10 July 1553

Lady Jane Grey takes the throne of England.

Lady Jane Grey, also known as the “Nine Days’ Queen,” was an English noblewoman who was briefly the de facto monarch of England in July 1553. Born in October 1537, she was the great-granddaughter of Henry VII through her mother, Lady Frances Brandon. Lady Jane was a highly educated and devout Protestant, which played a significant role in her brief ascendancy to the throne.

Her claim to the throne was largely orchestrated by John Dudley, Duke of Northumberland, who sought to prevent the Catholic Mary Tudor from becoming queen after the death of Edward VI. Edward VI, Henry VIII’s son and Jane’s cousin, named her his successor in his will, bypassing his half-sisters Mary and Elizabeth.

On July 10, 1553, Lady Jane was proclaimed queen, but her reign was short-lived. Nine days later, she was deposed when Mary Tudor gathered enough support to claim the throne. Mary I, also known as “Bloody Mary,” subsequently imprisoned Jane in the Tower of London. Despite initial reluctance to execute her, Mary eventually ordered her execution after Jane’s father, Henry Grey, became involved in a rebellion against Mary’s rule.

Lady Jane Grey was executed on February 12, 1554, at the age of 16 or 17, making her one of the most tragic and short-lived figures in English history.