Victoria (OV)

Watch in a web browser or on supported devices Learn More

Victoria (OV), Season 1 episodes (8)

1 Doll 123
When eighteen-year-old VICTORIA becomes Queen, her mother the DUCHESS OF KENT, led by her advisor, CONROY circle around the young monarch, itching to seize power. Hating Conroy and exasperated by her mother’s dependence on him, Victoria shuns them both. Belowstairs, the servants adjust to their their new boss - Victoria’s trusted governess LEHZEN. JENKINS, the Queen’s dresser, is incensed to learn that Lehzen has appointed her an assistant without consulting her: the mysterious SKERRETT.

Victoria copes with the unknown with the help of her Prime Minister LORD MELBOURNE. They are enchanted by each other: Victoria by the older man’s erudite wisdom, and he by the young Queen’s irresistible guilelessness. Gossip erupts over the closeness of their relationship and MELBOURNE, fearing scandal, retreats, leaving VICTORIA prey to CONROY, who seizes the chance to take control and undermine the Queen.

Determined to bring him down, VICTORIA latches on to a piece of gossip that could ruin both CONROY and in the process her mother’s Lady in Waiting LADY FLORA. Against Melbourne’s express instructions, VICTORIA rushes into an ill-considered accusation and the glory of her coronation is abruptly curtailed when she learns she has covered the crown in scandal. CONROY waits in the wings for VICTORIA to abandon hope so that he can establish a Regency, but MELBOURNE’S confidence in the Queen protects her from despair.
2 Ladies In Waiting
As Melbourne’s popularity in the house wanes, the Tories eagerly await their imminent triumph. Most impatient of all is Victoria’s wicked uncle CUMBERLAND, who views Melbourne’s pending defeat as a chance to prey on Victoria’s vulnerability and establish a co-regency with the Duchess of Kent and Conroy.

Predictably, Victoria is devastated when Melbourne regretfully announces he is stepping down, even more bewildered that she must ask a complete stranger, SIR ROBERT PEEL, to form a government. The Duchess tries to console her, reminding her that she can rely on her and Conroy, but the very mention of her mother’s wicked advisor only reminds Victoria of how alone she is. Skerrett sympathises with Victoria from afar, but she has problems of her own – the head chef FRANCATELLI seems to know more than he should about her previous life…

Desperate, Victoria implores Melbourne to return as her Prime Minister and is stumped when he rejects her – Peel is the rightful candidate. Unable to accept this, Victoria concocts a plan that humiliates Peel, leaving him no choice but to refuse to form government, paving the way for Melbourne to return… But Melbourne is outraged rather than impressed by her manipulative behaviour, and what’s more, Cumberland and Conroy plot to make this “erratic” conduct grounds for a regency… Will Victoria get what she wants?
3 Brocket Hall
A Chartist uprising in Newport underlines the instability of the monarchy. Victoria’s uncle LEOPOLD capitalises on this, urging Victoria to secure the monarchy by marrying her cousin Albert. Sensing an opportunity to a finally control the headstrong Queen, Conroy latches on to the plan.
Victoria however demonstrates utter indifference to all suitors, because (as Leopold rightly suspects) the only man that really interests Victoria is her Prime Minister. When the Chartists strike again, Victoria is compelled to confess the depth of her feelings to Melbourne and proposes marriage, but he nobly turns her down, knowing the decision will ultimately be right for her, if not for himself.

Heartbroken, Victoria swears to reign alone. In her desolation she musters the strength to banish her nemesis Conroy from court, which ironically brings her closer to the Duchess as they mourn together over their shared loss. The distress of her senior dresser Jenkins at the brutal execution of the Chartists inspires Victoria to defy Melbourne’s harsh ruling and a more lenient sentence is granted. She is outraged to hear that ALBERT is arriving at Leopold’s behest. Melbourne encourages her to give her cousin a chance…
4 The Clockwork Prince
Victoria and Albert manage to offend each other within minutes of his arrival. Albert’s brother ERNEST encourages him to flirt, but Albert is utterly humiliated by the situation. His unease around Victoria manifests as moody insolence, at least that’s how she interprets it when she complains to Melbourne. Belowstairs, the Royal servants clash with the Coburg princes’ haughty valet LOHLEIN and a girl called ELIZA turns up at the palace asking Skerrett for money and insinuating that she is not who she says she is. Despite the cousins’ firm protestations of indifference, there is unmistakable chemistry between the two. Leopold is delighted, and while Melbourne is less enthusiastic he nonetheless acquiesces when Victoria insists he attend a dance she is holding for the princes. He watches in agony as Albert sweeps Victoria away in a waltz and the young people connect for the first time.

Secretly hoping to impress Albert, Victoria transports the household to Windsor, where the tension between Victoria, Melbourne and Albert escalates. As she grapples to understand her feelings she must ask herself whether she wants the flattery Melbourne has hitherto reassured her with, or if she is ready for the challenging truth which Albert represents…But as she contends with this painful evolution, Albert’s jealousy for the Prime Minister intensifies and Melbourne, realising that he stands in the way of their happiness, knows that it is up to him to put things right.
5 An Ordinary Woman
In the precious stolen moments before Albert’s leaves for Coburg, he asks Victoria that to secure a title and settlement for him before they marry. Victoria however is more preoccupied with telling Melbourne of her engagement - ever in control of his emotions, he gives nothing away but warns her that a German prince might be unpopular with Parliament. His foreboding proves true - her announcement to the engagement to the Privy Council is a disaster: Albert receives no title and a very modest allowance. In Coburg Albert fears for his future in England: husband to the most powerful woman in the world but without financial independence. In an attempt to distract him, Ernest takes Albert to a brothel, where Albert refuses to have sex, only takes notes. Meanwhile a paranoid Victoria has let paranoia reign and convinced herself that Albert only wants the money to support a mistress on the side.

Upon his return, tension between the two escalates. Melbourne finally gives Victoria the approval of her fiancé she’s been seeking and at last she and Albert confront their deepest fears about married life. Reconciled, the wedding goes ahead and the Queen’s glowing happiness painfully reminds Skerrett of her own isolation. Victoria says her last farewell to Melbourne before she and Albert nervously prepare for their wedding night.
6 The Queen's Husband
With no real role in the household, Albert feels worthless and matters are made worse when the DUKE OF SUSSEX refuses to let him take precedence at dinner. Whilst a dejected Albert hopes that an heir might garner more respect, Victoria is determined to outmanoeuvre Sussex and give Albert the esteem he deserves. Victoria moreover is not desperate to have children quite yet. Belowstairs, the servants gossip over when when to expect the first Royal baby and Skerrett faces a dilemma when the only person who can save her cousin and small child from imminent death is the person she trusts the least – Francatelli.

Albert has his own ideas about how to make himself valuable - he decides to open the anti-slavery convention and nervously prepares his speech with the assistance of his Private Secretary and new found friend ANSON. Meanwhile Victoria’s plan triumphs; by offering Sussex’s wife a discretionary title, Sussex agrees to give Albert precedence in return. Nonetheless, Albert still needs a victory of his own. When Anson insinuates that it would be better for Victoria not to attend from the anti-slavery convention, she realises her presence will defer attention away from the Prince. This is Albert’s moment.
7 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. Whilst Victoria is dubious over Albert’s desire to have more control, she nonetheless agrees.

Far from the thrilling journey he anticipated, Albert is humiliated by his Tory hosts and confused by Victoria’s insensitivity. Belowstairs, Lohlein is subject to similar antagonism for being foreign. In this hostile environment Albert finds a kindred spirit in Sir Robert Peel and to his delight he invites Albert to visit his railway. Knowing Victoria’s enduring hatred of the Tory politician, Albert sneaks out to take up the offer. In her vulnerable pregnant state, Victoria explodes at Albert for betraying her. Meanwhile back at the palace, Francatelli and Skerrett are starting to fall in love. The tables turn when Victoria, out of curiosity, visits the train herself. She marvels at this new invention, recognising that she has been no better than the antiquated Tories for denying Albert more influence. Peel convinces the Tories that Albert will be a worthy ruler in the case of Victoria’s death and Victoria accepts that Albert is a valuable person to share her governance whilst she is still alive.
8 Young England
A heavily pregnant Victoria is frustrated by both Albert and her mother’s attempts to confine her to the Palace. Cumberland arrives in London, hoping that Victoria may die in childbirth, as he is still the heir Presumptive. The prospect of the Queen’s death sends the servants, especially Skerrett, into a state of agitation – when Francatelli invites her to join him in his new establishment she is as tempted by the offer as she is wary …

Determined to show herself in public, Victoria goes for a drive and is accosted by an unhinged admirer, desperate to free her from her ‘German tyrant’. Whilst Victoria is taken aback, she is resolute that it will not frighten her and despite Albert’s misgiving, goes out again. Albert goes with her. This time they are shot at by a man in the crowd, EDWARD OXFORD. Conspiracy theories swirl around the Queen: The Duchess is certain that Cumberland was behind the assassination attempt and Victoria’s fear is exacerbated when she learns that Edward Oxford will be pardoned. It is only once she hears Cumberland’s vile opinion on the situation that she realises that unlike her uncle, she is a monarch who must put the constitution and her country before her own needs.

About this show

Victoria is the smash hit series dramatising the early years on the throne of one of Britain’s greatest queens. Jenna Coleman (Doctor Who) plays Victoria, taking her first faltering steps from capricious, hormonal teenager to respected monarch. Central to the drama is the scandalous friendship between Victoria and her first prime minister Lord Melbourne (BAFTA nominated Rufus Sewell; The Man in the High Castle), and the romance with her cousin Prince Albert (Tom Hughes; The Game).

Rate this show

Tell us what you think.