My SO and I watched the first disk of "Elizabeth I" the other night (not to be confused with "The Queen" although both star Helen Mirren). Scene one consisted of the queen undergoing a gynocological exam to determine whether she was too old to conceive an heir to the throne. (I did not know they had speculums in the 1500's. Apparently, they were invented by the Romans around 300 BC.) The costumes were sumptuous and the acting exquisite, plus I liked that they let Helen and Jeremy look their ages, but the storyline was rather soap opera-ish. In fact, during the Jeremy Irons death bed scene, I wondered how the actors kept straight faces. It was also very gory - I turned away and watched SO's face to gauge when I could look again. The previews for disk 2 were not compelling - it looks like the aging queen takes up with the Duke of Leicester's stepson who doesn't look old enough to shave.
(Most of my knowledge of history comes from movies, but now we have the Internet. See Elizabeth I.)