As THE VIRGIN QUEEN begins, a young Elizabeth is imprisoned in the Tower of London by Queen Mary, charged with conspiracy and treason. Both women are daughters of the ruthless and oft-married Henry VIII, who plunged England into turmoil by breaking with the Roman Catholic Church. Mary wants to reunite with Rome, while Elizabeth is determined to stand by her Protestant faith--a potentially fatal choice. But Elizabeth's life takes an unexpected turn when Mary dies, leaving no heir to the throne. As the new queen, Elizabeth discovers the harsh realities of ruling a religiously divided nation and must learn to outwit her enemies and charm those who conspire to their own ends. Soon under pressure to secure a politically advantageous marriage, the coquettish Elizabeth rejects a string of eligible royal bachelors from abroad, openly preferring the burning affections of her childhood playmate, the athletic, handsome--and married--Robert Dudley. But is she toying with him as she is with her other suitors' Starring Anne-Marie Duff (THE ARISTOCRATS, THE MAGDALENE SISTERS) as the shrewd and captivating queen who defended her throne amidst an atmosphere of plotting and intrigue, torture and murder, THE VIRGIN QUEEN is a riveting drama that explores the fascinating 44-year reign of Elizabeth I.
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