ITV period drama Victoria stars Jenna Coleman, Tom Hughes and Rufus Sewell as the Queen, Prince Albert and Lord Melbourne.
Here’s everything you need to know about the main players in this lush production based on one of Britain’s most famous monarchs.
Queen Victoria (Jenna Coleman)
The Victoria of 1837 is an energetic teenager whose accession liberates her from the strict system of education developed by her overprotective mother, the German Duchess of Kent and the odious Sir John Conroy
She’s probably best known for travelling through space and time with Matt Smith and Peter Capaldi in Doctor Who, but long before she set foot in the TARDIS Jenna Coleman (then Jenna-Louise Coleman) was causing quite the stir as Emmerdale’s Jasmine. She also popped up in Dancing on the Edge, played Lydia Wickham in the 2013 adaptation of Death Comes to Pemberley, appeared in the big screen adaptation of Jojo Moyes’ Me Before You and had a blink and you’ll miss it role in the first Captain America movie.
Prince Albert (Tom Hughes)
Handsome and dashing, Prince Albert of Saxe Coburg and Gotha, the Queen’s first cousin, was for many in the European elite the obvious choice for a sensible, stabilising influence on the unpredictable new queen. But their road to romance was anything but smooth…
The man who would be prince to Jenna Coleman’s queen first popped up in Casualty spin-off 1909 before Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant cast him in their coming-of-age flick Cemetery Junction. Hughes played Bruce Pearson, a free-living, womanising teen growing up in 1970s Reading, a role that doubtlessly prepared him for his turn in Sex, Drugs and Rock and Roll in 2010. You may have spotted him in Hitchcock remake The Lady Vanishes. And he’s already starred opposite his queen, Jenna Coleman, in Dancing on the Edge back in 2013, before making his name in BBC spy drama The Game.
Lord Melbourne (Rufus Sewell)
Dubbed ‘Lord M’ by the monarch, Melbourne quickly becomes all things to the queen during her first years on the throne: prime minister, private secretary, trusted friend, favourite teacher, surrogate father and – to put it bluntly – love object
Film’s favourite baddie (he was cracking in A Knight’s Tale, wasn’t he?) Rufus Sewell is quite the seasoned actor. He played Fortinbras in Kenneth Branagh’s Hamlet and starred in a wide range of productions from The Woodlanders and Dangerous Beauty to Dark City, The Illusionist to Tristan and Isolde. On TV you’ve probably spotted him in Middlemarch, Charles II: The Power and The Passion and as Alexander Hamilton in HBO’s John Adams, to name but a few productions. Oh and The Man in the High Castle fans will know him as Obergruppenführer Smith.