Ambassadors to Elizabeth's Court
Each of the Ambassadors wait for their turn for the Queen to summon them for an audience. They have waited long, some longer. An ambassador from the Italian states is here as the Pope’s legate. He has been waiting for an audience with the queen for weeks. The Spanish ambassador seethes because he has waited the longest time, and others are presented far before him. All the other ambassadors sneer as the Dutch ambassador is greeted with smiles and ushered in to the Queen’s presence like an old friend. All of them are here on official state business, and all of them have other business as well.
The Spanish Ambassador has come with instructions from his master, King Philip II of Spain. He is to placate the English Queen. He is to sue for peace and alliance with England.
He is here to make her look the other way, while he helps smuggle in Jesuit priests in an attempt to raise up the Catholics in revolt against this Protestant heretic monarch. King Philip is sure that the English Catholics will follow God’s will, the Catholic will and overthrow the Queen and allow him to place his daughter on the English throne and bring it under Spanish rule.
The Ambassador from the Italian city states is here to make a last minute attempt to get the Queen to renounce her Protestant religion and convert to Catholicism. The Pope respects her as a Monarch, and has called her “The greatest monarch, except for her religion.” If she could only see the error that her father made in breaking away from the Church, the Pope ready to save her soul and welcome her back into God’s embrace. As it is there are English Catholics who are looking to flee under the cover of night on a pilgrimage to the Holy Father, and his ship will be the one to secret them away.
The Dutch Ambassador stands and paces nervously. He avoids the Spanish Ambassador and his glaring murderous stare as much as possible. He hopes the Queen will see him soon and his petition from his war battered country folk. The Spanish press their claims to his country and decimate the countryside in siege and murder. Only the English have sworn to help the Lowlands drive out the Spanish menace. What the English don’t know is that the Spanish are better armed and there are more troops than previously thought and he must ask the Queen for more soldiers and more money to help free their country.