Mary & Geroge: True Story Behind The Rise & Fall Of George Villiers Amid Julianne Moore's Drama Series

Mary & George chronicles the remarkable rise and tragic fall of George Villiers, guided by his mother Mary's cunning schemes.

Published on Apr 05, 2024  |  08:14 AM IST |  51.6K
SKY Productions, STARZ/IMDb
George & Mary cast (SKY Productions, STARZ/IMDb)

Mary & George tells the dramatic tale of George Villiers, helped by his mother Mary's clever tricks, rising to power during King James I's reign. Here's the true story behind the limited drama series. 

The true story behind Julianne Moore's historical drama Mary & George


George Villiers, the 1st Duke of Buckingham, was a notable figure in English history, rising from humble beginnings in Brooksby, Leicestershire. His remarkable ascent began in 1614 at the age of 21 when he caught the eye of King James VI and I, thanks to his striking physical appearance and talents like dancing and fencing, which were nurtured by his mother Mary, who wished for his success at court.

Villiers swiftly climbed the ranks of nobility, eventually becoming a trusted favorite of the king and earning the title of Duke of Buckingham. His close and controversial relationship with King James raised questions about the nature of their bond.

Mary & George

George's close relationship with the king gave him great influence, but it also stirred up drama in the English court. Despite his mother's manipulations and his rapid climb, George's downfall, marked by failed ventures and lavish spending, ends tragically with his assassination.



The series is based on Benjamin Wooley's book The King's Assassin. It boasts a star cast of Julianne Moore as Mary and Nicholas Galitzine as George Villiers. This historical depiction reveals the scandalous secrets of deception and ambition.

Mary Villiers, George's mother, was determined to see her son succeed, despite their humble beginnings. Through her clever planning, George received a top-notch education and eventually caught the eye of King James I, earning himself a prominent place in court.

King James, known for his relationships with male favorites, favored George, bestowing upon him titles and influence. Their intimate bond, resembling that of Christ and John, allowed George to climb the ladder of aristocracy, but it also fueled jealousy and resentment among his peers.

About George Villiers downfall 


Mary & George

Beyond his personal connection with the king, Villiers wielded significant influence in political and military matters, involving himself in negotiations for royal marriages and leading military campaigns. However, his tenure as Lord High Admiral and de facto foreign minister was marred by a series of failed military ventures, notably the unsuccessful expedition to Cádiz, which tarnished his reputation. Despite setbacks, Mary continued to support her son, even orchestrating his marriage to a wealthy heiress.

Regardless of his achievements, Villiers faced public scrutiny and criticism, culminating in his assassination in 1628 by John Felton, an embittered army officer, reflecting the depth of his unpopularity among the masses.  This sad end marked the downfall of George and Mary's ambitious plans.

The star cust of Mary & George includes Julianne Moore as Mary Villiers (Countess of Buckingham), Nicholas Galitzine as George Villiers (1st Duke of Buckingham), Tony Curran as James VI and I, Laurie Davidson as Robert Carr (1st Earl of Somerset), Sean Gilder as Sir Thomas Compton, Mark O'Halloran as Francis Bacon, Pearl Chanda as Frances Carr (Countess of Somerset), Trine Dyrholm as Queen Anne.

Mary & George explores the complex dynamics of power, love, and betrayal in the English court, shedding light on a lesser-known chapter of history. The 7-episode miniseries is slated to release on Starz in the U.S. on April 5.

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Who is the movie Mary and George based on?
Mary & George is based on the true story of George Villiers and his mother Mary Villiers set in 17th century England

How many episodes is Mary and George?
Mary and George series consist of seven episodes

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