Young Bess

Synopsis: Chronicles the life of queen Elizabeth I, before she became the queen of England. Apart from taking part in the court intrigues, she is unhappily in love with admiral Thomas Seymour, and dreams of building a navy to match the Portuguese and the Spanish.
Director(s): George Sidney
Production: MGM
  Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 1 win & 1 nomination.
112 min

Her father, Henry VIII,

called her Young Bess.

Her mother, Anne Boleyn,

ended on the block.

Born at a time when heads fell

around her like cabbage stalks, -

- to grow up at all

was an achievement.

To grow up to greatness

was a miracle.



- Mr. Parry.

- Bills for gowns, shoes, caps!

Where's the money to come from?

No I didn't. That's all over!

Mrs. Ashley. What have you done?

Sit down and prepare yourself

for some news.

Bad news.

I've just left my Lady Elizabeth.

She received a message from London

Her stepsister, Queen Mary, is ill

- It's cruel to lose one's sister.

- You mean Bloody Mary is dying?

- She'll be dead by morning?

- Dead as a doornail.

- This means ...

- Young Bess will be queen.

Queen of England

at the age of five and twenty.

- Mrs. Ashley!

- Mr. Parry!

Do you remember the last

little drink we had together?

- Yes. It got us into trouble.

- We mustn't overdo it this time.

- Long live Young Bess.

- Long live Queen Elizabeth.

Well, when she sits on the throne,

- I can safely say ... I did it.

You're a remarkable woman.

You've been no ordinary governess.

Yours has been no easy task.

A difficult child.

All children are. Let alone a

daughter of the monster, King Henry

- And Anne Boleyn.

- A dangerous mixture.

Well, we're in harbor.

- At last.

- But it's been a stormy passage.

Like the song of the seesaw:

Here we go up, up, up

- Up to the sky so high

- Here we go down, down, down

Bumpety-bump, goodbye.

That's how it was.

To start with,

we were our father's darling.

Those were the times

when we went up, up, up.

Up, up, up in the sky.

So high.

- Look. Your future Queen Elizabeth

- Just like her father.

There's breeding for you.

No mistaking the fatherhood.

- Henry, didn't I have a hand in it

- Yes. But I gave you the idea.

Don't scowl at me like that. Why

don't you laugh like your mother?

That's the way

to win peoples' hearts.

But Anne Boleyn laughed once too

often and with the wrong people.

She took three lovers with her.

Old Harry did things in a big way.

Come, we're no longer the future

queen. The King doesn't want us.

We're a nobody.

So we were chased away from Court

to Hatfield. Without a mother.

Without a home. Old Harry took

another wife and a son was born.

He was heir to the throne.

We were declared illegitimate.

So we went down, down, down.

Bumpety-bump. Goodbye.

We'll never wear these shoes again

They're full of holes.

We have to see to it that

our new stepmother likes us, -

- our appearance,

our little ways and our manners.

Now Your Highness is back in your

father's grace. Isn't it wonderful

Your Highness!

Now listen carefully. This one is

German. Don't forget that.

After all, it's not her fault.

We can't pick and choose.

What we need is a mother.

Ist das meine liebe Tochter

Elizabeth? Komm hier, mein Kind.

Hab keine Angst, mein Liebling.

I took one look at the King's face

and knew what he was contemplating

For him a change,

for us, a ride to Hatfield.

In no time we were back to be

inspected by our fourth mother.

Don't be stubborn.

It can't hurt us to try again.

This one is said to be beautiful.

Your father is very much in love.

Come in, child.

I won't eat you.

Don't stare at me like that.

Say something.

I made you legitimate out of the

goodness of my big, fat heart.

Doctor says it will kill me one day

He's in the Tower reconsidering.

Anne Boleyn's brat, I'll put you in

the Tower if you dare defy me.

You dare. I'm beginning to like you

To my good health.

Henry, please. No more wine tonight

This is your new stepmother, child

I can see you like her.

I do, too.

I like her very much.

Come, my darling. I'm afraid we have

to go home now. Back to Hatfield.

Don't worry. The King will soon

have us meet another stepmother.

And another and another.

Well, I will not come!

Open the door, Bess. Please.

It's Lord Thomas Seymour.

He's to take you back to London.

Bess, we're going back to Court.

Those are the King's orders.

You'll be the death of us both.

My Lord Admiral. Will you come

and talk to her? I can do nothing.

I see. Leave it to me.

I have a way with children.

Good morning, Lady Elizabeth. The

King sent me here to talk to you.

- I've looked forward to it.

- It will be a very short talk.

- I've just begun.

- I've finished.

- I promised your stepmother ...

- I've had too many!

You can tell the King I said so.

Will you please

come closer to the door?

- Well?

- I'll tell the King that I failed

- But only on one condition.

- What condition?

I want to have a look at you.

Open the door and I'll come in.

- Why?

- I want to see your face and eyes

- What for?

- Can you come still closer?

I have my ear against the door.

Because of a woman I once knew

and liked and laughed with.

- Who?

- We never speak her name.

- My mother?

- Yes.

I know the King banned you from

the Court because you're like her.

Well then, come in.

Come in and see for yourself.


- I can't see much from here.

- Stay there. Keep the bargain!

I always do.

That's why I make so many friends.

I don't need your friendship.

I don't need your pity either.

- What are you doing?

- Opening so I can see you better.

- We can drive back in the sunshine

- You're full of tricks.

- Don't you trust me?

- No!

If the King could see you like this

he'd change his mind.

You're so like him. The way you

stand there, stubborn, suspicious.

Exactly like him. Even down to

wanting to throw the inkwell at me

The King's daughter!

And yet, there's something else

in your face. I've seen it before.

Her eyes. The slim nose. There's no

another nose like this in England.

I'd know it in a thousand.

But where's her smile?

She turned men's heads

with that smile of hers.

They made your childhood

very unhappy.

But you'll be as beautiful as she

was, and everyone will fall for you

That will save you from

ever being lonely, as you are now.

Bye, Lady Elizabeth. I'll tell the

King I failed. He'll be surprised.

Hitherto, I've been lucky

with my missions.


What has happened?

What does this mean?



This is your room. And this is where

Mrs. Ashley will sleep.

The Queen wanted you to have the

nicest room overlooking the garden

What's the matter?

Don't you like it?

- What's all this?

- Caps, gowns, scarves.

She thought you'd like them.


There was another Catherine. I grew

to love her, but she was killed.

- It can happen again.

- It won't.

- I could never be happy here.

- You shall this time.

The Queen is the sweetest woman

in all God's world.

How tall you are.

You're almost a grown woman.

I'm glad you're here. I'm told you

have brains to match your looks.

And a charming companion to me

and the little Prince of Wales.

Edward needs a sister, and

I need ... what shall we call you?

A younger sister or a daughter.

Will you like that?

The chief thing is that we've got

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Margaret Irwin

Margaret Emma Faith Irwin (27 March 1889 – 11 December 1967) was an English historical novelist. She also wrote a factual biography of Sir Walter Raleigh. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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