of marriage.
Sir Francis Walsingham: Madam, if I may. A prince should never flinch from being blamed for acts of ruthlessness which are necessary for safeguarding the state and their own person. You must take these things so much to heart that you do not fear to strike. Even the very nearest that you have if they be implicated.
Elizabeth: I do not like wars. They have uncertain outcomes.
Monsieur de Foix: [in French] She is a woman, Sire. They say one thing but mean another. No one can unlock their secrets. Duc d'Anjou: [also in French] Unless they have... a very big key! [laughs loudly] Duc d'Anjou: Yes! A *very* big key!
Sir Francis Walsingham: [how a wise man would change allegiance] There are but two choices: he would get into bed with either Spain or France. Mary of Guise: [laughs, then smiles wickedly] And... whose bed would you prefer?
Duc d'Anjou: [in French] Elizabeth is a witch... a witch... and her servant is the devil!
Walsingham: You were the most powerful man in England. And you could have been greater still, but you had not the courage to be loyal, only the conviction of your own vanity.
Walsingham: All men need something greater than themselves to look up to and worship. They must be able to touch the divine here on earth.
Queen Mary: When I look at you I see nothing of the king, only that whore, your mother. My father never did anything so well as to cut off her head. Elizabeth: Your Majesty forgets he was also my father.
Sir Francis Walsingham: All Norfolk need do is sign this paper and treason will have been committed. Elizabeth: Then let him sign it, and let it all be done.
Elizabeth: Invite the Duke of Anjou. We shall see him in flesh. [She runs after Lord Robert, who is not happy with the news] Monsieur de Foix: The Duke will not take kindly to a rival for his suit. Sir William Cecil, Lord Burghley: He is a traitor and his father before him. Lord Robert's head will end up on a spike, not on the pillow of a Queen.
Elizabeth: Just tell me why. Lord Robert: Why? Madam, is it not plain enough to you? 'Tis no easy thing to be loved by the queen. It would corrupt the soul of any man.
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