English Weather

Monday 22nd May, 2006 11 AM – The Backs, Cambridge. Another day filming Elizabeth’s state barge on the Cam – and another day of torrential rain. It’s our last chance to get the shots we need however so the show, as they say, must go on. Elizabeth is of course under a canopy on the [...]

Sunday 21st May, 2006

9 AM – The Backs, Cambridge. Filming today on the river Cam which is being the river Thames for us. At least we would be were it not for the rain – one of the pitfalls of filming in an English summer! For this scene Elizabeth, her ladies and Walsingham are travelling down the Thames [...]

Thursday 18h May, 2006

2 PM – First Court, St. John’s College, Cambridge. John’s was founded by Margaret Beaufort, the mother of Henry VII (and so Elizabeth’s great grandmother) on the site of the mediaeval hospital of St. John. The first court in John’s was largely built between 1511 and 1520 and so makes a perfect setting for one [...]

Tuesday 16th May, 2006

3 PM – Winchester Cathedral, Hampshire. Back in the nave of Winchester cathedral for a sequence in which Elizabeth gives her orders to make England ready for the imminent Armada. England at the time had no standing army but relied upon the system of commissions of array. In theory all her major lords were required [...]

Wednesday 17th May, 2006

9 AM – ‘J’ Stage, Shepperton Studios. J stage is transformed this morning into a torture chamber in the Tower of London. There are a lot of common misconceptions about crime and punishment in the Tudor period. Despite the ‘chamber of horrors’ image we have of this time, executions were rarer than in the following [...]

Monday 15th May, 2006

Today we’re in the nave of Winchester cathedral, magnificently remodelled by William of Wykeham in the early 15th century. Not surprisingly however this is not Winchester for us, but St. Paul’s cathedral in London. St Paul’s – old St. Paul’s that is – was gutted in the great fire of London in 1666 and then [...]


There was hue and cry in the British Press when I made Elizabeth. She was called the Virgin Queen and I showed her in bed with Robert Dudley. How, I asked the Historians, do you know ? She had a number of liasons. Because she declared herself so, was the most stock answer, and because [...]

Where did time go ?

Yesterday was the first day of the shoot. And on paper it says I have shot for three weeks Which is true time ? my emotional time or the percieved one ? Has the world changed in the meanwhile ? Am I like an intergalactic traveller that came back to earth and found that time [...]

Wednesday 10th May, 2006

2 PM Hatfield House, Hertfordshire. The whole of today is set aside to shoot a scene of Walsingham and his brother in the study in his London house on Seething Lane. There are books everywhere, on row after row of oak bookcase, on tables and desks. Here too are the possessions of gentleman of his [...]