Elizabeth I is a two-part 2005 British historical drama television miniseries directed by Tom Hooper, written by Nigel Williams, and starring Helen Mirren as Elizabeth I of England. The miniseries covers approximately the last 24 years of her nearly 45-year reign. Part 1 focuses on the final years of her relationship with the Earl of Leicester, played by Jeremy Irons. Part 2 focuses on her subsequent relationship with the Earl of Essex, played by Hugh Dancy.
The series originally was broadcast in the United Kingdom in two two-hour segments on Channel 4. It later aired on HBO in the United States, CBC and TMN in Canada, ATV in Hong Kong, ABC in Australia, and TVNZ Television One in New Zealand.
The series went on to win Emmy, Peabody, and Golden Globe Awards.
^ Williams, Sally (10 September 2005). "Monarch of the moment". The Telegraph. Retrieved 8 July 2012.
By 1579, Elizabeth I has reigned for about 20 years and has refused to marry. Her chief advisor Lord Burghley and her spymaster Sir Francis Walsingham plan to have her marry the Duke of Anjou, brother of Henry III of France, to make an alliance against Spain. Elizabeth's favourite the Earl of Leicester strongly opposes the match because of his own longstanding affections for her. The Duke of Anjou eventually comes to court Elizabeth, but despite him being to her liking, she is later convinced by Burghley not to marry him because of negative popular opinion towards the match.