In lonely old age, Elizabeth flirts with the ambitious Earl of Essex but learns he will demand too much of her.
Elizabeth mobilizes her forces based on astrologer's advice and Spain's refusal to negotiate.
Elizabeth's closest advisers insist on the execution of Mary, Queen of Scots.
As Europe's most eligible woman, Elizabeth considers personal and political allegiances.
Though Elizabeth enjoys the company of the Earl of Leicester, she cannot marry him.
Young Elizabeth (Glenda Jackson) endures the reigns of her brother Edward and sister Mary and exile to the Tower of London.