Friday 17th June. 10.00 AM – Church of St. James, Dorney, Buckinghamshire. Inside this lovely 12th century (and possibly older) church, which stands next to Dorney Court, for the marriage of Bess and Raleigh.
We don’t know exactly when or where Bess and Raleigh were married but we have chosen this unadorned mediaeval church, partly for it’s convenient location next to Dorney Court where we’re also shooting and partly as it retains many Tudor fittings.
For this simple wedding we have used a small part of The Fourme Of Solempnizacion Of Matrimonye from the 1559 version of the Book of Common Prayer. Of course to fit this scene into the film we’ve had to take just a tiny fraction of this – the giving of the ring – and also give Bess some lines to intercut with Raleigh’s (she repeats Raleigh vows) rather than let each read their full vows one after another as this would take too long. The meaning of the lines, which remain little changed to this day, still resonate however. These are two people prepared to face a dangerous and uncertain future so long as they can face it together.