Tuesday 11th July. 5.30 PM – ‘A’ Stage, Shepperton Studios. Raleigh finds Elizabeth in her private quarters as she struggles with the hardest decision of her life.
As I’ve mentioned in earlier blogs Elizabeth agonised and prevaricated over signing the execution warrant for Mary Queen of Scots and in this scene we hope to show some of the conflicting emotions that she faced when presented with this document. At the most profound level allowing the execution of one queen said something about her own rule. If she could execute another monarch then monarchs were not in fact above the law, not separated from the ordinary people by that divine connection with God achieved at the moment of anointing during a coronation. And if Mary could be judged, condemned and killed by one queen, could other monarchs rightfully pass the same sentence on Elizabeth herself?
Behind this there must also have been a more personal emotion. Elizabeth’s mother, Anne Boleyn, had herself been a Queen and had died on the block at the command of her husband (and Elizabeth’s father), Henry. Could Elizabeth condemn another queen, another mother, and in doing so perhaps fatally tarnish her own crown?