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.
- Victoria and Albert will be “terrified” in series three, says writer Daisy Goodwin
- Jenna Coleman says it will be "hard" to leave Victoria – but reveals who she wants to replace her
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So – what next? When is Victoria back for series three on ITV, and what will happen? Here's everything we know.
When is Victoria coming back to ITV in the UK?
Victoria series three began on Sunday 24th March 2019 at 9pm, with eight new episodes airing on Sunday nights.
When does Victoria air on PBS Masterpiece in the US?
- Victoria series 3 will be released in the US before airing in the UK – and fans are in a right royal fury
This time, America actually got to see the new series of Victoria before the UK. The drama began on Sunday 13th January 2019, at 8/9c.
The third series also kicked off in New Zealand on Sunday 17th February at 8:10pm on TVNZ 1, and began on Thursday 14th March on BBC First in Australia.
What will happen in Victoria series three?
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.”
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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.
However, Jenna Coleman said: "I can’t imagine Victoria ever calling to celibacy, she has nine children. She doesn’t like being pregnant, but we end up with seven children by the end of this series!"
Addressing their relationship during series three, she added: "Victoria and Albert become more and more disparate and can’t really find their way back to each other... They lose each other for a while."
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.
Who is joining the cast of Victoria?
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.”
On the question of Victoria's relationship with her sister, Jenna Coleman said: "When Theodora arrives back there’s this unexplored tension between them, a resentment. They’re sisters, they love each other and are jealous of each other. They haven’t seen each other for years but they both went through the Kensington system. Theodora manages to drive a wedge between Victoria and Albert. She becomes Albert’s confidante."
Lewis star Laurence Fox is joining the show as the “charismatic and wayward” Foreign Secretary Lord Palmerston, a major player in the politics of the era.
Also joining the cast are Lily Travers as the Duchess of Monmouth, as well as the actor and comedian John Sessions as Prime Minister John Russell, who was in power for much of this period.
Nicholas Audsley, David Burnett and Emily Forbes have also been announced for series three.
Who was Lord Palmerston?
Laurence Fox plays one of the key additions to the Victoria cast for series three. Palmerston was Foreign Secretary during Queen Victoria's reign, going on to become Prime Minister in the years before his death in 1865.
As Foreign Secretary he sympathised with some of the European revolutionaries who were deeply troubling the British Royal Family thanks to the uprisings taking place in France and beyond.
"She hates Palmerston and the new Prime Minister," Coleman explained. "Utterly. It’s really prevalent in her diaries. Every time she writes about him she goes off piste and she feels he doesn’t give her the respect she feels she ought to receive from him. Also, he’s very popular with the people and is a public figure in his own right, so it’s an interesting relationship.
"The key to it, she asks for something and he’d deliver the response with such charm, and that enrages her more and more. He doesn’t do just what she wants. He’s a bit of a lone ranger. They try and find a mutual space between annoyance and respect. She secretly becomes a little bit fond of him."
Was there a Victoria Christmas special?
Victoria had a Christmas special in 2017, a two-hour episode where Buckingham Palace was blanketed in snow and there were candles and Christmas trees galore.
Unfortunately there was no Christmas special in 2018, with fans having to wait until 2019 for a new series – and there are currently no plans for future Christmas specials.
Explaining her decision to make that 2017 festive episode, Daisy Goodwin said the one-off "was great because Albert was obsessed Christmas, he was the Christmas Nazi of that time – and I thought yeah, that really works as a Christmas special.
"But that doesn’t happen every year. And I didn’t want to confect a whole drama because of whatever."
How can I watch Victoria series one and two online?
Unfortunately the show is not available on ITV Hub or Netflix in the UK, but you can order it on DVD.