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NoFlox asked in Society & CultureRoyalty · 1 decade ago

Queen Elizabeth I and Queen Jane (Lady Jane Grey) - how was their relationship as cousins?

Lady Jane Grey was 4 years younger than Elizabeth; they both lived for a while under the guardianship of Katherine Parr and Thomas Seymour.

How was their relationship as cousins? Was a friendly relationship or not? Were they fond of each other?

I read different books about them, some of them place Lady Jane as the best educated of her generation, and others place Elizabeth I as such. Do you know which statement is true?

So far I read almost nothing about their relationship of their early lives.

I only know that during her reign, Queen Elizabeth I declared Queen Jane a martyr her faith.

Do have any other information?


Oops, I meant so say:

I only know that during her reign, Queen Elizabeth I declared Queen Jane as a martyr to her faith.

Update 2:

Pin - Peaceful Rest:

Thx, I'll search for the that book Young Beth ☺

Compassionate Princess:

thanks for your answer, though the information I am looking for isn't in wikipedia or similar websites - I wouldn't be bugging you all posting a question so easily found on line ☺

Update 3:

Thk u, I think so too, in my case it's more like an opinion I formed based on bits & pieces of information I collected from different books and web sites.

Do you happen to have your source of information?

Update 4:

The previous comment was for the ya member ‘Jane’ ☺

Update 5:


thk u!

It’s nice to know there are people on this forum who share the same passion. The Tudor Era fascinates me, not only the politics but also art and religion as well.

Good comment about the book Young Beth. In this case I'm more interested in facts, though I do enjoy novels as well (without forgetting it's fiction whenI read them).

According to most of my reading Lady Jane was one of the greatest minds at the time, exceedingly greater than Elizabeth, but certainly not in politics, she was also 4 years younger than Elizabeth and that is a big gap at their age.

Update 6:


Thk u!, That’s really interesting. The impression I have (based on few vague paragraphs here and there) was that they were a bit closer, but what you wrote actually does make sense.

I found and read a lot about the relationship between Lady Jane and Mary before she became Queen Jane (and after of course) but almost nothing about her and Elizabeth. Perhaps there wasn’t really anything of great importance about their relationship…


Update 7:


thk u! In truth, I never hit that web site before, very interesting and with info I’ve never read before! ☺

Yes I was aware of Mary’s gifts to Jane, there were several actually, the famous dress and jewelry among others….it’s a fascinating story, isn’t it?

Update 8:


Thx for the correction! Amazon has them all (just checked), I was more curious about real events between Elizabeth and Lady Jane.

Still I do enjoy “well-founded fiction”, in fact I just ordered the one u mentioned: "The Queen's Fool” ☺

Update 9:



History says a lot about all 3 of them, Jane, Mary & Elizabeth (the most remarkable), there is a lot of info about Jane-Mary, yet very little about Elizabeth-Jane even though they lived together for a while (perhaps the episode between Elizabeth and Thomas Seymour has something to do with it, since there isn't enough evidence to describe what really happened there either).

I personally think that Elizabeth was very clever; she knew Jane didn’t really want to be Queen and that none of those events were her doing.


All you guys were very helpful, THANK YOU!!

I would let the question go to vote because what I learned didn’t come from only 1 answer…. But then we have the ROYALTY-HATING members who could randomly vote and it wouldn’t be fair either.

10 Answers

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Best Answer

    I think you're right in saying that there was a gulf at their ages at the time they were together.

    From what I've read, Elizabeth was a proud princess at the brink of womanhood, and wouldn't have become intimate with a younger girl, even though Jane had royal lineage. This paragraph seems, in my view, to sum it up:

    " There is no evidence she was ever particularly close to Elizabeth; the gulf between nine and thirteen is great. Though they lived in the same homes for over a year, there are no surviving letters or reminisces. Perhaps Jane was grateful for Elizabeth's departure; the princess was described as proud and disdainful, not good company for a shy child."

    You will know that Mary, Elizabeth's half-sister, once sent Jane a fine dress, but Jane was not impressed as a sober, Protestant girl.

    Alison Weir, the historian, wrote a novel about Jane, "Innocent Traitor" and, as such, is probably well-qualified to speculate what might have happened.

  • 1 decade ago

    I think Jane is generally reckoned to have been more of a scholar than Elizabeth, though Elizabeth was extremely clever.

    How well they got on I don't think anyone knows. They did both live under the guardianship of the Seymours for a short time, but I don't think much evidence exists as to what relations were like between them. I can imagine though that Elizabeth would not have been best pleased when her brother Edward made a will naming Jane as his heir and excluding Elizabeth from the succession.

    Since Elizabeth was such an extrovert and jane such an introvert, it seems unlikely that they would have been particularly close to each other, but they did share intellectual interests so they may have got on well enough.

    Source(s): 'Children of England, The heirs of King Henry VIII' by Alison Weir 'Intrigue and Treason, the Tudor Court 1547-1558' by David Loades
  • 1 decade ago


    The book"Young Bess"by Margaret Irwin is a very well-founded novel, Ms Irwin wrote a number of books about the 16th and 17th century from which the characters emerge as real people. If you can get an old copy, do so, the movie is trash - as I remember, the young Deborah kerr played Elizabeth.

    If you like well-founded fiction, certainly Alison Weir has written some, but I find Philippa Gregory better-informed! She wrote "The other Boleyn Girl" also recently filmed and an entertaining story on film but highly inaccurate! The book is much better. Other books she's written which refer to Elizabeth and in passing, Jane, are "The Queen's Fool"about an attendant to Mary, Elizabeth's sister, and "The Virgin's Lover" about Elizabeth - for whom she does NOT have an unmixed admiration.



  • 1 decade ago

    Clarification: The book to which someone referred is "Young Bess" by Margaret Irwin. It was later made into a movie of the same title (1953). However, it is a historical novel and should not be considered accurate history.

    As for the relationship between Elizabeth and Jane, they did indeed share the guardianship of Catharine Parr and Thomas Seymour and were on friendly terms. In regards to education, Elizabeth, although declared illegitimate, was King Henry VIII's daughter and therefore given an education fit for a princess. I believe Jane would be more what we call "well-read."

    All of the answers to this question were astounding! The Tudor Dynasty happens to be one of my interests.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Jane Grey was the grandniece of Henry VIII, and Elizabeth I's cousin. During the time they were growing up, there was some level of political instability because Edward, Henry VIII's son was king, and operated under a Protestant government. The "fashion" at the time these women were growing up was to give them the very best of the Humanist education which was advocated by Erasmus, Dean Colet and Thomas More. So, my opinion based on research, as far as being educated, I would say that Elizabeth had more of the scholar's mind, although Jane was very well educated. I don't know much about their relationship.

    I've included a website for you to check out. I also have read several books by Alison Weir, who has done biographies on Henry VIII, Elizabeth I, and Mary, Queen of Scots, among others.

  • They were very close up until the point that Jane Grey turned Elizabeth in to Katherine for improper conduct with Thomas Seymour. After that, I believe that they still respected each other, but their closeness was reduced considerably. However, Jane Grey was executed at a very young age, and therefore none of the tensions between them really had time to play out.

  • 1 decade ago

    From what I've read and found in research, they were fairly friendly, and that lady Jane was used as a pawn against her will - she never truly wished to be queen.

    As for education, they had the same tutors and both were more interested in books than politics during their young years.

    I know Elizabeth mourned Jane's execution while seeing it as a necessity.

    There is a book out there called Young Beth -it is a book from the 1950s and may be hard to find - that went into the details of her young life - before and after her father died. I'm sorry, but I don't know the author.

    Here's a good site - lists primary and secondary sources -

    here's some sparse details - stuff you likely already know -

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    From what I've read,they were quite wary of each other.They were not enemies.Elizabeth knew a little more about cut-throat politics than her younger,naive cousin.She probably knew that Jane was being used for political posturing and knew that things would not turn out well for her.I'd say that both ladies were well-educated,but Elizabeth was more political-leader material.

  • 1 decade ago

    I would imagine that they got along well when they saw each other. Elizabeth was in a different class so I doubt they spent much time together, but since they were both strict Protestants their causes to remove the "papists" from power were well aligned.

  • 1 decade ago

    whos queen elizabeth ? and queen jane

    how come i dont know about them

    i watch mtv all the time

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