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Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Caught on Tape: Queen Emma of Normandy

This is a short mini version of Caught on Tape – there is only one movie for this one, but I was shocked that there was even that many, so I had to include it!

After reading The Forever Queen by Helen Hollick, I became very interested in the life of Queen Emma. She seems to have been such a strong woman and really in control of her life. With this Queen relatively unheard of because she lived during the Dark Ages of England, I was surprised to learn that there was a play/made for TV movie about part of her life (well, not really focusing on her life per say, but she is involved in the movie).

The Ceremony of Innocence takes a look at the reign of King Æthelred up until the invasion by King Swegn Forkbeard. To quote a reviewer on Netflix – “it is both a stage-play and a thought piece, not a historical epic”. This is a highly dramatized account and probably not very historically accurate (hey, it was made in the 70’s), but from what I have read, it has mostly very positive reviews. Richard Kiley portrays King Æthelred, Elizabeth Hubbard portrays Emma, Earnest Graves is Swegn Forkbeard, and John Horn is Edmund Ironside.

Here is the blurb:

“Set in 11th-century England, Ronald Ribman's play focuses on King Ethelred's (Richard Kiley) indecisiveness during a time of crisis. With violence and bloodshed destroying his country, Ethelred debates whether to fight the invading Danes or unruly nobles. A unique glimpse of the era's political and savage battles, this televised stage production offers a look at a leader who values peace above all else” (from Netflix). I couldn’t find any clips or even screen stills for this film. Has anyone seen this film?

Copyright © 2010 by The Maiden’s Court


  1. Thanks for the links to all these great movies -- there are several that I have not seen that look very interesting!

  2. Joanne - I haven't seen many of these either but I look forward to!

  3. Has no one made a film specifically about Queen Emma? This seems a major oversight.

    1. ...agreed!... would love to see more on this...lots on the Vikings and warriors and kings... my great grand dad (31st) was Ivon Constable so he was somewhere back there around the time of Emma... would love to see her story!!

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