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The Shortest Monarch Reign In British History - Lady Jane Grey’s Story



Not everyone knows the story of the Queen of England with the shortest reign in history.


The tragic story of Lady Jane Grey is always remembered in British history as the monarch with the shortest reign.


Sadly, she only reigned for just nine days.

Lady Jane Grey’s reign as Queen of England is the shortest in history, here is why?


Lady Jane Grey was the eldest daughter of Henry Grey, Duke of Suffolk and she was the great-grand-daughter of Henry VII.


She was crowned Queen after the death of her cousin, the protestant King Edward VI, son of Henry VIII.


Lady Jane was the fifth in line to the throne, but her cousin chose her because she was a Protestant.


Edward chose her over his half-sister Mary, Henry VIII’s daughter with Catherine of Aragon. She ought to be the next in line for the throne but because she was a devout Catholic, he did not consider her.


Edward’s intention was to keep the England’s Protestant faith has he knew that Mary would take England back into the Catholic faith.


The Duke of Northumberland, John Dudley, who was also King Edward VI’s protector persuaded the dying young king to will his crown to Lady Jane Grey who also happened to be the Duke’s daughter-in-law.



After the death of King Edward on 6th July 1553, Lady Jane ascended to the throne with her husband Lord Guildford Dudley by her side. Lady Jane was only sixteen years old.


The country was also in favour of her being the Queen and the Council proclaimed Mary queen some nine days later.


She was beautiful and intelligent. She studied Latin, Greek and Hebrew and was fluent in French and Italian.


Here is the sad part..


Lady Jane’s advisors were grossly incompetent and her father was also a part of her sad story. Her father was partly responsible for her untimely execution because he was involved in a foiled rebellion.


This was the period when there was a Wyatt rebellion. Wyatt rebellion was named after Sir Thomas Wyatt, an English soldier and a so-called ‘rebel’.


In 1554 Wyatt was involved in a conspiracy against the marriage of Mary to Phillip of Spain.


He raised an army of Kentish men and marched to London but was captured and beheaded.


Following the foiled rebellion, quashed, Lady Jane and her husband, who were lodged in the Tower of London, were taken out and beheaded on 12th February 1554.


Guildford, her husband, was executed first on Tower Hill, his body taken away by horse and cart.


Lady Jane was also taken to Tower Green within the Tower, where the block was waiting for her.


History claims that she died very bravely on the scaffold. She asked the executioner, ‘Please dispatch me quickly’.


She tied her kerchief round her eyes and felt for the block saying, ‘Where is it?’ One of the onlookers guided her to the block where she laid her head down, and stretched out her arms saying, ‘Lord, into thy hands I commit my soul.’



Sadly, she was executed…this only happened nine days after she became the Queen of England…10th to 19th July 1553.


This is the shortest reign of any English monarch ever.

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