Lady Jane Grey

By Robert Crowe

I had heard of Lady Jane Grey but I thought it was a brand of tea. I’m not real big on British royal history. However, they do have some good stories. Such is the plight of Lady Jane Grey who was Queen of England for 9 days.

Born into royalty in 1537, she was a first cousin to King Edward VI. Edward VI became King of England at the age of 9 upon the death of his father, Henry VIII. At the age of fifteen, Edward was dying but was able to write a will with a series of decrees before he passed. Edward was a Protestant and didn’t want the realm to revert to Catholicism. He declared his two Catholic half-sisters as illegitimate and bypassed them by naming Lady Jane Grey as his heir. She was a Protestant … age 16 … with freckles. She was short in height and wore elevated shoes. Well educated, Jane was proficient in Greek, Latin, French, Hebrew and Italian. At age 16, she was married to Lord Guildford Dudley, age 18.

When Edward died a few weeks after her marriage, Jane Grey was pronounced Queen and waited in the Tower of London for her coronation ceremony. However, while there, Cousin Mary Tudor, rallied support and had Jane convicted of treason, a crime punishable by death. Mary Tudor assumed the throne and promptly killed as many Protestants as possible. Her nickname was “Bloody Mary.” Surprisingly, Queen Mary spared Jane by commuting her sentence.

Queen Mary Tudor planned to marry Philip of Spain in 1554. There was a major rebellion against this proposed union and Jane was accused of being part of the plot. Lord Dudley and his wife, Lady Jane Grey (age 17), were executed in February of 1554.

In 1986 there was a movie released, entitled, “Lady Jane.”

There is no explanation as to why it took 400 years to get the movie to us.

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