The Rise of George Villiers: A Tale of Love, Power and Politics
Love. Power. Politics. A new, extraordinary period drama promises to bring to the screen the fascinating story of the homosexual love affair that is said to have deeply marked the court of King James I of England. Mary & George, which will air on Sky Atlantic in the UK and on AMC in the US by the end of the year, will tell the rise to power of George Villiers, the first Duke of Buckingham, the favorite and alleged lover of James I, son of Mary Stuart. With the help of the dreaded mother Mary Villiers, Countess of Buckingham, George Villiers became one of the most respected and influential men in early 17th century England. Julianne Moore and Nicholas Galitzine in the roles of Mary and George Villiers at the court of King James I of England The upcoming miniseries is based on Benjamin Woolley’s 2017 essay The King’s Assassin. Veteran Hollywood actress Julianne Moore plays the role of ambitious and power-hungry Mary Villiers, while the role of the Duke of Buckingham is played by Nicholas Galitzine. James I, whom historian Michael B. Young has called “the most important homosexual figure in modern history,” will be played by Tony Curran. The release date of the much-awaited series has not yet been announced, but the first official images suggest that it will be a sumptuous period drama.
The Early Life of George Villiers: A Poor Orphan with Great Potential
George Villiers was born in Brooksby, Leicestershire, on August 28, 1592. Son of Sir George Villiers (played in the series by Simon Russell Beale) and Mary Villiers, in 1606 he became an orphan at the age of 14 and it was his mother, Mary, who saw his potential and prepared him for a life as a courtier. Despite having no means, Mary found the money to send George to the court of France, where he learned to dance gracefully, fence and speak a bit of French: all essential prerogatives for the English high society of the early 17th century. After finding the funds to equip him with an appropriate wardrobe, his mother sent George to the English court. At the time, Godfrey Goodman (future Bishop of Gloucester) called him “the most beautiful man in England, with perfectly well-made limbs, most pleasant conversation, and an amiable nature.”
The Meeting of George Villiers and King James I: A Relationship that Changed History
It was in 1614 that George caught the attention of King James during a hunting trip to Apethorpe, a village in Northamptonshire. Despite James being married to Queen Anna of Denmark (played by Trine Dyrholm), George soon became the king’s favorite at court, taking the place of the Earl of Somerset (Laurie Davidson) as his main advisor.