Arrival at the Tower as Queen in Fiction

On 10th July 1553, Queen Jane arrived at the Tower of London.

Her arrival as Queen has featured in several historical novels.

In Innocent Traitor by Alison Weir, the journey to the Tower is seen from Jane’s point of view.

‘Soon after midday the flotilla of barges draws away from the Syon steps. Ahead go those bearing the privy councillors and the chief officers of the royal household, whilst the state barge emblazoned with the royal arms of England brings up the rear. I am seated in its cushioned and canopied cabin, the curtains tied back so that my subjects can get a good view of their new Queen. My gown and headdress are in the Tudor colours of green and white, embroidered with gold thread and encrusted with jewels that glitter in the blazing afternoon sun…The journey seems endless, and it is with relief that I see the great white bulk of the Tower looming in the distance.’

(c) Arrow, p.316-317

In The Last Tudor by Philippa Gregory, her arrival at the Tower is seen through Jane’s eyes.

‘When we come alongside the quay there are hundreds of people, , all along the riverbank and inside the Tower, staring at me, and I feel ashamed to be stepping from the barge and going to the Lions’ Gate under borrowed colours. I am surprised how glad I am to have Guildford at my side to accompany me in my lonely terror. He takes my hand to walk with me, and then steps back to let me go before him, as prettily as if we were dancing at our wedding. I am glad of the canopy over my head, as if it will shield me from the site of God as I walk towards treason. My mother, walking behind me, holds my train, pulling at it left and right, like a ploughman steering a reluctant horse, slapping the reins to force it to harrow the heavy earth.’

(c) Simon & Schuster UK, p.52-3.

In A Dangerous Inheritance also by Alison Weir, Jane’s arrival is witnessed by her sister, Katherine.

‘Jane enters, preceded by the Marquis of Winchester and escorted by Guildford, her hand resting lightly on his. She is followed by our mother; who is acting as her trainbearer – our proud mother; attendant on her own daughter; if you please, and looking very much like a queen herself in her rich cloth of gold.

At Jane’s entrance, we all sink in deep obeisances, and Guildford bows very low to her as she seats herself in the chair of estate beneath the richly embroidered canopy blazoned with the arms of England.’

(c) Arrow, p.107

Find out more about the authors and buy their books from

Philippa Gregory
The Last Tudor

Alison Weir
A Dangerous Inheritance
Innocent Traitor

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