So much has changed for Jenna Coleman’s Queen Victoria since we first met her in the ITV drama.
In just a few short years she has inherited the Crown, found herself a brooding husband (Tom Hughes’ Prince Albert), been through a bunch of Prime Ministers, survived several assassination attempts and popped out quite a few kids.
When we catch up with Queen Victoria (Jenna Coleman) and her husband Prince Albert (Tom Hughes), the year is 1848, a “turbulent and uncertain time” for monarchs and subjects alike.
Series three will see Victoria under pressure from the government to leave London for her own safety, amid fears of revolution and unrest in London. But the Queen is also facing pressure within the royal marriage.
Creator Daisy Goodwin said: “Victoria and Albert are the most famous couple of the nineteenth century, but underneath the united facade, their relationship is at breaking point and it is a struggle for mastery that neither side can win.”
Speaking after the show was recommissioned, she said: “Series three will start in 1848 which was a hugely dramatic and eventful time for both the royal family and Europe, with revolutions on the continent and uncertainty around the monarchy. Viewers can expect more drama than ever before in the third series.”
Goodwin later told her audience at the TCA (Television Critics Association) summer tour in California: “It’s the closest Britain got to a revolution in the 19th century. The whole of Europe is falling apart. The French king has been thrown off the throne… there are riots in Berlin, and Victoria and Albert are terrified.”
What about Victoria and Albert’s relationship?
The drama is also expected to explore tensions in the bedroom between Victoria and Albert, with the Queen increasingly resenting the fact that her husband is constantly making her pregnant.
Writer Daisy Goodwin told RadioTimes.com in an interview that she is planning to depict suggestions that the Queen may have withheld sex from her spouse in order to avoid constantly finding herself pregnant.
“She has six children in eight years – which is a lot – and there are some gaps, so I wonder whether there may have been some withholding [of sex] on both sides; that’s certainly something I’m going to explore in series three,” she said.
Will Prince Albert die?
Not yet! The Queen’s consort died young, at the age of 42 – almost four decades before Victoria. But that was in 1861 and won’t take place in series three.
With Prince Albert’s Great Exhibition of 1851 approaching, “I think we can safely say we’re not going to lose Albert in this series,” Goodwin said.
Tony and Olivier Award nominated actress Kate Fleetwood will play the Queen’s “mysterious sister” Feodora, who makes an “unexpected return” into Victoria’s life. (And yes, she did exist: the real Princess Feodora of Leiningen was Queen Victoria’s beloved elder half-sister who had married a German prince and escaped the confines of Kensington Palace while Victoria was still young.)
In this drama, Feodora is resentful and creates tension in the royal household when she comes to visit. “There she is, living in a crumbly, draughty castle in the middle of Germany and she’s having a miserable time,” Goodwin explained. “And there’s Victoria being Queen of England. It doesn’t go down so well.”
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