everyone watching the white queen
The Execution of Lady Jane Grey (detail), Paul Delaroche - 1833
the white queen.
I can’t even with that show. VISIONS? SHE HAS VISIONS? Just. Oh my god Phillipa Gregory. Elizabeth Woodville was FANTASTIC and AMAZING without adding this bizarre witchcraft and whatnot to it.
Every time they said Lady Elizabeth Grey though, I’m not going to lie… I fangirled hard. And I tried. Very hard to like this. But I just couldn’t get over Phillipa Gregory’s RIDICULOUS changes of history and of the time. Religion was a large part of these people’s lives and, of course, Elizabeth Woodville was no witch. SIGH. Granted, I didn’t expect much. This IS Phillipa Gregory we’re talking about. Someone with a PhD who doesn’t believe in the interest and authenticity of history. Instead, she feels the need to add unnecessarily. And, in my opinion, makes jokes out of very amazing women.
I have a whole lot of other feels (like HOLY MOLY MAX IRONS YESPLZ) about this show. But I can’t bother with this anymore.
Posthumous Portrait of Lady Jane Grey, 1590. Detail.
Lady Jane Grey was an English noblewoman and de facto monarch of England from 10 July to 19 July 1553. Jane had an excellent humanist education and a reputation as one of the most learned young women of her day.
When the 15-year-old King Edward VI lay dying in June 1553, he nominated Jane as successor to the Crown in his will, thus subverting the claims of his half-sisters Mary and Elizabeth. Jane was imprisoned in the Tower of London when the Privy Council decided to change sides and proclaim Mary as queen on 19 July 1553.
Jane was charged with high treason. Her sentence was to “be burned alive on Tower Hill or beheaded as the Queen pleases.” She was executed on 12 February 1554 at the age of 16 or 17.
The baby of Henry VIII’s siblings, Mary was passionate, headstrong, loyal, political ,and beautiful. She was friend to Katherine of Aragon and Mary Boleyn, and a loving aunt to Mary I, who was named after her. Her second marriage, which earned her the reputation of a romantic rebel, was to Charles Brandon, 1st Duke of Suffolk.
And although her relationship with her brother Henry VIII was strained in later years, during her youth they were best friends, and for the five years between Henry VII’s death and her marriage to Louis XII, were the stars of the Tudor court. Just as well, Mary was very close to Katherine, who had been like a mother to her.
Mary, as a courtesy to her friend Mary Boleyn, arranged for Anne Boleyn to become a lady-in-waiting to Katherine of Aragon in 1552, an act she would later regret for all the strife it would cause her beloved sister-in-law and niece. After Katherine was banished from court in 1531, Mary Tudor refused to support her brother politically or personally and removed herself from court as well.
She passed away quietly in her home a few years later in 1533 on this day, from what many historians believe to be cancer. She was 37 years old.
I like to think that Elizabeth Grey helped take down Anne Boleyn because of how much Mary supported KoA. Or rather, how they both supported KoA. As I write my novel, I try to put these little tidbits together to try and find the most accurate portrayal of why Elizabeth Grey did the things she did and what made her so unique. This little article was a nice reminder of Mary and Elizabeth’s close relationship.
Mary Tudor, Romantic Rebel
Mary Tudor, betrothed first to a boy four years younger than her, and then to a man over 30 years older than her, married Louis XII, King of France when she was just 18, and he 52. Three months later, the King was dead, and she was a widow.
Before marrying Louis, she had extracted a promise from her brother that her second marriage would be her choice - a promise Henry agreed to, probably just to get her to France with as little fuss as possible.
Regardless, Mary would hold Henry to that promise, and when Charles Brandon, with whom she was already in love, came to bring her home to England, she took her chance and married him, risking the anger of the notoriously temperamental Henry.
You can read more about her rebellion in the name of romance here.
I always wonder if Elizabeth Grey attended this secret wedding. She and Mary were good friends and Lady Elizabeth was one of the only English ladies Mary brought to France, where the marriage took place. Elizabeth Grey herself also had a rebellious marriage. One of the many reasons I find her so insanely interesting. I’ll get into that in a future post!
On this day in history, April 21st, in the year 1509, Henry VII died of tuberculosis at Richmond Palace.He was buried at Westminster Abbey, having reigned for nearly 24 years.
He was succeeded on the throne by his 17 year old son, the infamous Henry VIII.
And Thomas Grey was VERY happy because Henry VII was going to put him to death. Henry VIII, however, pardoned him, summoned him back to court and gave him back his title as Marquess of Dorset. Sometimes, you just get lucky.
Actually, if I’m not mistaken, Thomas Grey is one of the men in the last picture in one of the red robes. I also love how they have the family crests above each one. I have a larger version of this saved somewhere… remind me to upload it one day.