Victoria finally returns to ITV tonight, and it’s clear that it won’t be an easy ride for the young queen.
We pick up a month from the end of the first series, just as Victoria (Jenna Colman) and Albert (Tom Hughes) are navigating life as new parents and trying to establish a new status quo amidst political turmoil.
Series creator Daisy Goodwin said: “They have just had their first baby and they are adjusting to shock of parenthood. Victoria finds it hard to juggle marriage, motherhood and her job: being Queen. Their relationship is extremely volatile, I think of them as the Taylor and Burton of the nineteenth century – tears, tantrums, and fabulous jewels!”
While the first series was focused on Victoria’s journey from 18-year-old girl to strong Queen, the second series will see her struggle to hold on to that power as she endures multiple pregnancies.
In many ways, she is much more of a modern heroine – a working mother who is attempting to juggle multiple roles with a husband who feels threatened by his part in the power dynamic.
“The Victoria we explore this series is in her honeymoon period, which is interrupted by numerous pregnancies,” said Colman. “She is hugely disappointed to be what she calls, ‘caught’. We see Victoria, as ever, deeply in love with Albert, learning to navigate her new life as a mother and keep her hands firmly on the crown, whilst ring true to her independent and stubborn nature. Such a balancing act leads to inevitable fireworks.
“Although a beautiful thing, [the second pregnancy] is not a choice for Victoria and not what she wants. She feels imprisoned by it after only just finding her independence. It’s something I have never seen on screen before and a really interesting route to go down – a woman who loves and adores her husband but also loves her job and doesn’t necessarily want to be pregnant.”
So what about Albert? While Victoria is in confinement after the birth of their first child, we see in the first episode of series two that Albert has been relishing his new responsibilities taken on in her absence.
“The biggest thing in this series to get right was how those dynamics between them shift and change,” continued Colman. “Albert is incredibly ambitious and has a great vision for the country. He is a workaholic and Victoria is threatened and initially resents any attempt to take away any of her power. You have to remember how long she has striven for being independent. It is a complex dynamic and creates a thunderous clash of wills.”
Hughes added: “In my interpretation nof Albert, there is a strident, inquisitive and at times restless nature within him. As such, I am not sure if he would ever truly feel as if he has finished striving.”
Victoria airs on ITV tonight at 9.05pm