May 25 – A Tudor triple wedding

On this day in Tudor history, 25th May 1553, a triple wedding took place at Durham House, the Dudley family’s London residence. Lord Guildford Dudley, son of John Dudley, Duke of Northumberland, married Lady Jane Grey, and Guildford’s sister, Catherine, and Jane’s sister, Katherine, also got married.

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  1. This match could well have been discussed between Jane’s parents and the Dudley’s as fortuitous for all of them, but Dudley did seize control of his son and daughter in law when young Edward died, therefore it could well have been his idea alone, which he later coerced Jane’s parents into agreeing with, to seize the throne from Mary Tudor, the young kings legal heir, the fear of a return to Catholicism did trouble the king after all and he knew his Grey relations were ardently Protestant as he was, all we can do is speculate but I have often been puzzled why Frances Brandon agreed to it, she and Mary had grown up together and were very close, but diffing religious opinions always divide families and now the Greys must have viewed Mary as a very real threat, she may have had no choice but to agree, in any case Mary pardoned her and she kept her life, whilst her husband daughter and son in law lost theirs, for now however the wedding party was merry three young couples were about to marry, they exchanged their vows and the company toasted their health and future, sadly we know for Jane and her husband they had no future, they were destined to die young, the young king was wasting away and he was about to gift his favourite cousin his crown with all the trappings of royalty, quite unaware that in doing so, he had effectively sentenced her to death, his dream of keeping the country from the scourge of papacy was to seriously back fire, and Jane was to make history as the third Queen of England to die on Tower Hill.

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