pproaching middle age, Queen Elizabeth is conscious that she has never produced an heir to continue her line. Her advisers see plots and treachery all around her, most of it centered around her cousin, Mary, Queen of Scots. Her advisers have a plan that they believe will secure the British throne and weaken their deadliest enemy, Spain. They propose that she marry the Duke of Anjou, brother to the King of France. This would preclude an alliance between France and Spain and drive a wedge through the Catholic world. She reluctantly agrees, even accepting the advice of the Earl of Leicester, a lover she had at one time banished from her court. The Duke's sudden death leads to the Franco-Spanish alliance they had feared. When the Spanish Armada is defeated England is safe but the Queen suffers a tragic personal loss.

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