Queen Elizabeth was a remarkable woman. Talented and well- educated she had chronic indecision in the 1580s she couldn't make decisions fast. Queen Elizabeth spent 20 years agonizing over the fate of Mary which was Queen of Scots. Her hesitations about her marriage may have been chiefly due to her inability to make up her mind, which she carried to extraordinary lengths. The rival; atthe court of Mary Tudor continued the habit even when circumstances did not require it.Queen Elizabeth's policy was "Procrastination, evasions, and stimulated innocence." Queen Elizabeth was vacillated when faced by important decisions unless panicked, she could delay for years. Elizabeth's modern admirers have argued despite her limited means, she maintained consistent, clever strategies in domestic and foreign affairs, wooing and rebuffing foreign monarchs and diplomats, playing one off against another and employing her talent for obfuscation to cancel her true intents.October 1584, Privacy council had considered methods of defence against what was now seen as an intervention and purely defensive actions and Elizabeth wavered between the two, avoiding direct military actions but sanctioning deniable raids on Spanish shipping and possessions by Elizabeth's own offers. November 1584, Sir Francis Duke was ready to sea with fleet of 15 great ships and twenty Pinnaces, but by then Elizabeth had yet again changed her mind and Drake was left to cool his heels for nine months. Queen Elizabeth attempts to form defensive alliances were hampered by the inadequacy of people she chose to represent her.
Donizetti's opera, with libretto by Giuseppe Bardari, is based on Schiller's play. The opera is a work of great force both musically and dramatically, but it should not be taken as history. The most obvious departure from fact is the powerful confrontation in Act II between Mary and Queen Elizabeth I, which offers a wonderful opportunity for bravura singing and acting by two forceful stage personalities. Actually, the two queens never saw each other, although Mary tried throughout her adult life to arrange a meeting. The opera depicts her as reluctant to encounter Elizabeth; in reality, there's nothing except freedom that she would have liked more. If they had met, it's unlikely the encounter would have resembled the operatic scene, which becomes a hissing battle of words. Their letters to each other tended to be temperate and even affectionate (on Mary's part, at least). And Mary was famous for her charm. The atmosphere might have been cool, but there would have been no hurling of insults. Another departure from the historical record is the exaggeration of the role of Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester. In the opera he is in love with Mary, Elizabeth is in love with him, and Elizabeth's jealousy of Mary brings about the latter's downfall. It is true that for many years Leicester was Elizabeth's favorite and that he hoped to marry her. But she turned him down and later even proposed that he marry the widowed Queen Mary to cement English and Scottish relations. Mary rejected the idea. There were a few meetings between Leicester and Mary, but he had faded to a subsidiary role by the time of the opera's action.