Where and When Does My Lady Jane Take Place?

Image Credit: Jonathan Prime/Prime Video

Prime Video’s ‘My Lady Jane’ presents the story of a noblewoman who is thrust into a world of conflict, conspiracies, and backstabbing when she is made the heir to the throne of England. The protagonist is Lady Jane Grey, who is only interested in reading books and finding cures for diseases. However, because her family is poor, Jane is married to a rich nobleman’s son, whom she initially detests. Apart from her personal life, the political turmoil in the court of her cousin, King Edward, also impacts Jane’s storyline, as she discovers that she has unwittingly become a pawn in the game of the men who want nothing but power. While she is intent on fighting for herself, the time she lives in doesn’t make it any easier for her.

The Events of My Lady Jane Unfold in Sixteenth-Century England

Image Credit: Jonathan Prime/Prime Video

‘My Lady Jane’ is a fictional retelling of the true story of Lady Jane Grey, who was declared to become the next Queen of England by her cousin, King Edward VI. Much like we see in the TV show, the events surrounding Jane’s ascension were rife with political uproar, with all concerned parties trying to put their preferred heir on the throne. In real life, Lady Jane didn’t last on the throne for more than nine days, following which Princess Mary became the Queen, and a new era was ushered in the history of England.

The Prime Video show, however, presents a parallel reality where things turned out rather differently for Lady Jane. It is an alternative tale of historical events. The setting, however, remains the same. Edward VI became king in 1547 and died in 1553, which is when Mary became the queen for a handful of days. The events in the show take place in the year surrounding Edward’s death, but the timeline is skewed to support the narrative.

When ‘My Lady Jane’ begins, Jane’s biggest concern is the news of her wedding. In real life, she was married to Guildford Dudley in May 1553, which serves as the starting point of the events. At the same time, King Edward’s health worsens. In real life, he died in July 1553, which is when Jane became the Queen. The show also reaches that point and quickly winds through the nine days that Jane remains queen while trying to tackle the dangerous politics in court.

The Show Shortens the Time Span of Real Events

There are a lot of ways in which ‘My Lady Jane’ differentiates itself from actual history. To begin with, it adds an element of fantasy to the story by introducing the concept of Ethian and Verity. This serves as a major plot conflict point throughout the season, with the fate of almost all main characters depending on how the leader of the state chooses to deal with the issue. Jane’s pro-Ethian sentiments also work against her when she becomes Queen and lead to her swift downfall.

Image Credits: Jonathan Prime/Prime Video

In real life, Mary gathered a wave of support, amassed an army, and practically marched into London, already accepted as Queen by almost the entire council. Lady Mary Jane was thrown into a cell in the Tower of London. Things unfold almost the same way in the TV show as well, but to speed up things for the narrative, the show’s creators have shortened months into a mere week or so in the fictional rendering of the story. In real life, it was months before Jane was taken out of the Tower of London and publicly executed for being a usurper. In the show, the execution date is set down more swiftly because a blood-thirsty Mary wants to curb any chance of a challenge to her claim to the throne. And this is also where the events branch out in a completely new direction.

The real Lady Jane Grey met the executioner’s axe on February 12, 1554. This is where the teenager’s story ended. The show, however, tackles things a bit differently. In the show, despite coming very close to dying, Jane miraculously survives her execution. With the help of her friends, she escapes London. But instead of riding off into the sunset with her husband, she decides to return, this time with an army of her own, and exact vengeance on Mary for her crimes.

Read More: My Lady Jane: Where is the Prime Video Show Filmed?