Lady Jane (1987)


Lady Jane Movieposter - an image of Lady Jane Grey (Helena Bonham Carter) and Guildford (Cary Elwes)

Lady Jane Movieposter © Paramount Pictures

Directed By:  Trevor Nunn

Starring: Helena Bonham Carter, Cary Elwes and John Wood

Kent Locations Used: Hever Castle, Leeds Castle & Dover Castle.

When the death of King Henry VIII throws the country into chaos, the question of succession to the throne must be resolved. While the King’s surviving son Prince Edward lies on his death bed, a scheming John Dudley resolves to marry his son Guildford (Cary Elwes) to Lady Jane Grey (Helena Bonham Carter), great niece of Henry VII and place her on the throne after the king’s death.Unwilling to be married, Guildford and Jane are at first unhappy with dadley’s plans, but over time, their love for each other blossoms just as  a chain of events threatens to rip them apart.

Starring Helena Bonham Carter and Cary Elwes as young lovers Jane and Guildford, this costume drama sheds light on England’s reformation in 1553 as the Duke of Northumberland attempted to guarantee a Protestant monarchy and keep Catholic Princess Mary from the throne.

Three of Kent’s Castles feature in the film. The County is home to many historic locations and many have been inhabited by the monarchy at various points throughout British history. Leeds Castle in Maidstone cameos in the film, where eagle eyed viewers will recognise the castle moat as Guildford sails to meet his future bride, Lady Jane. King Henry VII transformed the castle for his first wife, Catherine of Aragon and is has also starred in the film Kind Hearts and Coronets in 1949 where it became Chalfont, the family home to the D’Ascoyne family, all of whom were so memorably potrayed by Sir Alec Guinness.

Hever Castle was originally built as a country house in the 13th Century, but the Boleyn family, who held a seat there from 1462 till 1539, transformed parts of the castle into a Tudor manor. Today it offers three floors containing antique furniture and Tudor artefacts which makes it one of the most popular tourist destinations in the county.  The long gallery within the castle was used for scenes in Lady Jane and since then its garden and lakes have features as a location in 2008 film Inkheart. Most famously it was used in the 1969 film Anne of a Thousand Days which portrayed the life of it’s most famous resident, Anne Boleyn.

Dover Castle plays a key role in Lady Jane. The castle keep doubled as the Tower of London where many of the most dramatic scenes were shot, including the pivotal final scene. The Castle was founded in the 12th Century and has held defensive significance for the country throughout history. The famous Operation Dynamo during the Second World War was masterminded within its walls. Dover Castle would not play the Tower of London for the last time in Lady Jane as it reprised its role for the more recent The Other Boleyn Girl in 2008.

Lady Jane was released in cinemas in February 1986 and is now available to buy on DVD.


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