The eight-episode run of Victoria just finished on ITV and I’m so glad it’s been renewed for a second season and a Christmas special, both due out in 2017. Victoria, starring Jenna Coleman (Doctor Who, Death Comes to Pemberley) as the stoic monarch of the 1800s, is a dramatic look at the early years of Queen Victoria’s reign. Series 1 includes her transition from sheltered princess to teen queen, her close friendship and mentorship with the prime minister Lord Melbourne, her complicated relationship with her mother and her mother’s ally John Conroy and her courtship and marriage to Albert.
It’s a visually stunning and, from what I know of Victorian history, fairly accurate representation of the monarch and the time she lived in. Although Victorian fashion isn’t my favorite, the costumes in this series are exquisite. The acting is not overdone which is good since any sign of being dramatic in Victorian times was a one-way ticket to Bedlam.
The show attempts to mimic Downton Abbey‘s upstairs/downstairs conflicts, including some developing relationships between staff members of Buckingham Palace, but I don’t think it accomplishes it as well as DA did. Honestly, I like the character of Miss Skerrett but I don’t think the show needs the added drama. In fact, I found the rivalry between Lehzen and Penge pretty annoying.
All in all, Victoria is a lovely series with sumptuous settings and costumes and features one of the only real romance stories in English history: Victoria and Albert.
Did you watch Victoria? If so, what did you think of it? Let me know in the comments.
If you want more Victorian goodness, check out my historical fiction novel, The Spirited Mrs. Pringle now available on paperback and at all major ebook retailers. (Audiobook coming soon.)