This was young Rex Thompson's film debut as Prince Edward/King Edward VI. He turned in a truly engaging performance as the ill-fated young King of England, remarkable considering he was only eleven years old, and was not British but a native New Yorker.
M.G.M. originally wanted Vivien Leigh for the part of Bess, even though M.G.M. said she was too young and beautiful. Vivien Leigh turned down the role due to acting obligations in her home country of England.