Queen Victoria's Children

The Best Laid Plans

Series 1 - Episode 1 The Best Laid Plans



They say soap operas have bleak storylines at this time of year to make us feel better about our own holidays. This wonderful look at Queen Victoria’s family life may have the same effect. It’s a gloriously detailed account of her stormy relationship with Prince Albert – the blazing rows and fierce rivalry – as well as the couple’s fairly dire parenting skills.

“As a rule, children are a bitter disappointment,” is typical of Victoria’s sour comments on her offspring. And when you have nine children, that’s a lot of disappointment. The irony was that she and Albert presented a wholesome image to the nation that helped shore up the monarchy. But behind the scenes, the Queen’s egotism and filthy temper wreaked havoc.
At times it sounds more like Big Brother than a royal household.

The film uses paintings and stills beautifully to conjure up the emotional landscape of the marriage. It’s a fascinating story that continues tomorrow.


Documentary exploring the reign of the monarch through her relationships with her husband and their children, using letters, diaries, memoirs and journals to bring the subject and characters to life. The first episode focuses on Victoria and Prince Albert's tempestuous marriage, their attempts to engineer the upbringing of their children and their efforts to save the monarchy by projecting a modern image of the royal family.

Cast & Crew

Director Lucy McDowell
Executive Producer Denys Blakeway
Producer Lucy McDowell