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How accurate is the movie The Favourite

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==The relationship between Sarah and Anne==
The movie focuses on the relationships between Anne, Sarah, and Abigail. The movie does show how influential Sarah was at the Court. She had met the future Queen in the 1660s when they were both children and Sarah had been kind and friendly to the young Royal. They were very close and even when they were parted they would communicate by letters. Sarah was some five years older than Anne and this allowed her to have a great deal of influence over the future Queen and when Anne married George of Denmark, she became Lady of the Bedchamber. In 1702, when the last of the Stuart’s was crowned Queen she appointed Sarah Mistress of the Robe, who also assumed a series of other offices. These gave her a great deal of power and she could control who had access to the Queen. Sarah was a beautiful and vivacious woman and she often dominated her Queen. She could be very brutal with her and even condescending. Sarah’s influence over Anne was crucial and instrumental in the rise of her husband the Duke of Marlborough and his prosecution of the war against France and her allies <ref>Chalus, Elaine. "‘Ladies are often very good scaffoldings’: Women and Politics in the Age of Anne." Parliamentary History 28, no. 1 (2009): 150-165 <ref>. The relationship between Sarah and her monarch was largely accurate.
 [[File: The favourite 4.jpg|200px|thumb|left| The Duke of Marlborough at the Battle of Ramailles(1706) ]] 
==Abigail Hill, the Queen, and Sarah, Duchess of Marlborough==
Abigail in the movie plots to become the new favorite of the Queen and therefore become one of the most influential people in the kingdom. This was not really the case, Abigail did not have to conspire against Sarah, because she had already lost much of her influence by 1708. Ann had grown tired of the Duchess and her overbearing personality and this is why she turned to Abigail, who flattered and reassured the Queen, unlike the more abrasive Sarah. There is no evidence that Abigail poisoned Sarah as shown in the motion picture which ended with her near-death and waking up in a brothel. One of the main reasons, for her fall, this, was Sarah’s arrogance and rudeness to Anne and not because of Abigail machinations. Queen Anne and Sarah had very different political views <ref>Field, p 198</ref>. The daughter of James II was instinctively a Tory, and a conservative. The Duchess was a Whig and by the standards of her time, liberal on issues such as religious toleration, except for Catholics <ref>Holmes, Geoffrey. British politics in the age of Anne (Edinburg, A&C Black, 1987), p 11</ref>. This led to growing conflicts between them and Anne came to resent Sarah imposing her Whig opinions on her. These political differences and the domineering character of the Duchess resulted in the rift between the Queen and her former favorite and in this regard, the movie is very inaccurate. This rather any great conspiracy by Abigail led to her elevation to the status of the Queen favorite <ref>Holmes, p 78</ref>.  
==Was there a sexual relationship between Anne, Sarah, and Abigail==
The 2018 movie portrays the Queen and the Duchess of Marlborough as having a long-term sexual relationship despite the fact that they are both married. This secret relationship is the source of Sarah’s power and influence at the Royal Court. In fact, it is exceedingly unlikely that Sarah and Anne were having a lesbian affair. As noted above, Anne was a very religious woman and her faith influenced every aspect of her life. A sexual relationship with a member of the same sex in the eyes of the Anglican Church, of which Anne was a member, would have been regarded as a mortal sin, leading to eternal damnation in hell. Moreover, Anne was very devoted to her husband. The two always shared their bedroom which was unusual for a member of the elite and she was devasted when George died in 1708 <ref>Green, David. Queen Anne (London: Collins, 1970), p 113</ref> It cannot be denied that, once, Anne shared a very intense friendship with Sarah, and it was one of the most important in her life. However, we should not construct their relationship in modern terms. There is no evidence that Abigail was the lover of the Queen. It appears that Anne was not as dependent on her as she had been previously on Sarah. Moreover, by the time that Abigail had become her favorite, she was a very sick woman and suffering greatly from gout. Rumors about Anne’s sexuality were spread by Whig propagandists because they believe that she was too close to their hated enemies, the Tories <ref>Green, p. 201 </ref>. It does seem that Sarah contributed to the rumors that the daughter of James II was a lesbian. She had anonymously circulated a poem that implied that Abigail and Anne were having a sexual affair. At the time, no one took this seriously and suspected that the Duchess was slandering the Queen out of spite. However, it does seem that Anne and Sarah’s intense friendship may have had some sexual aspect. It does appear that the Queen, at least subconsciously had urges from her friend and her chief courtier. In a series of letters, that she wrote to the wife of the Duke of Marlborough, she displays love for ‘her closest friend in a way that we would classify as romantic, though perhaps not erotic way’ <ref>Field, Ophelia. "Queen Anne's Ladies." The Gay & Lesbian Review Worldwide 11, no. 3 (2004): 21</ref>. After the falls from favor, it does seem that Sarah tried to revel them to embarrass the Queen, but she never did. What is clear is that the last of the Stuart Dynasty and her two favorites did not have the type of relationships that were shown in the movie<ref>Green, p 198</ref>.

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