Season 01, Episode 07 – “The Engine of Change”
Victoria’s pregnancy raises the sticky topic of a Regency. When Victoria names Albert as the head of state in case of her death, the Tories are outraged by prospect of being ruled by a German prince. Albert however is still desperate to have more influence in the present. He proposes a trip to the rapidly industrialising North in an attempt to engage with the country at large. Far from the thrilling journey he anticipated, Albert is humiliated by his Tory hosts and confused by Victoria’s insensitivity. In this hostile environment Albert finds a kindred spirit in Sir Robert Peel and to his delight he invites Albert to visit his railway. Below stairs, Lohlein is subject to similar antagonism for being foreign and back at the palace, Francatelli and Skerrett are starting to fall in love.
The ambitious eight-part drama follows the early life of Queen Victoria, from her accesion to the throne at the tender age of 18 through to her courtship and marriage to Prince Albert. Victoria went on to rule for 63 years, and was our longest-serving monarch until she was overtaken by Elizabeth II on 9th September this year. Rufus Sewell stars as Lord Melbourne, Victoria’s first prime minister. The two immediately connected and their intimate friendship became a popular source of gossip that threatened to destabilise the Government – angering both Tory and Whigs alike.