Role in the film
King Richard is seen preparing for battle of the Crusade. He leaves his younger brother, Prince John to govern the kingdom in his absence, which he accepts to do, including taking care of their mother, Queen Eleanor. He and his brother are later introduced to the Earl of Huntingdon's daughter, Maid Marian, whom Huntingdon asks the Queen to look after in his absence as he leaves with the King for the Crusade, which the Queen gladly accepts as well. Even the King's Sheriff of Nottingham joins him on the Crusade as well. Before leaving, King Richard asks a blessing from the Archbishop of Canterbury for his Crusade. Once King Richard is gone, Prince John appoints a new man to be his own new Sheriff of Nottingham and reveals his true nature and intentions, which is to raise taxes and collect money from the poor in his brother's absence and as long as his mother and the Archbishop of Canterbury remain oblivious to the plot. Luckily, Robin Hood and his Merrie Men are willing to restore order in the kingdom in the King's absence.
Two years have passed, King Richard's Crusade has ended in failure, and the King finds himself imprisoned in Austria to be held for a ransom of 100,000 marks; much to the Queen and Archbishop's dismay and Prince John's joy. Nevertheless, Robin and his men do everything they can to ensure their benevolent king's safe return with contributions and foiling Prince John's plans concerning the ransom.
A few days later, at Robin's lair in Sherwood Forest, when Robin Hood is wounded and sick, thus, forced to reluctantly stay in bed in a cave and eat broth and barley at Friar Tuck and Maid Marian's insistence, King Richard, whose ransom has been paid and who has returned safely to England, appears disguised as a mysterious black rider. Unknown of his identity to Robin Hood and his men, King Richard says he seeks Robin Hood, thus, making Robin Hood suspect he could be one of Prince John's men and then forcing him to take off his hood. Even Friar Tuck threatens to hurt him with his staff if he refuses otherwise.
To avoid misunderstandings, the King reveals himself to them and all of them bow before him. Not wanting his apology for his rash behavior and indebted to his good deed and that of his men, King Richard knights and dubs Robin, the Earl of Locksley. When King Richard spots Maid Marian, wearing an outlaw's disguise, he tells her that her father awaits her at Huntingdon where the Queen vows to marry her to the Earl of Locksley. At first, Marian seems shocked since she remains oblivious to the fact that Robin Hood is in fact the Earl she is to marry until the King reveals him to her.
Finally, King Richard and the men watch Robin and Maid Marian share a kiss as they prepare to be married.