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TL; DR: 

  • Becoming Elizabeth premieres June 12 on Starz.
  • The eight-episode series offers a look at the life of the future Queen Elizabeth during the tumultuous time after the death of her father, Henry VIII.
  • Alicia von Rittberg plays Elizabeth, Romola Garai plays Mary Tudor, Olivier Zetterstrom plays Edward Tudor, and Bella Ramsey plays Lady Jane Grey.

Get ready for more bloody Tudor drama. Starz’s new series Becoming Elizabeth premieres June 12. Here’s what we know about the show, which stars Alicia von Rittberg as the daughter of England’s King Henry VIII.

‘Becoming Elizabeth’ offers a fresh look at ‘England’s most iconic queen’  

There’s been no shortage of depictions of Elizabeth I onscreen. Bette Davis, Cate Blanchett, Helen Mirren, and Margot Robbie are among the long list of actors who’ve portrayed the Virgin Queen on TV and in film. But she’s usually seen in the years after she ascended to the throne in 1558. Becoming Elizabeth, however, looks at her early life, specifically the period after the death of her father, Henry VIII. 

“Elizabeth I is “England’s most iconic queen,” Becoming Elizabeth’s executive producer and writer Anya Reiss said in a statement. “We think we know her …. We don’t. Long before she ascended to the throne, her story, and the story of those who surrounded her, is a story of ambition and betrayal.”

Alicia von Rittberg plays Elizabeth, Romola Garai plays her half-sister Mary Tudor

Red-haired woman in a Tudor headdress in the Starz series 'Becoming Elizabeth'
‘Becoming Elizabeth’ | Starz

Becoming Elizabeth begins shortly after Henry’s death in 1547. Elizabeth’s nine-year-old brother Edward becomes king. But Edward’s place on the throne is far from secure. Meanwhile, the orphaned Elizabeth becomes embroiled in court politics. As the men around her attempt to claim sovereignty, she struggles to control her own destiny. 

Elizabeth is played by von Rittberg, a German actor who’s appeared in the movie Fury and the Netflix series Charite. The young princess is a teenager when her father dies, but she thinks she’s old enough to negotiate the complicated dynamics at court. 

Oliver Zetterstrom plays the young Edward. Romola Garai plays Elizabeth’s half-sister Mary Tudor, a devoted Catholic who has her own claim on the throne of England. 

Call the Midwife alum Jessica Raine plays Henry’s widow Catherine Parr. She was a force to be reckoned with during Henry’s reign, but as the power dynamics shift after his death, she’s left on the sidelines. But with Henry gone, she’s free to marry her lover Thomas Seymour (Tom Cullen). But he has plans of his own, and his eye soon wanders to Elizabeth. 

Becoming Elizabeth’s cast also includes: 

  • John Heffernan as Edward Seymour, the Duke of Somerset
  • Jamie Blackley as Elizabeth’s childhood friend Robert Dudley
  • Kat Ashley as Alexandra Gilbreath 
  • Jamie Parker as John Dudley 
  • Leo Bill as Henry Grey
  • Bella Ramsey as Lady Jane Grey
  • Ekow Quartey as Pedro, a Spanish mercenary
  • Alex Macqueen as Stephen Gardiner, a Catholic bishop
  • Olivier Huband as the Spanish ambassador Guzman

How to watch ‘Becoming Elizabeth’ 

Man on a horse in the Starz series 'Becoming Elizabeth'
‘Becoming Elizabeth’ | Starz

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Becoming Elizabeth premieres Sunday, June 12 at 9 p.m. ET on Starz. The debut episode will also be available to stream on the Starz app and all Starz streaming and on-demand platforms beginning at midnight on June 12. 

New episodes will debuts on Sundays through August 7. There will be eight episodes in total. 

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