Lady Jane (1986)

Lady Jane (1986)

Taglines: Forced to marry. Forced to rule. Their story became a legend.

The death of King Henry VIII throws his kingdom into chaos because of succession disputes. His weak son Edward, is on his deathbed. Anxious to keep England true to the Reformation, a scheming minister John Dudley marries off his son, Guildford to Lady Jane Grey, whom he places on the throne after Edward dies. At first hostile to each other, Guildford and Jane fall in love. But they cannot withstand the course of power which will lead to their ultimate downfall.

Lady Jane is a 1986 British costume drama romance film directed by Trevor Nunn, written by David Edgar, and starring Helena Bonham Carter as the title character. It tells the story of Lady Jane Grey, the Nine Days’ Queen, on her reign and romance with husband Lord Guildford Dudley. The film features several members of The Royal Shakespeare Company. The story had previously been turned into a 1936 film Tudor Rose.

Dover Castle was used to represent the Tower of London in the film. Interior scenes of Hever Castle were used. The long gallery was used in the scene where Jane visits Queen Mary. The moat around Leeds Castle was used in the scene where Dudley first visits Lady Jane.

Lady Jane (1986)

About the Story

The death of King Henry VIII of England throws his kingdom into chaos as his heir, Edward VI of England, is both under-age and in poor health. Anticipating the young king’s imminent death from tuberculosis and anxious to keep England true to the Protestant Reformation by keeping the Catholic Mary I of England from the throne, John Dudley, 1st Duke of Northumberland, Lord President of the Council and second only to the king in power, hatches a plan to marry his son, Lord Guildford, to Lady Jane Grey, and have the royal physician keep the young king Edward VI alive—albeit in excruciating pain—long enough to get him to name Jane his heir.

Jane is not happy with the proposed marriage, and must be forced into it through corporal punishment by her parents. At first Jane and Guildford decide to treat their union purely as a marriage of convenience, but then they fall deeply in love.

Lady Jane (1986)

After Edward VI dies (6 July 1553, age 15), Jane is placed on the throne. She is troubled by the questionable legality of her accession, but after consulting with Guildford, turns the tables on John Dudley and the others who thought to use her as a puppet.

After only nine days, however, Queen Jane is abandoned by her council precisely because of her reformist designs for the country. The council then supports Mary, who at first imprisons Jane and Guildford.

Consumed with guilt, Jane’s father, the Duke of Suffolk, raises a rebellion to restore her to the throne, presumably in concert with Thomas Wyatt the Younger’s rebellion. When the rebellion fails, Queen Mary I offers to spare Jane’s life if she renounces her Protestant faith. When she refuses, Jane, her father and Guildford are all executed.

Lady Jane Movie Poster (1986)

Lady Jane (1986)

Directed by: Trevor Nunn
Starring: Helena Bonham Carter, Cary Elwes, John Wood, Michael Hordern, Jill Bennett, Jane Lapotaire, Sara Kestelman, Patrick Stewart, Joss Ackland
Screenplay by: David Edgar
Production Design by: Allan Cameron
Cinematography by: Derek V. Browne, Douglas Slocombe
Film Editing by: Anne V. Coates
Costume Design by: Sue Blane, David Perry
Set Decoration by: Harry Cordwell
Art Direction by: Fred Carter, Martyn Hebert
Music by: Stephen Oliver
Distributed by: Paramount Pictures
Release Date: February 7, 1986