Framlingham Castle’s role in ‘Tudor thriller’ to feature in new three-part documentary

Helen Castor at Framlingham Castle during the making of England's Forgotten Queen: The Life and Deat

Helen Castor at Framlingham Castle during the making of England's Forgotten Queen: The Life and Death of Lady Jane Grey, Picture: DSP/BBC - Credit: BBC.DSP

One of Suffolk’s best known historic buildings is to feature in a TV documentary billed as a “Tudor thriller” and “epic story of dynastic rivalry, intrigue and betrayal”.

England’s Forgotten Queen: The Life and Death of Lady Jane Grey will broadcast next week on BBC Four and includes scenes filmed in Framlingham Castle, where Jane’s rival for the throne and soon to be successor, Mary Tudor, had gathered her forces.

A spokesman for Framlingham Castle said: “We were delighted to host the filming crew and historian Helen Castor at Framlingham Castle for an afternoon in July as they filmed parts for the upcoming BBC 4 series, England’s Forgotten Queen: The Life And Death Of Lady Jane Grey.

“We’re looking forward to watching the series to hear more about the life of Lady Jane Grey and see Framlingham Castle on screen.”

The three-part documentary sees Dr Castor investigating the “astonishing” true story of Lady Jane Grey, who was the eldest daughter of the Duke and Duchess of Suffolk and the first reigning Queen of England.

Helen Castor and Anna Whitelock at Framlingham Castle during the making of England's Forgotten Queen

Helen Castor and Anna Whitelock at Framlingham Castle during the making of England's Forgotten Queen: The Life and Death of Lady Jane Grey. Picture: DSP/BBC - Credit: BBC.DSP


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Lady Jane has been considered an innocent teenager, who was thrust upon the throne and beheaded as a traitor after a reign of just nine days - however Dr Castor’s findings are said to shed new light on the events.

In the first episode, she reveals an “incendiary document”, written by the young son of Henry VIII, King Edward VI on his deathbed, which cuts his sister Mary out of the line of succession and leaves the throne to his cousin Jane.

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It sparks a constitutional crisis which brought the country to the brink of war.

The Duke of Northumberland – known as the “Wicked Duke” – is shown to have manipulated the young King Edward and staged a coup placing Lady Jane on the throne, without her knowledge.

Within a day of being told she is to be Queen, Jane enters the Tower of London, while Mary flees to Framlingham,

The Duke of Northumberland leads Jane’s forces against Mary in preparation for a battle that could descend into civil war.

But just as battle is set to commence, one of Jane’s key supporters defects to Mary’s side and the balance tips in her favour.

Jane and her father, the Duke of Suffolk, are taken prisoner in the Tower of London, and eventually executed.

Framlingham Castle’s Facebook page said the BBC documentary is just one of several filming shoots, which it hosted last year.

England’s Forgotten Queen: The Life and Death of Lady Jane Grey will broadcast on January 9,10 and 11.

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