Elizabeth is a 1998 British biographical period drama film directed by Shekhar Kapur and written by Michael Hirst. It stars Cate Blanchett in the title role of Elizabeth I of England, with Geoffrey Rush, Christopher Eccleston, Joseph Fiennes, John Gielgud, and Richard Attenborough in supporting roles. The film is based on the early years of Elizabeth's reign, where she is elevated to the throne after the death of her half-sister Mary I, who had imprisoned her. As she establishes herself on the throne, she faces plots and threats to take her down.


In 1558, the forty-one year old Catholic Mary I of England, daughter of Henry VIII and his first wife, Catherine of Aragon, dies presumably from a cancerous tumor in her womb. Mary's heir and twenty-five year old half sister, Protestant Elizabeth, daughter of Henry and his second wife, Anne Boleyn, who was under house arrest for suspected involvement in Thomas Wyatt the Younger's rebellion, is freed and crowned Queen of England.