第07章：The Body of the Queen 女王的一生（1558——1603）
In her last sickness, with the sense of her end coming on fast, Elizabeth I had the ring she had worn since her coronation filed away from the royal finger.
It was a tricky operation, for the skin had grown in over the gold, but then it was supposed to be a tight fit.
This was, in a manner of speaking, her wedding band, put on when she had joined herself to England, 45 years earlier.
Now it seemed the two were to be put asunder.
She was supposed to be immortal, of course.
And the odd thing was, despite the garish auburn fright wig, the white face mask and the wrinkled bosom, foreign diplomats who saw her at court and had no reason to be gallant, swore they could still see the young woman, no more than 20 years of age.
It doesn't do to be too starry-eyed about the Virgin Queen.
Elizabeth I was only too obviously made of flesh and blood.
She was vain, spiteful, arrogant, she was frequently unjust, and she was often maddeningly indecisive.
But she was also brave, shockingly clever, an eyeful to look at and on occasions she was genuinely wise.
In other words, she had all the qualities it took to make the genius politician she undoubtedly was.
Just a few feet away from Elizabeth's tomb in Westminster Abbey lies the body of another woman, Mary, Queen of Scots, who had haunted and fascinated Elizabeth for so much of her life.
No virgin, that's for sure.
No politician either.
A complete disaster as a ruler, you would have to say, but Mary managed something that eluded Elizabeth.
This is the story of two queens and, more importantly, two women - one a politician, the other a mother.
It 's the story of a painful birth, the union of England and Scotland, the birth of Britain.
A cherished tradition has it that when Elizabeth heard the news that she was to become queen, on November 17th, 1558, she was seated beneath an ancient oak tree.
Her first words were from Psalm 118, "a domino factum est mirabile in oculis nostris" - "this is the Lord's doing and it is marvellous in our eyes."
She was right, it was marvellous.
In fact, it was little short of a miracle that she had made it to that day alive.
Tudor royal politics were a bloody affair, especially for Tudor women.
She had been only two, after all, when her mother, Anne Boleyn, had gone to the scaffold, her sin, in Henry's mind at least, being her failure to produce a son.
It must have been a body possessed by others, by the devil.
An unclean piece of flesh, it had to be cut away.
So Elizabeth would never be free from suspicion.
Out of her dark Boleyn eyes, she watched herself being watched.
Inevitably, there were times when her guard was down.
She was barely a teenager when trouble first struck.
She was living with her guardian, Katherine Parr, Henry VIII's widow, when Parr's new husband, Thomas Seymour, started paying playful visits to her bedroom.
When Katherine Parr died, a rumour started circulating that Seymour had his sights set on marrying Elizabeth.
To even think of such a thing was treason.
Even worse, some wagging tongues said that Elizabeth was pregnant with his child.
It took all of Elizabeth's already extraordinary composure and self-confidence to persuade Lord Protector Somerset that she was innocent.
My Lord, there goeth rumours abroad which be greatly against my honour, which be these: That I am in the Tower and with child by my Lord Admiral.
My Lord, these are shameful slanders.
I most heartily desire your Lordship that I may come to the court and show myself there as I am.
Your assured friend to my little power, Elizabeth.
She was, remember, just 14, but there was already the fortitude, the clarity and the courage.
Just as well, because she would need these qualities five years later, when facing the most traumatic and dangerous crisis of her entire life.
When her Catholic half-sister, Mary, came to the throne, Elizabeth found herself in even deeper trouble.
She found herself in the Tower when a Protestant plot to get rid of Mary backfired.
Elizabeth managed to talk herself out of being charged with treason, but she remained under close surveillance.
Danger only turned to deliverance five years later when Queen Mary died childless.
So here she was, Elizabeth, under the oak, about to be the Protestant queen.
She had survived, just, but she must have been full of dark knowledge and experience about how difficult it was all going to be.
Her mother had been killed for producing just a daughter and a stillborn, and her sister Mary's womb produced only the tumour that killed her.
However dazzling Elizabeth looked, however clever she was, she must have known how rough the road was going to be for a ruler of the wrong sex.
The 25-year old Elizabeth came into an inheritance of high hopes and deep anxieties.
The celebrations at her coronation were carefully designed to show off the young queen as the paragon of virtue.
This charade of piety, though, was hardly enough to compensate for the misfortune of having another woman on the throne.
All the same, the sceptics must have been reassured by Elizabeth's precocious self-possession, the air of controlled energy she exuded in public, right from the start.
You might suppose that her first appearances at the council would have been an ordeal, but what the councillors saw was not some girlish ingenue, but someone who seemed full, it was said, of manly authority.
Elizabeth did all the things women in 16th-century England weren't supposed to do - she looked men in the eye and spoke out of turn.
She had been schooled to it by her tutor, Roger Ascombe.
Ascombe was not just another low-rent don.
He was public orator at Cambridge University, and it was his outlandish idea to teach the teenage girl a discipline most people thought unsuitable for a woman: The art of rhetoric, the art of public speech.
This was Elizabeth's first and would remain her strongest political weapon.
But Elizabeth brought something to the management of sovereignty that was entirely her own;
something, for that matter, which none of the princely conduct manuals spelled out, that statecraft was also stagecraft.
Her father and mother had both known this instinctively.
Elizabeth had the actress's gift in spadefuls.
She simply adored being adored.
Adoration, though, wasn't the same thing as allegiance.
For her most important advisor, her surrogate father, William Cecil, charisma was no substitute for the one thing which would secure the future of a Protestant England - an heir.
Cecil knew that the majority of the country was still Catholic either actively or passively.
He also knew how little it would take for the hard-earned gains of the Reformation to be undone.
Though the queen kept telling everyone it was none of their business, Cecil constantly reminded her that the realm needed her to have a husband.
Her body required it too, since in the 16th century prolonged virginity was thought to bring on the potentially toxic condition known as green sickness, the abnormal retention of female sperm.
Marital copulation, then, was what the doctor ordered for the good of the realm.
The problem, though, as Cecil was painfully aware, was that if he pushed Elizabeth too hard, she might just end up plumping for the man everyone assumed she really loved.
That man was Cecil's rival on the council, Robert Dudley.
Dudley was everything Cecil was not - flashy, gallant, a noisy extrovert, and not least, incredibly good-looking, especially on a horse.
To a queen who liked being surrounded with lookers and was capable of dismissing those she thought physically unpleasing, this mattered a lot.
They shared a past, the same tutors, the same childhood traumas.
His father had been executed for treason, so both were orphans of the scaffold.
In the grim years of Mary's reign, he'd sold lands to help Elizabeth out.
That sort of thing she never forgot.
But how much of a couple were they? Did they, as the gossips in Europe and the diplomats and movie-makers since have assumed, become lovers?
In the way was Dudley's wife, but she had been ailing for years.
When she died, Dudley would be free, and sleeping with your intended was not unusual in Tudor England.
But this would have been outrageous for a queen who paraded her virginity at her coronation by leaving her hair down.
When pressed about the rumours, she airily retorted that it was impossible when surrounded day and night by her ladies.
With the example of the fate of her own mother before her, it would have been foolhardy to the point of insanity for her to sleep with Dudley.
The politician in her was, as always, ruling the lover.
Something then happened which did terrible damage to their relationship.
Dudley's wife, Amy, was found at the bottom of a staircase dead from a broken neck.
An accident seemed altogether too convenient to be credible.
This was, after all, the golden age of gossip and gossip did not believe Amy had fallen but had been pushed.
Elizabeth immediately sent Dudley away until cleared of suspicion.
Officially he was, and though the queen always insisted that Dudley had been vindicated, it still cast a shadow over their relationship, just when they had become free to marry.
Perhaps it was a case of, "Beware of wishing for your heart's true desire "lest you end by getting it".
For the next few years, Elizabeth swung mercurially between endearment and exasperation, drawing up documents to make Dudley an Earl, only to shred them in front of him.
And other times, especially when she felt nagged by the council, she would torment them by pretending their marriage was just about to happen.
It never did.
By 1563, Elizabeth had given up on the possibility of ever marrying Dudley.
She was prepared to offer him to someone else - someone whose own marriage prospects were of tremendous significance for the balance of power in Britain - Mary Stuart, Queen of the Scots.
Throughout the whole tortured history of their relationship, Elizabeth was eaten up with curiosity about her cousin, Mary.
Trapped in a neurotic beauty contest, interrogating her ambassadors as if they were mirrors on the wall as to who was the taller, fairer, wittier, the cleverer.
Elizabeth may have won for brains, but from the few pictures we have of her, Mary, with her heart-shaped face, heavy eyelids and creamy complexion, had the stuff to reduce grown men to warm puddles on the floor.
She was more than just competition.
To Elizabeth, Mary, Queen of Scots, was a menace.
The reason was obvious.
Mary was a Catholic and a Catholic Church did not recognise Elizabeth's right to be Queen of England.
To them, she was a product of Henry VIII's illegal marriage to Anne Boleyn.
In Mary's Catholic eyes, then, Elizabeth was simply illegitimate.
How could Elizabeth not take this personally?
Mary was not only a Stuart, she was also a Tudor through her great grandfather, Henry VII.
So long as Elizabeth was childless, Mary was next in line to the English throne.
From the moment Mary arrived in Scotland at the age of 18 from the French court where she had been brought up, the relationship between the cousins was tainted with mutual suspicion.
At the first opportunity, Elizabeth behaved badly, almost irrationally, denying Mary safe conduct through England to her new realm and forcing her to sail the long way round to Scotland.
Though the injured party, Mary's response already betrayed the theatrical self-pity which so got up Elizabeth's nose.
I trust the wind will be so favourable, as I shall not need to come on the coast of England.
And if I do, Monsieur L'Ambassadeur, the queen, your mistress, shall have me in her hands to do her will of me, and if she be so hard-hearted as to desire my end, she may then do her pleasure and make sacrifice of me.
Perhaps things might be better between the two of them if Mary accepted Elizabeth's choice of a safe Protestant husband for her, in the winning form of Robert Dudley.
One tiny problem with this plan, though.
Mary had no intention of being told what to do by Elizabeth.
Anyway, everyone knew that after the death of his wife, Robert Dudley was spoiled goods.
Lord Henry Darnley, the handsome poster boy of Scottish nobility, seemed a much better prospect.
One look at Darnley's shapely calves and Mary decided she must have him.
It helped that he too had Tudor blood flowing through his veins.
Unfortunately, a lot of whisky ran through them too.
Too late, Mary discovered she had married a lazy, dissolute drunk, incapable of doing even the minimal things required of a co-sovereign.
Stuck at Holyrood with the task of ruling Scotland without him, Mary increasingly relied on her private secretary, the Italian Catholic, David Riccio.
Naturally, the Protestant nobles in Scotland were convinced that Mary was plotting to turn Scotland back into a Catholic country.
So Darnley's increasing estrangement from his wife gave the lords most offended by Riccio's access to the queen the opening they were looking for.
In 1566, a group of them approached Darnley and proposed what amounted to a violent coup.
Get rid of Riccio, who was her lover, they said, not just her secretary.
"Ah," thought Darnley, "That would explain why she's such a bitch.
"I'll show her who's in charge."
On March 7th, while she was dining, Darnley and his fellow plotters burst into Mary's chamber, tore the terrified Riccio from Mary's skirts and stabbed him to death in front of her.
Between 50 and 60 wounds were discovered on his body after it was thrown down the privy staircase.
At some point the murderers turned to Mary, pointing a pistol at her heavily pregnant belly.
Perhaps at that moment, Mary knew how to turn terror into power, for in the months to follow, she milked the melodrama of the threatened womb for all it was worth.
Instead of being reduced to a weeping wreck, Mary was strangely calm.
She knew she could be strong because she was carrying her greatest weapon inside her womb.
Whatever happened to her useless, drunken, homicidal, nitwit of a husband, she knew a baby would be born.
Mother and child were going to survive.
On June 19th, at Edinburgh Castle, Mary gave birth to the boy who would become James VI of Scotland.
On hearing the news, Elizabeth's reaction was to cry, Alack, the Queen of Scots is lighter of a bonny son and I am but of barren stock.
Mary was by now so consumed with contempt for Darnley that she resolved to be rid of him.
Possibly all she meant was to be rid of him as a husband but there were some devotees, in particular the Earl of Bothwell, who took her sighs to mean something altogether more decisive.
Bothwell, one of the great landowners of Scotland, was rich, promiscuous and dangerous.
He could also turn on the gallantry, and in her distress Mary turned to him as protector, and Bothwell was only too happy to solve Mary's Darnley problem.
On the evening of March 9th, 1567, while Mary was attending a ball, Bothwell supervised the lighting of a fuse that at two in the morning would detonate an immense quantity of gunpowder beneath the house where Darnley was asleep.
The house was blown sky high.
Darnley was dead, but not bumped off according to plan.
Minutes before the explosion, he'd heard suspicious noises, and had himself lowered out of his bedroom window on a chair.
Running through the garden in his night-shirt, he ran into the plotters, who promptly throttled him to death.
Darnley's murder was a turning point in Mary's life.
From now on, death followed Mary like a lady-in-waiting.
She was already sick, vomiting black mucus.
She needed help, and the unscrupulous Bothwell was at hand.
His power over Mary made him reckless.
He announced to the Scottish lords that for the proper government of the country it was necessary for Mary to have a husband.
Very decently, he offered himself for the job.
Bothwell's idea of a marriage proposal was to abduct Mary and take her to his grim castle in Dunbar.
There he planted his flag as prospective King of Scotland by planting himself - violently, it was said - inside her body.
Now he supposed the traumatised Mary would have to marry him, and, to most of the country's horror, Mary did just that, a few weeks later, at Holyrood.
It was at this point that Mary lost it - lost control over her own body, lost the priceless political asset of her motherhood, soiled by her relationship with Bothwell.
Lost Scotland, lost the whole damned shooting match.
The thing is, it need never have happened.
Had she been half the politician Elizabeth was, she would have distanced herself from Bothwell, not married him.
Then she'd have come down like a ton of bricks on Darnley's murderers, professing herself to be shocked at the crime, truly shocked, then presenting herself to the people of Scotland as a doubly victimised mother.
Instead, the mother let herself be turned into a whore.
Mary now faced the rebel armies loyal to the murdered Darnley.
But on the verge of battle, Bothwell conveniently disappeared to gather reinforcements, or so he said, leaving Mary to face the enemy on her own.
It was the last she would ever see of him.
Dragged back to Edinburgh, a captive, filthy and dishevelled, she appeared at a window, her dress torn from her shoulders, her breasts exposed, and was greeted by a mob howling abuse.
Handbills featuring her as a mermaid began to appear, a mermaid being another name for a prostitute.
Mermaids were not fit to sit on the throne of Scotland, so Mary was forced to renounce it in favour of her baby son.
Her Protestant half-brother, the Earl of Moray, took charge of baby James and made himself Regent of Scotland.节目现正式开始BBC英音短片连载栏目！由于纪录片时间太长，所以我们会采取一星期一更的形式！若又什么建议、多多敲反馈箱哦！