The infirm King Philip II of Spain is eager to avenge the death of Mary, Queen of Scots and incidentally, make good on his inheritance from Mary as the Catholic claimant to the English throne - which Mary bequeathed to him. Philip urges an unprepared fleet, commanded by the incompetent Duke of Medina Sidonia, to sail on England. Even as Elizabeth rebukes the hawks (privateers) in her council (both Walsingham and Sir Francis Drake), with hopes of peace, the Spanish Armada appears on the horizons of England. Her fate and the future of the country now lie in the hands of Drake, and the Navy.
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[during the Queen's speech to her troops at Tilbury
God's blood, she breedeth courage in a man!