PBS: Wednesday 24 – Friday 26 January at 7.10pm
Elizabeth I’s Secret Agents
In late 16th-century England, Queen Elizabeth I was under siege. A Protestant royal threatened by Catholic enemies, both within Britain and on the largely Catholic continent, she faced very real threats upon her life – not least from the Pope, who had given license to kill her.
Defeating these threats would require cunning – and would lead to the world’s first secret service. Run by William and Robert Cecil, and using espionage, spies and even kidnappers, this father-and-son team would create a secret state that would help to keep Queen Elizabeth I in power for over 40 years. Discover a covert spy network, dedicated to protecting Queen and country, as leading historians reveal Elizabethan England as it really was – and how yesterday’s events helped shape today’s Britain.