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
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.
Previously 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.
Previously on Victoria: Victoria came to the throne and stumbled around quite a lot, trying to shake off the influence of her weak-willed mother and the horrible Sir John Conroy. She began leaning heavily on her prime minister, Lord Melbourne, even to the point of forcing the government to retain him as PM when his ministry was crumbling. So, if last week was ‘everyone run … Continue reading Victoria: Brocket Hall
Quick trivia: what famous London concert hall has its birthday today? Answer: the Royal Albert Hall, which was opened by Queen Victoria on 29 March 1871. The site of Albert Hall was originally meant to be part of Albertopolis (yes, that’s seriously the name he came up with for it), a series of facilities Prince Albert planned to build, dedicated to the enlightenment of the … Continue reading Royal Albert Hall
On August 9, 1902, Edward VII was crowned King of the United Kingdom in Westminster Abbey. Finally. Poor Edward had a hellish wait for the throne. His mother, Queen Victoria, loved wallowing in misery so much she refused to die and wound up with the longest reign of any British monarch in history. Subsequently, her son, Edward, had the longest wait for the throne of … Continue reading At Last
On May 2, 1816, Princess Charlotte of Wales, only child of the future George IV and his detested wife, Caroline of Brunswick, married Leopold of Saxe Coburg at Carlton House in London. Had things gone well, Charlotte would have inherited the throne after her father’s death, and in all likelihood, Queen Victoria never would have existed.
Poor Charlotte was the product of a spectacularly miserable marriage. George only married Caroline because Parliament promised to pay off his debts if he did, and he was so disgusted with his new wife he was barely able to consummate the marriage (and he only made it through the ceremony because he was drunk). But consummate the marriage he did (three times, according to the prince) and the result was little Charlotte. Naturally, she was destined to be an only child. Soon after her birth, her parents separated, and her mother had little say in Charlotte’s upbringing, though they continued to see each other often.
One hundred and ten years ago today, Albert Edward, more commonly known as Edward VII, ascended the British throne after a record-setting wait and the death of his mother, Queen Victoria. Although he only held the throne for nine years, he left his mark and lent his name to an entire era. Edward was born on November 9, 1841 at Buckingham Palace. He was the … Continue reading God Save the King