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The Queen of Spain's Beard
'The Queen of Soain's Beard' Title Card
The Black Adder, Episode 4
Written by Richard Curtis & Rowan Atkinson
Directed by Martin Shardlow
Guest stars Miriam Margolyes

Jim Broadbent

Original airdate 6th July 1983
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"The Archbishop" "Witchsmeller Pursuivant"
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"The Queen of Spain's Beard" is the fourth episode of The Black Adder.


In 1492, Richard IV's court is in disarray. In order to secure Spain's allegiance in a war with France by marrying Prince Harry to the Princess Infanta of Spain. Said plan, however, could not work, as Harry had already been concurrently engaged to several other noblewomen. Richard then reluctantly chooses Prince Edmund to marry the Infanta.

Edmund, meanwhile, swears off women after being violently rejected by a woman who thought he was Harry. When he hears that he is to be married to the Infanta, however, he is excited by the prospect of a beautiful princess — only to find that the Infanta is overweight and homely. He is repulsed by her, but she falls instantly in love with him. Richard sets the wedding for the following day.

Baldrick hatches a plan: Edmund should pretend to "prefer the intimate company of men". Edmund then minces to court dressed in flamboyant clothes and wearing makeup. The plan fails, however, as the Infanta thinks that Edmund is only wearing traditional Spanish dress to please her. Edmund then reasons that he cannot marry the Infanta if he is already married, and so orders Baldrick to abduct a Reverend and Percy to find a suitable bride. Percy chooses Tully Applebottom but she identified herself as Mrs. Applebottom at the altar — confirmed moments later when Mr. Applebottom arrives, threatening Edmund with a scythe.

That night, Edmund schemes that he could still get out of the marriage if the Infanta were not a virgin, and sends Baldrick to join the Infanta in bed, pretending to be Edmund, while Edmund went to inform his father. Richard brushes the revelation aside, as only one of them has to be a virgin (that one, of course, being Edmund).

The marriage ceremony starts ponderously, so much so that the Infanta starts talking fast at the vicar with impatience. Her translator quotes, "Yes, Yes, stupid person, hurry up. I wish to entwine him [Blackadder] again in my broad thighs!". The wedding is ultimately cancelled in the nick of time, however, when Spain and France join forces. Realising the only country in Europe England can ally with now is Hungary, the Infanta is booted out of court, and Edmund is then set to marry Princess Leia of Hungary — an eight-year-old girl; however, Edmund seems resigned to this, happy that he escaped the Infanta.