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Guard! Royal salute! Present arms!
'Some people are born more fortunate than others.
'Such was the case with me.
'But as a child, I was convinced of quite the opposite.
'What little girl does not dream of growing up as a princess?
'But some palaces are not at all what you'd think.
'Even a palace can be a prison.
'Mama never explained why she would have someone taste my food,
'why I couldn't attend school with other children
'or read popular books.
'When my father died,
'Mama and her adviser, Sir John Conroy, created rules.
'He said they were for my protection,
'and he called it the Kensington System.
'I could not sleep in a room without Mama
'or even walk downstairs without holding the hand of an adult.
'I learned the reason for all this when I was 11.
'My Uncle William was the King of England.
'Yet he and his three brothers could boast only one living child.
'And that was me.
'Sir John's dream was that the King would die
'and there would be a Regency,
'where my mother would rule England and he would rule my mother.
'So I began to dream of the day when my life would change...
'and I might be free.
'And I prayed for the strength to meet my destiny.'
-I will be good.
MUSIC: "Zadok the Priest" by George Frideric Handel
ALL: God save the Queen!
God save the Queen! God save the Queen!
Are you sure that we're doing the right thing?
We've waited long enough.
Now, for the last time, you WILL sign this order.
I will not sign it.
I say you will!
-And I say I will NOT!
-How dare you, you...!
We were just...
It's time for the Princess's medicine.
-I'll do it.
Well, if you're sure.
Good night, mein Liebling.
Good night, Mama.
How are you?
I've received a letter from England.
My sister says Victoria won't sign the order for her Regency.
And why would she sign it?
The Princess is nearly 18. Why would she sign away her own powers?
Because she is an ignorant baby.
Because she needs guidance and time to prepare for her role as Queen.
Until then, my sister will take her place as Regent.
Sir John Conroy would be Regent.
Unfortunately, the Duchess is controlled by her controller.
It may be in Your Majesty's interests
to consider abandoning Conroy and your sister before it's too late,
and support the future Queen instead.
Of course, the Duchess won't like it.
Baron, I was born the younger son of a penniless duke.
Now I'm King of the Belgians.
Such journeys are not managed without hard decisions.
Besides, who controls a young girl most?
Now go to Germany and finish my nephew's training.
I suppose you want to walk with me this afternoon.
Really? Just the two of us alone?
What would Mama say?
Hold still or I'll never get your nose right.
Oh, I give up! I give up.
You are impossible. You are impossible. You are impossible.
Victoria, your mother's waiting.
Where is the Duchess?
In the drawing room, Your Royal Highness.
It will take them three days to arrive by coach from Coburg.
-How did you come downstairs?
-No, not alone. Lehzen was with me.
-She held your hand?
-She did. Though why she still has to is...
Because not everyone in England wishes you well.
Put the book down, please.
England is the key to peace in Europe.
Your uncle's throne is six years old and born of civil war.
He only took the crown of Belgium because England pledged her support.
And if he's to survive, he must have English force at his disposal.
Sie hat nicht viele Romane gelesen.
English. Always English.
She has not read many novels. They were forbidden until last year.
But she did like...?
-The Bride of Lammermoor.
-Sir Walter Scott.
Drawing. The famous dolls, of course.
Piano. Music, generally.
It's hard to believe she knows so little Schubert.
Never mind Schubert. She likes modern composers.
Is she permitted the theatre?
Only the opera and ballet.
Which opera does she like best?
HE SINGS AN ARIA
'In order to maintain control over Princess Victoria,
'Sir John and the Duchess keep her away from King William's court.
'Thus when she does make a public appearance,
'her mere presence causes quite a stir.'
'You must win her favour before anyone else has the chance.'
You still don't look well.
-Maybe we should go away for August.
What do you mean, "No"?
We missed the Queen's birthday. We will not miss the King's.
We have accepted. We're going.
Really, Victoria, don't issue orders to me.
I'm not a servant.
Well, you've already disobeyed about the extra rooms. That's enough.
Are we to live like rabbits, crammed in a hutch?
We do live in a palace, Mama.
We're a lot better off than most people.
The rooms which I took were empty.
Keeping us out of them was...
-So Sir John says.
-I knew he'd have a part in it.
My dearest child, he only wants what's best for you.
I wish you could believe that.
I've invited the Coburg brothers to come and stay.
-You ought to know them better than you do.
Because you should.
Uncle Leopold thinks it's a good idea.
You stick one more pin in me, I swear I will call the guard.
Your first visit will be the most important.
We cannot have any mistakes.
And always remember, you're first a Coburg.
The King of the Belgians is a Coburg.
The King of Portugal is a Coburg, so is the Queen of England's mother.
And you are the next piece in the game!
'Now go to England and make her smile.'
Is this all the luggage?
What if she wants to dance?
It's your first visit. She won't.
-Your Serene Highnesses, welcome to England.
I'm Sir John Conroy, controller of the Duchess's household.
This way, please.
The Duchess is in the drawing room.
Ah! May I present her Royal...
I am Ernst, ma'am. This is my brother, Albert.
I hope we haven't interrupted your studies.
No, not at all.
-How was your journey?
-Long, but not too bad.
We had books to keep us busy.
As matter of fact, I passed the time reading The Bride of Lammermoor.
By Sir Walter...Scott.
Do you want to come and meet Mama?
Of the modern composers, I suppose Vincenzo Bellini is my favourite.
What a coincidence! So is mine.
Oh, which of his operas do you enjoy most?
No, wait, let me guess. I Puritani?
As a matter of fact, yes.
I used to like it too. Now I prefer Norma.
Dashy! Go fetch it! Fetch it, Dash!
Aye, aye, aye, aye.
Have I offended you in some way?
I like Schubert.
I think... I think perhaps you don't...
but I do.
I don't mind Schubert.
Do you ever feel like a chess piece yourself?
In a game being played against your will?
I see them leaning in and moving me around the board.
The Duchess and Sir John?
Not just them.
The King. I'm sure half the politicians
are ready to seize hold of my skirts
-and drag me from square to square.
Then you had better master the rules of the game
until you play it better than they can.
You don't recommend I find a husband to play it for me?
I should find one to play it with you, not for you.
Why don't we ring for some music? And then we could dance.
I've recently discovered the waltz and I am quite in love with it.
Waltzing is not really my forte.
What a shame.
You know the King wants me to marry my cousin, George?
What's he like at chess?
It's all right, Lehzen, Albert can take me up.
You'll have to hold my hand. Mama insists. I hope you don't mind.
Not in the least.
What did you want to say?
Only that I understand more than you think of what your life is.
My childhood wasn't easy either. I lost my mother when I was a boy.
I know. She died.
No, er... That is, she did die eventually, but...
She was sent away long before that.
There was some difficulty.
It was all hushed up and... no-one talks of it now.
But I know what it is to live alone inside your head,
while never giving a clue as to your real feelings.
Did Uncle Leopold ask you to tell me that?
No. Er, he actually told me never to mention it.
Well, how little he knows me.
May I write to you?
I expect you'll miss the princes when they're gone, ma'am.
Don't be impertinent.
-Those boys pester you.
-Oh, please, Lehzen.
You don't think I've come this far
to walk straight into another jail, do you?
You must marry one day.
Well, I don't see why.
And if I do, I shall please myself,
not Mama or Uncle Leopold or the King or anyone else. Trust me.
-Yes, you must.
Be on your guard.
We are going to Windsor for my uncle's birthday party.
-In the castle of the enemy.
-YOUR enemy, Sir John, not mine.
-Agree to nothing.
-What should I say about the rooms?
You needed the space.
Appeal to the Queen. It's ridiculous.
I wish you were coming with us.
You're very intent, Baroness. Are you making a study of me?
-Present Prime Minister?
Liberal leader who'll probably be in power when the Princess succeeds.
-He may be troublesome.
-Because he puts the interests of England above those of Europe.
-Which is bad?
Which is not useful to us.
He wouldn't spill one drop of English blood
to save a foreign throne.
-'The Viscount Melbourne.'
Why would he save a foreign throne if it wasn't in England's interest?
That is just the kind of thinking your Uncle Leopold is afraid of.
Which is why he's content to find his niece
as the future Queen of England.
'The Duke of Wellington.'
In the public mind, the leader of the Conservative opposition
is their pet hero, Napoleon's conqueror, the grand old Duke of Wellington.
-But not in fact.
-You look in very good health, sir.
-Thank you, sir.
-I wish I was. Enjoy the meal.
The next Tory Prime Minister will be Sir Robert Peel.
'..and Lady Peel.'
Which side does Victoria favour?
She's a Liberal. Above all, she favours Lord Melbourne.
And he'll take full advantage of it.
'Her Royal Highness, Princess Victoria of Kent.
'Her Royal Highness, the Duchess of Kent.
'The Lady Flora Hastings.'
Look at that demure little head.
And all of us wondering what's inside it.
We'll find out soon enough.
Lord Melbourne will make her fall in love with him. It's his method.
Don't underestimate Victoria.
Don't underestimate Melbourne.
My dearest niece.
Aren't you going to you greet your cousin, George?
Good evening, George.
How can my niece and nephew have grown up so when I wasn't looking?
Whereas you are quite unchanged and as handsome as ever.
If I put my head very close to yours and speak softly,
-they'll suspect us of hatching a plot.
-If I look a little surprised...
-..well, then they'll know it.
-THEY BOTH LAUGH
I wish we saw more of you. But then, nor you nor I are to blame for that.
The plain fact is, madam, you have stolen 17 rooms!
One cannot steal a room, sir. The rooms are where you left them.
Now they are used, whereas before they were empty.
I see. So I have no say in my own palaces?
Why not move in here and bring your Irish tinker with you?
The Queen and I will be happy enough in the lodge!
So would I be, sir, if I thought that people there would be POLITE to me!
-How dare you talk...!
You have exhausted the topic.
Conroy tried to force the Princess Victoria's agreement to a Regency.
I gather she wouldn't sign it, sick as she was.
That says something for the girl's spirit.
Your next birthday will be quite a landmark.
I hope it means we'll see more of you at Court.
I hope so too, Lord Melbourne.
You know, should you ever need an ally...
you have one in me.
The Prime Minister has more important calls upon his time.
Not at all. I knew the late Duke of Kent.
Naturally, I take an interest in his daughter.
You knew my father?
I'm sorry. Is it difficult to speak of him?
No. I love to hear from someone who knew him. For I never did, you see.
Well... He was a great gentleman. Of that you can be sure.
Indeed I am.
Excellent company like his brother, the Regent,
but not quite so extravagant.
And kind, like his brother, the King.
But perhaps not so talkative. SHE LAUGHS
Well, you make him sound as though he were the best of them.
Oh, I think so, ma'am.
Your leader is hard at work, Duchess.
You see him hover with his net to catch the pretty butterfly.
And when your party is back in power, Duke,
will you not do the same?
Not nearly as well as Melbourne.
Unfortunately, I have no small talk. Peel has no manners.
And I would have a hard time praising her father.
The most brutal officer I ever encountered.
ORCHESTRAL MUSIC PLAYS
THE MUSIC DIES
-I thank you...
for your good wishes on my birthday.
It has been a long life... and an interesting one.
But I shall be content with only a short while more.
to dispense with any thought of a Regency...
..so that I may pass the Royal Authority
directly to that young lady.
to the hands... of a person now near me...
..who is surrounded by evil advisers
and who cannot act with propriety
in the station in which she's been placed!
I have been insulted!
Grossly and continually insulted!
She has kept her daughter, MY BROTHER'S CHILD, from MY Court!
But from now on, I'd have her know that I AM KING!
And I will not be flouted or disobeyed by her
or by the jackanapes she keeps about her!
Are you all right?
Families. Who'd be without them?
Are you listening?
-It was a messenger, ma'am, and you do have a letter,
but it's not from Germany, it's from the King.
So it is. Thank you, Watson.
Don't you see what he wants?
He increases my income once I'm 18
and he asks to see me at Court, what is wrong with that?
The King wants to separate you from your mother.
He wants to control you,
to take you from those whose sole aim is trying to protect you!
There's no need to shout.
The people of London will find out our business soon enough
without hearing it from your lips.
Tell her. Make her understand.
What Sir John means is that you are unprepared for the task ahead of you.
And if I am, whose fault is that?
You're too young!
You've no experience!
You're like a china doll walking over a precipice!
Well, then, I must smash! For it's too late to mend my ways now!
-So if you'll excuse me.
-But I will not excuse you!
Now this is what you will do!
You will refuse the money
and demand instead that it be given to your mother.
Next, you will appoint me your private secretary from today.
Finally, you will agree to be co-regent with the Duchess
until your 25th birthday.
Neither she nor I will accept less!
You may do what you like with the money.
Now, get out of my way!
And if you think that I will ever forget
that you just stood by silent and you watched him treat me thus,
you are dreaming!
Is there no limit to this disobedience?
Mark my words! The reign of King Conroy is coming!
My poor sister-in-law. What is the hold that wicked man has over her?
What about her uncle in Brussels? Could he not be of some assistance?
King Leopold is as slippery as a barrel full of eels.
If he did dislodge Conroy,
it'd only be to tighten his own grip on the girl.
Mightn't there be some benefit if I pay Princess Victoria a visit
before Conroy has a chance to usurp her?
Lord, in your mercy, get me past May!
That way she'll be of age
and we'll have killed off the Regency at least.
I tell you, Lord Melbourne, his behaviour to me
makes it impossible to keep him in any post near my person.
Any post whatever.
You don't think it more dangerous to cut him loose?
I know things that mean I could never have confidence in him.
Now, I see I must endure Lady Flora. Mama can hardly appear at court
without a lady-in-waiting, but I draw the line at Conroy.
And once I'm queen, I do not wish to look upon his face again.
Well, we can't prevent the Duchess
from keeping him in charge of her own affairs.
That will be her mistake, not mine.
'My dear Victoria, when I think...
'Dearest Victoria, if ever you should need...'
What? Like a vulture? To hover at the edge until the King is dead?
And, ma'am, you needn't worry.
I'll be your private secretary. For now, at least.
Thank you, Lord Melbourne. That is a great comfort to me.
-HE SPEAKS IN GERMAN
-Ernst! English, please!
When he is dead, there'll be more than one vulture to contend with.
We should consider the new appointments,
your ladies-in-waiting and so forth.
Perhaps the Duchess of Sutherland for Mistress of the Robes?
Oh, I don't really know her.
She's a dear friend of mine. You'll enjoy her enormously.
I should be lost without your guidance.
-I hope you know how grateful I am.
-I'll draw up a list.
What is it? Don't you like her?
Yes, I like her.
More than I dared hope.
But it's not up to me, is it?
What do you call a man who waits for a rich woman
to decide whether or not she wants him?
Then, why not tell her how you feel?
'My dear Victoria,
'these days will be full of sadness
'since I know the King is dear to you.
'Will you allow me to offer my support, albeit at a distance?
'If I cannot be with you,
'then I pray you will hear my voice in the music that I send.
'You know my love of Schubert.
'This is his Swan Song.
'And I play it with you in my heart.'
-Is he ready?
-Well, he may be, but she isn't.
Let her enjoy succession and the freedom it'll bring.
We must wait for disillusion and the loneliness that follows.
You must come now.
Long live the Queen.
I'm going back to bed.
I imagine Lord Melbourne will be here quite early.
Would you make sure he has everything he needs
if I am not ready to receive him?
Of course, Your Royal...
Victoria, wait. I will hold your hand.
No. Thank you, Mama.
And, Lehzen, in the morning, could you arrange
for my bed to be moved into a room of my own?
-Surely there's no need...
-As soon as possible, Lehzen.
The Council is assembled, Your Majesty.
Her Majesty the Queen!
It is with a sense of reverence and honour
that I address you, my Privy Councillors,
as your Sovereign and Queen.
I mourn sincerely the death of my dear uncle, the King,
but I know I may count on you
to serve me as loyally as you served him.
I am young, but I am willing to learn.
And I mean to devote my life
to the service of my country and my people.
I look for your help in this.
I know I shall not be disappointed.
She starts on your watch, Lord Melbourne.
Guard her well and keep her safe from harm.
As a matter of interest, will a time come when I read them first?
You'll enjoy this. She has a real flair for description.
MAN: Present arms.
'on Tuesday, I went to inspect Buckingham Palace.
'It is only just finished and I shall be the very first sovereign
'to live there.
'As I stepped out of the carriage,
'for the first time in my life, I felt freedom.'
Splendid, is it not?
You'll have to decide on a husband soon.
What about Leopold's candidate?
-I can't marry the man they want me to marry.
Every suitor will come with strings attached.
Can't I be my own mistress for a while, haven't I earned it?
Dear Lord M, he's so very kind. I couldn't have asked for a better tutor.
You may dream of independence, but you won't get it.
From now on, everyone will push you and pull you for their own advantage.
Melbourne more than the rest.
Just remember, you are the Queen, he's a politician.
And politicians, whatever their creed,
always resent the monarchy.
They pass through. You stay.
So just keep dear Lord M in his proper sphere.
He's already chosen the new household.
About my ladies in waiting...
Yes, I'll have a list brought over to you later today. They've all accepted.
Only my aunt advised me not to be... Well, too partisan in my choice.
With respect, Your Majesty,
I think I understand these things at least as well as the Queen Dowager.
I... I know that, of course.
And we want our friends around us, of course.
Surely, as we begin our labours, we don't want to find Sir John Conroy
sneaking his feet back under the table.
No. Not if we have to line up every friend we both possess.
Well, quite, ma'am.
It's very cold in here. Why haven't they lit the fires?
Well, it seems the fires are laid by the Lord Steward's department,
but lit by the Lord Chamberlain's,
and no-one knows which footman should do it.
It's not very sensible.
Ma'am, if that's the way things are done, I shouldn't meddle.
We must improve where we can.
If I've discovered anything from touring England
it's the suffering that needs my help.
Oh, never try to do good, Your Majesty.
-It always leads to terrible scrapes.
Lord Melbourne, that is not what is preached from the pulpit.
It's not, and that's exactly why I never go to church.
-One always hears the most extraordinary things.
I've made no promise to him.
But sometimes I feel quite alone in the world.
Never while I'm here, Your Majesty.
'Lord Melbourne is akin to a miracle.
'He has proved to be most generous and sensitive,
'quite wondrous in a politician.
'Someone I trust and hold dear,
'he is the best company imaginable.
'Sometimes we laugh so much it's as if we were naughty children!
'Oh, Albert, I so look forward to the day
'when you can know and value him as I do.
'Yours affectionately, Victoria.'
Plenty of praise for Lord Melbourne and not much of anything else.
Everything comes to he who waits.
And if nothing comes, what then?
You've played with me, Baron.
And now it is enough. I'm going back to England.
There must be a reason if you wish to visit Her Majesty.
Then find me a reason.
HE SPEAKS GERMAN
So, are you going to propose?
What? What am I supposed to think? You're going to London to enjoy the weather(?)
I'm going to spend some time with her, that's all.
Besides, I'm forbidden.
It has to come from her, apparently.
So I could not propose, even if I wanted to.
And do you want to?
Walk on! Up, up!
Please hold still. I'm afraid I always find noses a challenge.
Am I permitted to talk?
Yes, but you can't move.
There's nothing to rival an English garden.
Of all my life in Kensington, it's the only part I'll miss.
But the gardens at Buckingham Palace, surely...?
Now you're smiling.
Impossible! You're worse than him!
I believe we have a duty to those in need of our protection.
It is the business of every sovereign
to champion the dispossessed, for no-one else will.
Take housing. May I show you?
Industry is expanding so fast
that people are not considering where the workers will live.
But I've been experimenting.
By building these in units of two, you can build safe, clean homes
for two families for less than the cost...
I'm sorry. I don't mean to preach.
No, there's no need to apologise for being passionate.
It seems I have a lot to learn...
..with all my duties and...
And I do take them very seriously.
-I know you do.
-But there are plenty of people who will expect me to fail.
And there are even more trying to take advantage
of my youth and inexperience and...
Then they don't know you like I do.
May I keep this?
So, remember, the first thing is to find an anchor point.
So take your hand back to beneath your chin.
Good. This is where it will come every time.
Now, release the bow.
Your hand must cover the leather, like this.
And make a firm claw. One finger, two fingers.
-Yes, and back to beneath the chin.
Bend this arm slightly. Rotate to catch the arrow.
Very good. Now, try with an arrow.
-Ah. He's still here?
-At my mother's insistence.
Certainly not mine.
-DUCHESS OF KENT:
-Where am I to live?
Am I to be abandoned here?
Or am I to beg along the highways for a crust?
Come now. You will move into the palace with the Queen.
But she's arranged a separate apartment for you.
It will allow you both more privacy.
I... I don't want privacy from my own child!
To exclude us entirely will launch the new reign in a cloud of scandal.
I know your game, my lord.
You want to be her father, her mother, and who knows what else.
If I'm not to be her private secretary, there must be something else.
I'm sorry. I can see that I am not speaking clearly.
You have played the game and lost.
The Prime Minister is here, Your Majesty.
Thank you, Duchess.
Have I ever thanked you properly for accepting the post?
I'm afraid it will involve a good deal of inconvenience.
To be Mistress Of The Robes is a great honour, ma'am.
I'm only anxious to prove worthy of it.
Well, Lord Melbourne thinks you'll be perfect.
How is Albert's visit going?
He writes that Victoria is still under Melbourne's control. The prince is frustrated.
Then he must stay in England
until the Queen thinks more of him than she does of Melbourne.
LORD MELBOURNE: Queen Elizabeth never married.
It didn't spoil things for her.
Are you familiar with the coronation chair
and the ancient Stone of Scone?
..but quite in awe.
I'm terribly afraid of disappointing on the day. I so want to do it perfectly.
Just be yourself. Your instincts are always to your credit.
MAN CLEARS THROAT
Yes, I'm sorry, ma'am. They're preparing the abbey for the ceremony.
I'm told they asked permission for a glimpse of Your Majesty.
-Don't be sorry.
-God bless, Your Majesty.
I do want to help them, whatever you say.
And not just the labouring poor, but the hungry and the homeless.
There are people who are lost.
Whose business is it to see to their welfare?
Well, in my experience, ma'am,
it's best to let these things develop naturally.
If you interfere, you risk overturning the cart.
Prince Albert doesn't agree.
He's made a study of the working man's condition.
He's full to the brim with ideas for their improvement.
Is he indeed? How inspiring.
He sounds like a young man ready to take charge at the first opportunity.
Then you had better master the rules of the game
until you play it better than they can.
Are you quite sure about that, ma'am?
Make your move.
CHESS PIECES CLATTER
You...may not accompany me to the proclamation ceremony.
You may not attend the coronation.
MUSIC: "Zadok The Priest" by Handel
-DUCHESS OF KENT:
-'You've no experience! You're too young!
ALBERT: 'Then they don't know you like I do.'
Don't look so surprised. A queen has many different duties.
It's heartening to see she won't neglect the least of them,
even on Coronation Day.
I don't think Dash would allow it.
Try to get some rest before the ball.
I will...since I firmly intend to dance until dawn.
ORCHESTRA TUNES UP
Her Majesty the Queen.
Are you sure this is wise?
It's been quite a day. Are you tired?
Oh, no. Ah, well, not really. It's just...
Well, I'm stronger than I look.
-How much longer are you in London?
-Only until Friday.
Then home via Brussels. Uncle Leopold must have his report.
Oh, dear. I have a quadrille with the Prince of Prussia next.
My poor little toes. I feel sorry for them already!
I've had a letter from King Leopold.
He proposes extending this visit of Prince Albert.
-And what have you answered?
Well, perhaps you should tell your uncle
you need to focus on your new duties right now.
Thank you for being my messenger. I hope I've given my uncle enough detail.
You can fill in anything that I've missed.
-He takes a great interest in you.
-Yes. Don't I know it.
You should see the questions he asks by every letter.
It's like this never-ending examination.
-Lord Melbourne calls him...
What about Lord Melbourne?
-The French ambassador is here, ma'am.
I wish you a good journey.
I would so like to be useful to you.
If there is ever an opportunity...
I know you would.
But not yet.
Have you read this?
It seems she does not think it appropriate
to discuss politics in our otherwise "delightful correspondence".
-Which was dictated by Melbourne.
-I can't get past Melbourne.
Then get him past Melbourne! Get him into her bed!
ALBERT: 'My dear Victoria, Uncle Leopold is full of ideas
'of how you and I may spend more time together.
'And I must say, I hope that some of them at least will come to pass.'
-'Dear Albert, you've been keeping secrets.
'When did you learn to dance so beautifully?
'Lord M assures me the next several months
'will be particularly gruelling and busy for me as a new queen.
'Thus, I am not certain when I shall see you again.
'I look forward to your every letter,
'enjoying the detail of life in Germany, and wishing to share more.
'Yours affectionately, Victoria.'
Ah, this quite inoffensive little game
can turn into an effective weapon!
Lord Melbourne says French doctors kill their patients.
-English ones just let them die!
I rather thought he might be here tonight.
Oh, he's thrown me over for Lady Holland.
-I expect Your Majesty will miss him.
-Not too severely. He'll be back tomorrow.
No, no, no. I meant when he's out of power.
Well, only... I don't wish to crow,
but I thought it was common knowledge
that he's about to lose the vote.
Schatzi, I thought you were in your bedroom.
-You won't desert me, will you?
-Never, mein liebes schatzi.
Every one of your ladies is the wife of a friend of Lord Melbourne.
Surely you can see how that looks.
You should not set such store by appearances, Sir Robert.
I'm only asking for a token, ma'am.
For two ladies, maybe even one, who supports my cause.
Otherwise, it must seem as if Palace and Parliament have fallen out.
-I want to go in.
-I beg your pardon, ma'am,
but Her Majesty is with the Prime Minister and cannot be disturbed.
But that will not apply to her mother.
I'm very sorry, ma'am.
Let me understand you.
Are you telling me it is now the Prime Minister who selects my household?
Has the law changed in this regard?
-No, no, of course not, ma'am.
-Then there cannot be much more to be said on the subject.
Good day, Sir Robert.
Could you please ask Lady Portman to come in as you leave?
I wonder if you could have a note delivered to Lord Melbourne.
Of course, ma'am.
# What power... #
-Good God! What are we coming to?!
-Who was it? I didn't see.
The Duchess of Montrose. That's the end of her career at court, I hope.
If I ban everyone who thinks me wrong,
you and I will be alone in the ballroom.
With sorrow, I must inform the House
that I have been unable to persuade the Queen
that her ladies should not solely adhere to the views
of my political opponents.
I have therefore informed Her Majesty
that I am not qualified to form a government, if I do not enjoy her confidence.
are we to understand that the great Sir Robert Peel
has been frightened off by a few frilly petticoats?
Mr Speaker, what frightens me
is to see the Crown used as a shuttlecock
in the game of politics!
Which, apparently, Lord Melbourne plays better than you!
Queen flouts Prime Minister! Threat to bring down Tory government!
You should be ashamed of yourself, sir.
If the Queen has been foolish, she can plead her youth.
You are old enough to know better.
What troubles you is that Lord Melbourne is Prime Minister again.
I do hate a bad loser.
We are all losers in this, sir. Most especially the Queen.
You have to understand, you reign by right of Parliament.
You must work with the voters' choice.
-Well, Lord Melbourne says...
-He says what suits his interest.
He has used you to punish his enemies
without a thought for the damage to the Crown.
The Queen is in the clutches of Melbourne, the great seducer!
And when he is silent, who does she listen to?
Her German mother.
I'm glad he THINKS I listen to Mama.
You are confusing stubbornness with strength, my dear.
And I warn you, the people will not like you for it.
She's brought down a government over a handful of ladies?
-Then she's a fool.
No, she is not a fool. But she has listened to a fool.
Then she had better change her advisor.
Or things will get worse before they get better.
Open the door.
"Not all the water in the rough, rude sea
"can wash the balm off from an anointed king."
"The breath of worldly men
"cannot depose the deputy elected by the Lord."
"For every man..."
Sir John, what are you doing here?
-I must speak to the Queen.
-You know that's quite impossible.
"Welcome, my lord. How far off lies your power?"
An armed man has been found in the gardens.
-He said he wished to harm the Queen.
"..discomfort guides my tongue
"and bids me to speak of nothing but..."
GLASS SHATTERS AND LADIES SCREAM
They think I have interfered in matters that do not concern me.
It'll pass, ma'am, you'll see.
'My dear Victoria, while these days may feel endless,
'please do not lose faith in yourself or your people.
'We are all allowed to make mistakes,
'most especially when we have looked to others for guidance.'
'The storm still rages outside the palace walls.
'I wonder now if everyone was right.
'Perhaps I am too young and inexperienced for my position.'
'Open your mind, examine your choices,
'and your honesty will take you through the storm.
'I promise that you can do this work and do it well.
'You have courage and heart, and you said yourself,
'you're stronger than you look.'
A letter from your mother.
'My dearest child.
'You will not let me come to you, and that I may deserve,
'but however you resent me, however I have failed,
'I am still and always your mother.
'What troubles you, troubles me.
'What pleases you, pleases me.
'I love you and my only prayer is that one day
'you will understand how much.
'Goodnight, mein Liebling. Your own Mama.'
'My dearest Albert.
'You asked me once if you could be of help to me,
'and I, so proud and confident of my great powers,
'replied, "Not yet".
'But since that day so much has changed.'
-I'm not forgiven yet.
-Not yet, but soon.
Just wait for unseasonal weather
or the news of some elopement and it'll all be forgotten.
You don't have a very high opinion of ordinary people,
do you, Lord Melbourne?
With respect, I have lived longer than Your Majesty.
I said once I didn't understand
whose task it was to see to the public welfare.
Ma'am, in my lifetime,
I have seen with my own eyes
what happens when the rabble is empowered...
I want a report on living conditions,
on parish benefits,
housing, all of it.
And by the end of the month.
And one more thing,
I have invited Prince Albert for another visit.
Very good, Your Majesty.
When you get there, don't be a spy or Uncle Leopold's puppet.
It's your life, Albert. Live it.
For yourself and for Victoria.
Our uncle wouldn't thank you for that.
I don't care.
-I should have worn the red.
-You look beautiful, Your Majesty.
His Serene Highness,
Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, Your Majesty.
I only just got your note.
I was riding.
-The park is marvellous.
-I'm so pleased you like it.
I do want you to feel quite at home.
I'm sure you're aware why I wished you to come here.
Because it would make me happier than anything...
too happy, really, if you would agree to what I wish.
-And stay with you?
-And stay with me.
And marry you?
And marry me.
Wilt thou have this woman to thy wedded wife?
To live together after God's ordinance,
in the holiest state of matrimony?
Now I am quite married.
-You know when we're old...
..and surrounded by our children...
..we will remember this as the day our lives began.
Not too surrounded, please.
And not too soon.
Oh? I should warn you that I am expecting a very large family.
-Good morning, wife.
Have you woken Her Majesty?
-Don't you think you should?
No, ma'am. Not this morning, I don't.
Let's take a little tour together and visit Scotland.
I hear if any part of Britain is like Germany,
-it's the Highlands of Scotland.
-Yes, we must one day.
No, I mean straight away. Now.
-Only for a few weeks.
You're a bride. They can't expect you back before that.
Dearest, I may be a bride but I am also a queen.
I cannot be away for more than three days at the most.
What are you doing?
Well, if we've only got three days...
So tell me, will the weather be this fine for all of the three days?
Albert, where are you going?
-But seriously, is it always like this?
We will take care of each other, won't we?
CROWDS CHEER OUTSIDE How changeable they are.
They hate you. They love you. They hate you.
They punished her, but they never hated her.
And now she's a bride and back on top. Until the next mistake.
What on earth have I done with my life?
I have many gifts, you know.
As a boy, I was tipped for success.
You have served me well.
What is that?
CLAP OF THUNDER
DOOR OPENS AND CLOSES
-'Dear Albert, why haven't you responded to my last two letters?
'I must be kept informed of your progress.
'I need help - England's help -
'and you must and will secure it for me.
'Never forget that you are first a Coburg.
'Your Uncle Leopold.'
-What is it?
-Just a question for Lord M.
Could I help?
Why are these windows so dirty?
-I can hardly see out.
-Same as the fires, I'm afraid.
The departments can't agree to wash inside and out at the same time.
-Why don't we do something about it?
-I quite agree.
Because that's the way things are done here
and it's worked well for many years.
Meanwhile, we live in a filthy, freezing house.
We live as guests of the Queen.
Thank you, Baroness, for reminding me that I am a guest here.
Let him go.
How is Albert settling in?
Why? What have you heard?
He says he wants to reorganise the way the palaces are run.
Well then, for Heaven's sake, let him!
He says that Lord Melbourne controls me,
and he says that Lehzen controls me.
It seems that everyone controls me except him.
A man who has no work becomes ridiculous.
And a poor man with a rich wife must work twice as hard as anyone else.
Besides, you have chosen well.
My Uncle William chose well.
You did not take on half his duties.
You don't know that. You don't know what I did.
What is this for?
Your Royal Highness.
The Red Room dinner service, sir. For the officers guarding the King.
King George III, sir.
And how often do we provide this dinner
for a king who has been dead for 20 years?
Every night, sir.
I cannot believe I'm being subjected to this interrogation.
You're not being subjected to anything, Sir John.
You have been in charge of the Duchess's finances for many years.
Indeed, you have made public statements testifying to their health.
-Yes, I have.
-I am so grateful.
All I am asking is that you will be so good as to tell us
exactly where the money has gone?
Are you sure?
Mein liebes Schatzi! I'm so happy.
-Heavens, Mama, don't crush me.
You'll let me know at once if there's anything you need?
You're not going already?
I cannot leave too soon for my daughter.
Anyway, I have a lot on my mind.
Something I could help with?
Your Highness. There's your opening, if you'll take my advice.
forgive me, but...you seem to have confused me
with a member of your club.
I am not your drinking companion, nor your whist partner.
I am the husband of your sovereign.
And as such, I will make my own decisions,
and I neither seek, nor invite, your advice.
So... VICTORIA LAUGHS
-Are you discussing names?
-We're discussing the help.
He writes that he'd prefer not to talk politics in his letters,
but only to discuss news of the family.
I have planned this marriage for 20 years!
And now I'm supposed to accept that I have failed?!
On the contrary, Your Majesty, we must accept it.
The birds have flown.
I've been boring Sir Robert and the Duke
with my ideas for encouraging the Arts.
-Hmm. Does Sir Robert care for such frivolity?
-I have many interests, ma'am.
And my government would support the Prince's plans wholeheartedly.
Your government? What government is this?
I meant, if I should be fortunate enough to form another government, ma'am.
And when he does, there'll be no repeat of the old problem.
Some of your ladies have already agreed to resign.
And Sir Robert will ask for no more change than that.
Thank you, Sir Robert.
How dare you speak to me in that way before them?!
How dare you...talk across me, as if I were a child?
-I... I did no such thing.
Well, you've sorted this, you've sorted that.
You and Sir Robert. You and the Duke, and all without reference to me!
-Victoria, I thought you'd be pleased.
-I will tell you what you thought.
You thought that I was a woman!
To be petted and passed over and ignored!
Would it were so simple, then we might avoid more scandals of your making.
Have you lost your mind?!
Do you wonder at it?
Less than three years on the throne, and you and your precious Melbourne
have pushed this monarchy to the brink of an abyss!
I have told you before and I will tell you again -
you are my husband here, and that is all!
And that is quite enough, believe me!
I will not have my role usurped!
I wear the crown.
If there are mistakes, they will be my mistakes,
and no-one else will make them.
No-one! Not even you!
I'm leaving, before you excite yourself and harm the child.
You will go when I dismiss you.
I am your Queen, and I am telling you to stay!
You may not go.
You may not go! I order you to stay here in this room! Albert!
Guard, royal salute. Present arms!
There is no need for you to accompany me.
I said I would come with you, so I will come with you.
Walk on. Hup!
For pity's sake, smile, woman. Anyone would think we'd quarrelled.
Don't talk to me.
There's nothing more I can do here. The Prince needs rest.
I'm so sorry!
I thought I was going to lose you.
-I don't think he was a very good shot.
-Why did you do it?
You're so stupid! Why did you do it?
I had two very good reasons.
First, I am replaceable and you are not.
-You are not replaceable to me.
Second, you are the only wife I've got, or ever will have.
You are my whole existence.
And I will love you until my last breath.
We're told the man was mad.
Is that reassuring? I can't decide.
May I be honest, ma'am?
Even a politician can be honest sometimes.
My...guidance... hasn't always been faultless...
and I'm sorry for it.
But I speak to you now as a true friend.
The Prince is a good man.
A better man than any of us knew.
I know he does not think as well of me. My vanity is not the issue here.
He is able.
He is clever.
And he is faithful.
Let him share your work.
There is one task more Your Majesty must face,
if the Prince is to feel truly welcome here.
I needed her so much as a child.
I hope you don't mind, I had your desk brought in.
-Don't I have a say in this?
Good morning, wife.
His Royal Highness Prince Albert. Her Majesty the Queen.
MUSIC: "Only You" by Sinead O'Connor
# My love
# Your love
# Has opened up a world I've never known
# All hope
# Was found
# A place I never dreamed I would go
# Feels like only yesterday
# I had locked my heart away
# Safe behind a castle of stone
# Sure I'd always be alone
# Only you
# Know how
# To hear me through
# The silence
# You reach a part of me
# That no-one else can see
# Forever true
# There's only me
# And only you
# Only me and you. #
Subtitles by Red Bee Media
Period drama from Downton Abbey writer Julian Fellowes. After a confined and controlled childhood, Princess Victoria faces a fight just to become queen, then is caught between the schemes of more men out to steer her rule - the Belgian king has primed Prince Albert to woo her, while politician Lord Melbourne seeks to charm her.