Poor, poor Victoria.
What an almighty hassle it must be, being such a subject of public scrutiny every time you feel a little barfy in the middle of a music performance – and indeed, the sense of tension and unease is captured beautifully in this episode’s opening scene. Turns out Vic and Bert made babies!
Speaking of mums: we’re reminded again of just how insufferable so many of the old farts surrounding the poor queen are, including her mother. Way to remind your terrified kid that her cousin died in childbirth! Grade A parenting skills, right there. Such parental, very nurture, wow.
But it seems the queen mum isn’t the only person preoccupied with the (I suppose in these days very real) possibility that Victoria won’t survive the making of her very first prince or princess – some people are very unhappy with the prospect of Albert being named as regent to the little ‘un if Vicky kicks the bucket, but doesn’t it stand to reason that she’d pick the baby daddy? Come on, people.
There’s much to love about this episode: Staffordshire, puppies, Albert the expert marksman – heart, sigh – factories, and railways. It really goes to show just how much of a time of massive and turbulent technological change Victoria’s reign was.
It also goes to show just how much of a massive nerd Albert was. That little smile of his when Sir Robert Peel – whom I’m really starting to like, in no small part due to the warmth in Nigel Lindsay’s performance – takes him on his very first locomotive ride is absolutely precious.
Indeed, we feel a palpable tension here between Bert and Vicky, where of course he wants to be have some measure of influence and to be able to support ventures that …