As ITV’S Victoria frolicked to an end (it will be returning for a second series next year) the one question on my mind was how the show was going to handle the giddy young Queen’s transition to motherhood.
Victoria, famously, wasn’t the mothering kind. But the monarch must produce an heir, and if surrogacy had been an option back then, Jenna Coleman’s Victoria would have done it. She wouldn’t swan around with a fake bump either. She certainly isn’t slow to hire a nanny – ok, ‘wet nurse’.
Like any self-respecting superstar, the Queen has a stalker, and apparently people signed up to celebrity relationship conspiracy theories back in the 19th century too.
Prince Albert is looking a lot more comfortable than he did mid-series, when all he did was complain about his allowance while Victoria’s awful family bickered over the order of precedence.
Victoria has also come into her own – meaning she’s learnt to throw her status around with her uncles, who are all the younger sons of a king and therefore lumbered with entitlement and insecurity.
One of those uncles, the Duke of Cumberland, is next in line to the throne and circles menacingly in case something tragic happens in childbirth. It’s not a spoiler to say that Vicky survives the birth and that Uncle Cumberbitch doesn’t get his mitts on the crown.
The series has mostly held back from portraying Victoria as a Strong Female Character, so I didn’t mind when she told Cumberbitch, “However many mistakes I have made, or perhaps am yet to make, I know I am a better monarch than you will ever be.”
The show ends with the happy family scene of Albert, Victoria and little Victoria #2. Meanwhile, a distraught wet nurse hands over her own baby, Albert’s brother Ernest pines for a married duchess, and the queen’s stylist – or ‘dresser’ – spurns the advances of a lovesick pastry chef. (It’s fascinating how snobby and devoted the servants are.)
When Netflix’s The Crown arrives, it will demand we take it far more seriously than the ‘soapy’ Victoria. But I think I’m going to miss Jenna Coleman and the rest of the ITV cast.