Sky’s new LGBTQ+ period drama about King James I’s lover will be your next TV obsession

Mary & George star Nicholas Galitzine

Based on a true story, Sky’s thrilling new LGBTQ+ period drama Mary & George follows a mother and son who plotted the seduction of King James I.

Inspired by Benjamin Woolley’s book The King’s Assassin, the new eight-part series sees the Oscar-winning actress Julianne Moore step into the shoes of Mary Villiers, the calculated 17th Century Countess of Buckingham who moulded her son to seduce King James I and become his all-powerful lover. 

Through trickery and “outrageous scheming”, the mother and son rose from humble beginnings to become one of the richest, most influential duos England has ever seen.

Nicholas Galitzine, who previously appeared in gay coming-of-age drama Handsome Devil alongside Andrew Scott, has just been announced as Villier’s famously beautiful son, George Buckingham.

Nicholas Galitzine will play Julianne Moore’s son and royal favourite, George Buckingham (Mairo Cinquetti/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Sharing the news on Instagram, Galitzine expressed his excitement at being involved in the project.

“So some of you are little detectives, but yes I will be joining @juliannemoore in @oliver_hermanus ‘Mary and George. Can’t wait to bring George to life in this incredible story,” he wrote alongside a screenshot of the casting announcement.

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Galitzine’s recent credits include Prime Video’s The Idea Of You with Anne Hathaway, the same streamer’s upcoming gay, royal romcom Red, White & Royal Blue, and comedy Bottoms from MGM’s Orion Pictures.

Written by the brilliant playwright DC Moore, whose credits include Killing EveTemple and Not Safe for Work, filming for Mary & George is already underway in the UK. The casting of King James I has yet to be announced, though more details are sure to be announced soon.

The speculation surrounding the relationship between King James and George Buckingham which sits at the heart of the series is still very much a topic of debate today.

While many scholars dispute that the relationship was romantic or sexual, countless others believe the opposite. Historian David M. Bergeron claimed that “Buckingham became James’s last and greatest lover”, citing flowery letters that followed 17th-century styles of masculinity.

Julianne Moore
Julianne Moore will star as Mary Villiers in Mary & George (Tony Barson/FilmMagic/Getty)

Mary & George is expected to air later this year on Sky in the UK, Ireland, Germany and Italy. AMC Networks will release the series in U.S, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and India. 

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