Drama/History, 2013, 59 min.Synopsis
A wounded soldier stumbles through a snowy forest chased by other men. A man on horseback wearing a crown rides him down and slashes at him with a sword. Just before the blow hits the man changes into a beautiful woman, Elizabeth Woodville.Elizabeth wakes up, the scene in the forest being a dream. She tells her mother, Jaquetta Woodville, that she must go to the King. She collects her two sons and explains that they are going to meet the King. Since the Woodvilles are loyal to House Lancaster, the boys assume that she means Henry VI, the Lancastrian King. She explains that she means Edward IV, the York claimant to the throne. She and her sons go and stand by the road. Soon a column of men ride by, including the crowned man she saw in her dream. The man is King Edward who stops to speak with Elizabeth. She explains that her husband was killed fighting for the Lancastrian cause and her lands have been taken from her. She begs the King to restore her husband's lands to her so that she may support her sons.Edward returns to the Woodville home accompanied by his friend and lead advisor Richard Neville, Lord Warwick. When Warwick sees Jaquetta Woodville he mocks her for having scandalized the court years before by marrying a commoner. Edward and Elizabeth talk privately where each charms the other. Edward insists he must run off to fight another battle against Henry's forces and instructs Elizabeth to write down the details of her claims and he will retrieve them after the battle. Once Henry leaves, Jaquetta takes her daughter to a nearby river where she performs a divination spell so that Elizabeth may know her future.Edward returns from the battle and impulsively embraces Elizabeth and kisses her. Just then Elizabeth's father Baron Rivers, arrives with his sons. The Rivers men are not pleased to see the enemy King in their household and they argue with Edward over the losses that each side have incurred. Edward takes Elizabeth walking in the garden where he explains that he must fight another battle as Henry's wife Margaret of Anjou has enlisted the French military to aid their claim. Edward asks Elizabeth to meet him the next day, arguing that he may die in battle and that he wants to make love to her before he does so. The Rivers men remain hostile to Edward, with her brothers suggesting that his only interest in her is sexual. However, Jaquetta is more open arguing that Edward is now king and that they should take the opportunity to curry favor. Elizabeth's brother Anthony recognizes her attraction to Edward and warns her not to "sell herself too cheaply".The next day Elizabeth meets Edward in a secluded spot. Edward confesses his attraction to Elizabeth and the two begin kissing. Elizabeth finds it hard to resist the passion she feels towards Edward but when he tries to force her to have sex she pushes him off and holds a knife to her own throat, threatening to commit suicide. Elizabeth insists that she will not become his mistress. Edward storms off, angrily insisting that she will never see him again.Afterwards, Elizabeth can't stop thinking about Edward. She confesses to her mother that she regrets not sleeping with Edward and worries that he may die. Jaquetta reminds her daughter that she is of a Lancastrian family and may not fall in love with a York King unless there is some profit in it for her. That night, Elizabeth goes to the river where her mother cast the divination spell and pulls out a ring in the shape of a crown. The morning after, Baron Rivers receives word that Edward has called on him to muster men into his service. Jaquetta says that they should show their support for King Edward since it will look good if he wins and no one will remember it if he loses.The Woodville household assembles to show their support for Edward. The King and Elizabeth talk with Edward saying that he cannot sleep or eat since his last meeting with her. He confesses his love for her and says that he must have her before the battle. If she will not be his mistress then she must be his wife. Elizabeth tearfully agrees. The next day they are married in secret in a small chapel on her family lands with only Jaquetta as witness. The King takes Elizabeth to a nearby lodge and they make love. They spend two nights together and then Edward prepares to ride off to war again. He instructs her Elizabeth that if he is killed she must keep their marriage secret. If he dies and she is pregnant with his child she must flee the country as his heir will never be safe in a Lancastrian kingdom. When Henry rides off he is seen by Elizabeth's brother. Anthony berates Elizabeth arguing that Edward has tricked her with an easily denied sham marriage in order to get her into bed. Elizabeth angrily denies this.Word soon comes that Edward has won his battle and Henry has fled the country. Edward returns to Elizabeth and they frantically make love. Afterwards he explains that they must keep their marriage secret for a while longer. He says that Warwick had been planning an important dynastic marriage for him and that he must take time to break the news gently. When Edward says that this process might take weeks, Elizabeth worries that Anthony may have been right.In the days ahead, Elizabeth receives letters from Edward but they address her as Lady Grey, the name from her previous marriage and does not acknowledge their marriage. Jaquetta informs Elizabeth that her father and brothers have been summoned to court along with the other nobles of England to hear an important announcement. It's believed that Edward will announce his engagement to Princess Bona of France.At the court, the announcement is about to be made when Edward calls Warwick aside and explains that he is married to Elizabeth. Warwick explodes in rage that all of his careful work arranging the engagement to Princess Bona will be thrown away for a woman he describes as "a roadside strumpet". Anthony informs his father that the King may announce he is married to Elizabeth and when the King returns to the chamber he does just that. At the Woodville estates Elizabeth joyfully receives word of the acknowledgement of her marriage.As Elizabeth prepares to travel to London Jaquetta warns her that others will be jealous of their good fortune and seek to bring them down. When Jaquetta suggests that Elizabeth's sons might be fostered with her relatives in Burgundy, Elizabeth shouts that they may not. Jaquetta realizes that her daughter is having a vision and agrees to keep the boys with them.When Elizabeth arrives in London she is greeted by her father and brothers who kneel before her and then embrace her. Edward greets Elizabeth and introduces her to his court: his brothers George and Richard, and Warwick's daughers Isabelle and Anne. Jaquetta has a brief run in with Margaret Beaufort, Lady Tudor, who berates Jaquetta for betraying the Lancasters. Elizabeth and her mother then go to meet Edward's mother, the imperious Duchess Cecily who declares her disapproval of the marriage. She even suggests that she may put her son from his throne by disowning him and putting George on the throne. Jaquetta counters this by noting that to do so, Duchess Cecily would have to admit herself a "common whore" who had cuckolded her husband and gave birth to a bastard. Elizabeth then forces the temporarily cowed Duchess to curtsy before her.Later, Edward and Elizabeth make love. Afterwards she goes to her mothers chamber where Jaquetta is attempting to scry their future. Elizabeth looks over her shoulder and gasps as she suddenly has a vision. She says she sees a woman, dressed in red with blood on her hands. Jaquetta asks whose blood it is. Elizabeth says "I think it's mine."
Directed by James Kent Starring Juliet Aubrey
, Aneurin Barnard
, Rupert Graves
, Rebecca Ferguson
, James Frain
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