Harlots: A Proper Minx

Margaret’s got a lot of balls in the air, figuratively speaking. First: There’s Lucy’s virginity, which everyone thinks has already been sacrificed to George. Except somehow, Margaret double sold it. We’re about five minutes in and already I’m confused. How did she manage that? It’s not as if it was some sort of secret that George offered to double the winning bid–Margaret basically announced it … Continue reading Harlots: A Proper Minx

Jenna Coleman as Victoria in episode 8

Victoria: Young England

Previously on Victoria: Victoria found out she was pregnant, which did not delight her. But the railroad does, as she and Albert start checking out this whole ‘modern living’ thing.

Victoria’s reaching the end of her third trimester, and like many women at that time, she is OVER IT. Also, it’s getting a bit creepy, because the vultures are starting to circle already, the staff are tense, and everyone keeps bringing up Princess Charlotte again and again and again. We GET IT. She died young and tragically in childbirth. How come nobody’s countering that with the many, many women in Victoria’s family who came through it just fine? Like Charlotte’s grandmother, who produced fifteen children without a problem? Or Victoria’s own mother, who obviously survived?

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Victoria: The Engine of Change

Previously on Victoria: Victoria and Albert were married, and really enjoying themselves, if you know what I mean. Francatelli did Miss S a solid and admitted he has feelings for her. Albert searched for a cause and started to make nice with Robert Peel.

Unsurprisingly, Victoria’s knocked up, and she does not receive the news with unmitigated joy. It’s not because she hates kids or anything, but because she’s terrified. Rightly so, since she keeps getting reminded (and reminds herself constantly) that the only reason she’s queen is because Princess Charlotte died in childbirth. Horribly. Really horribly. And it’s not like things had gotten all that much better in the intervening years. Victoria also resents everyone treating her like she’s some sort of invalid who needs constant naps and mushy, unpleasant food.

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Victoria: The Queen’s Husband

Previously on Victoria: After a fair bit of wrangling, Victoria and Albert got married. Victoria and Albert get to enjoy a whole two days’ honeymoon before it’s back to business. Well, back to business for her, anyway. All Albert gets to do is wander around the palace, examining the dust and occasionally blot her signature. Joy! It takes about .00003 seconds for him to become … Continue reading Victoria: The Queen’s Husband

Victoria: An Ordinary Woman

Previously on Victoria: Victoria and Albert met and didn’t really like each other. But then they loved each other! And got engaged! History!

So, these two crazy kids are getting married, and that means it’s time for… pettiness and political wrangling. Leopold follows his congratulations up with an immediate demand that Albert get the same deal he did: £50,000 a year (woah, Leopold got £50,000 a year in 1816? That was a hell of a lot of money back then!). Plus, Albert wants a seat in the House of Lords and some sort of official title in England, because Her Majesty’s Stallion just isn’t going to cut it.

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Victoria: The Clockwork Prince

Prince Albert in episode 3 of Victoria: The Clockwork PrincePreviously on Victoria: All the grownups got bored trying to boot Victoria off the throne, so they decided to get her married instead. Uncle Leopold came over from Belgium to disapprove and glower and to invite his nephews, Albert and Ernst, over without actually checking with his hostess. Being King comes with privileges, I guess, but totally ignoring basic manners shouldn’t be one of them. Victoria’s resisting all this marriage talk, however, because she’s decided she’s in love with Melbourne, and apparently he’s in love with her too, or something of that sort, but he turns down her proposal anyway because: history.

So, Daisy Goodwin, who’s writing this, apparently writes slightly highbrow romance-y novels that I might be tempted to pick up if a) the names of her characters weren’t so laughably absurd (the main character of one novel, a Consuelo Vanderbilt knockoff, is called Cora Cash, for God’s sake) and b) this episode didn’t indicate she’s a terrible writer of romance. At no point during this hour did I believe that Victoria and Albert would become one of history’s great love stories. In fact, the whole thing unfolded in such a by-the-book, trope-heavy manner, I almost felt like Goodwin was ticking off boxes as she went. ‘Let’s see: hate-hate relationship at the outset? Check. Sudden, random breathless moment in a crowded room? Check. Dishevelled romping in the countryside? Check. Fight for no real reason? Check. Realisation that they were fighting because they were really in luuuurve? Check.

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