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How Becoming Elizabeth Unpacks the Complex Relationship From Queen Elizabeth I’s Youth

This royal romance will have heads rolling.

In the June 19 episode of Becoming Elizabeth, Princess Elizabeth (Alicia von Rittberg) and Thomas Seymour (Tom Cullen) make their feelings for one another known. But don’t get too excited about this potential pairing, as it couldn’t be more inappropriate. Not only is Thomas married to Elizabeth’s guardian, former stepmother Catherine Parr (Jessica Raine), but he’s also about 20 years older than the future queen.

The episode kicks off with Thomas barging into Elizabeth’s room, ripping off her covers as she lies in bed wearing nothing but a sheer nightgown. As Elizabeth’s maid protests, Thomas bluntly retorts, “I’m to rouse my household.”

This is not the last inappropriate exchange between the two. The aforementioned declaration of love involves Thomas seducing Elizabeth, telling the young royal, “You may well ruin my life, Elizabeth. And I’ll f–king let you, if you’d like to.”

The pair share a passionate kiss, with Thomas proceeding to touch teenage Elizabeth’s privates with his hand.

Actresses Who’ve Played Queen Elizabeth I

What makes this dynamic even more cringe-worthy? It’s ripped right from the history books.

That’s right, Thomas was known for showing an odd amount of attention to the princess, including bursting into her room while she was in her nightgown and touching her in eye-brow raising ways.

So, it’s no wonder Alicia told E! News in an exclusive interview that she found the on-screen romance “wrong.”

“It was very complex and difficult,” she reflected. “I think she was in a very vulnerable place. For then, someone who’s like, 20 years older than her, to pretend to take care of her, it’s just detrimental.”

TV Premiere Dates Gallery, Becoming Elizabeth


However, to convincingly play these unbecoming lovers, Alicia noted that she and Tom acted if the connection was “real,” rather than being motivated by lust or a thirst for power. But this is not the pinnacle of Elizabeth and Thomas’ story, as Alicia teased that her character will eventually see the “manipulative nature” of this supposed-romance.

If you’re familiar with Tudor history, you know that things do not end well for many of the players involved. See the drama play out as new episodes of Becoming Elizabeth drop Sundays on Starz.

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