Lady Jane (1986 film)

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Lady Jane
Cinema poster
Directed byTrevor Nunn
Screenplay byDavid Edgar
Story byChris Bryant
Produced byPeter Snell
CinematographyDouglas Slocombe
Edited byAnne V. Coates
Music byStephen Oliver
Distributed byParamount Pictures
Release date
7 February 1986
Running time
141 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom
Budget$8.5 million
Box office$277,646[1]

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, her marriage to Lord Guildford Dudley, and her reign as the "Nine Days' Queen" following the death of Edward VI of England.

The story had previously been turned into a 1936 film, Tudor Rose, and a 1923 silent film, Lady Jane Grey; Or, The Court of Intrigue.


The death of Henry VIII of England throws his kingdom into chaos as his successor, 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 Princess Mary 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 second 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 unhappy with the proposed marriage, and is forced into it through corporal punishment by her parents. At first, Jane and Guildford treat their union as a marriage of convenience, but later fall deeply in love.

After King Edward VI dies, 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's council abandon her because of her designs for reforming 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'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 executed.



Dover Castle was used to represent the Tower of London in the film. Interior scenes of Hever Castle in Kent were used. The Long Gallery was used in the scene where Jane visits Queen Mary. The moat around Leeds Castle, also in Kent, was used in the scene where Dudley first visits Lady Jane.[2] Several scenes were filmed at Haddon Hall in Derbyshire.[3] The castle and moat of Herstmonceux Castle in East Sussex was also used, when the Royal Greenwich Observatory was located there.


On Rotten Tomatoes the film has an approval rating of 56% based on reviews from 9 critics.[4]


  1. ^ "Lady Jane". Box Office Mojo.
  2. ^ Kent Film Office. "Kent Film Office Lady Jane Film Focus".
  3. ^ Elwes, Cary; Layden, Joe (2014). As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of The Princess Bride. Touchstone Books. pp. 112–114.
  4. ^ "Lady Jane (1986)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 1 March 2021.

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