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Tuesday, 11 September 2007

The Spanish ambassador set to appear on-screen when Elizabeth: The Golden Age opens, is suitably 'woggy'. Dark eyes, thick lips, and devilish, he's easily a match for the dashing WR (Clive Owen).

Who in real life was a pirate, no more no less. But we love these rugged types in jack-boots and doublet.

Who could resist this film?

England's relations with Spain (which possessed, at the time, the Netherlands) were rocky at best. Elizabeth's father had 'illegally' divorced Katherine of Aragon. Then came the outrageous Mary of Scots debacle, during which the silly woman managed to lose not only her throne but also her head (1587).

The next year Phillip decided to try his luck, but it rested with the English in the form of a tremendous storm that prevented the fleet of warships from landing. It is possible the smaller English ships had something to do with the defeat, but I doubt it.

Four years later the "upstart Crow" would cause similar panic among the university wits although to modern minds the early stuff is not quite up to snuff.

Elizabeth appeals to Americans, children of the 17th century and its violent discords. Would that they made a film about William III and the power of parliament! For us Aussies (children of the 18th century and its domesticated royal families, cause for laughter not fear) this story may be more compelling.

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