Victoria, Ep. 8: “Young England” Recap

So. My FAB trip to Hawaii set me back on TV watching (whoops), but I’m FINALLY caught back up and I’d like to say thank you (mom) for your patience on my Victoria finale thoughts. First, can we take a minute to talk about how BEAUTIFUL the opening theme for this show is? It’s perfect. It’s soft and light in the beginning, but then grows strong and regal, just like Victoria herself. I have no idea what the name of this song is, but does anyone know if it’s on iTunes? Would I look like a complete idiot riding around in my car, belting out “HAL-LELUUU-UUUJAH?” Yeah, I thought so, but I just needed to get that out before the last blog. On to the recap.

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Baby Mama

It’s nice to know that the Queen of England is just like every other SUPER pregnant woman: Cranky. The whole squad’s back in town to wait for the baby to be born, but honestly it doesn’t seem that different than when we hashtagged #RoyalBabyWatch and stared at the 7 hour live stream waiting for Prince George to come outside…Does it? Ok yeah, it’s different, but mostly because everyone is sitting around WAITING TO SEE IF SHE DIES! How. Morbid. It’s crazy how real her fear of dying is. She is terrified, which is a huge win for modern technology because the biggest thing women have to worry about today is if things go according to their “birth plan.” Eye rolling emoji. Victoria demands to have a wet nurse (for which she would be CRUCIFIED on Facebook, btw) and her mom gets all judgy. Victoria sarcastically retorts, “She is not a queen. And I am not a cow.” Excuse me for just a minute. I’m ROTFL.

Assassination Attempt

Some baby-faced kid named Oxford tries to assassinate Victoria, only he forgets to put bullets in the gun. He claims the “Young England Society” is behind the plot, but it turns out he’s just freakin crazy and is acquitted by reason of insanity. While babyface is in prison, rumors spread that the event was orchestrated by wannabe-throne-stealing-Uncle Cumberland. (Apparently, he killed his dad, but still rules a country, so everyone’s super chill about it.) Victoria shows her maturity and her ability to rule as a FANTASTIC queen by backing the English Justice System (dun, dun) in their decision to acquit Oxford. In a confrontation with Uncle Cumberland she tells him, “I know I am a better monarch than you could ever be.” BOOM. Put that old fool in his place.

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Guess Who’s Back? Back Again…

Ernest rolls into town (note: not on a white horse) still clutching that danged handkerchief. He uses classic middle school tactics to get Harriet to admit she likes him back. He’s trying so hard to make us believe he’s SUCH a good guy now, because he didn’t try to sleep with the married woman he likes. He only made out with her. To this I have a Joey reaction:

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Exactly, Joey. Exactly.

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Baby Victoria 

A super pregnant Victoria eats candy out of a bowl balancing on her stomach and IT IS SO CUTE. She has a sincerely touching moment with Uncle Leo and I’d like to point out how HUGE of a deal it is when a pregnant woman shares her food. They’ve officially bonded. Victoria goes into labor in a scene that I’m pretty sure was toned down from real life, but still waaaaaay more real than when Aunt Becky popped out twins on Full House. Real talk tho: My eyes just started pouring out tears when she called for her mama. They don’t have the best relationship and Victoria is a stubborn, I-do-it-myself kind of daughter, but there are just times in a girl’s life when she needs her mama.

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It’s not a boy and Albert says, “We should call her Victoria, after a great queen.” I cry. And can’t wait for Season 2.

Victoria, Ep. 7: “The Engine of Change” Recap

“Your queen is sick.”

“We don’t say sick, we say indisposed.”

“Well, she is ‘indisposed’… out of her mouth.”

Preggers

Victoria’s knocked up! A room full of grown men applaud her for getting pregnant and it’s super weird. (I wonder if this happened to Kate Middleton?) Victoria’s mother tries to help her by instructing her to take it easy, have a spa day, watch some Netflix, but she won’t listen. She’s determined to keep working, and even decides to go on a trip. (Monkey covering his eyes emoji.)

Victoria is afraid of childbirth (hello, who isn’t.) but she doesn’t have the luxury of normal mommy fears. You know, like making everyone use hand sanitizer before they touch your kid. Instead, she has to choose a regent in case she dies in childbirth, but the kid lives. (Is this covered in What to Expect When You’re Expecting?) Her fears of dying are completely justified, since the sole reason she became queen was because her Aunt Charlotte died giving birth. Without hesitation, Victoria chooses Albert to be regent and all of British Parliament collectively loses it’s mind.

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C’mon Baby, Do the Loco-Motion 

Albert and Victoria take a trip up north and talk too much about trains. Apparently, the “technology” of a locomotive is like a freaking iPhone to these people. Robert Peel crashes the northern party and he and Albert start a bromance as they ride on the train. (Peel is the guy who took Lord M’s place as Prime Minister. Could it be anymore ironic that Albert likes Robert Peel while Lord M thought he was an idiot? I still miss you, Lord M.)

Victoria does what any hormonal wife would do and yells at her husband for such reckless behavior as riding on a train! (Pearls. Clutched.) Albert talks her off the ledge and convinces her to give modern technology a try. So while everyone wants her pregnant self lying in a bed, she instead, RIDES ON A TRAIN. If her mother thinks laughing is bad for the baby, we will need to conveniently leave this part out of the mini-vacay scrapbook.

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#RelationshipGoals 

Albert and Victoria are just straight relationship goals in this episode. Albert comes up with a little signal for them to do in public to say they love each other. Victoria is worried that Albert will no longer desire her post-pregnancy body. (Hold up, is this 1840 or 2017?! If this was happening right now, Victoria would be posting photos of her “Fit Pregnancy” workouts on Facebook. Chill, V. Albert is all about that bass.) Even though Albert and Victoria disagree, they always end up pushing each other to be a better version of themselves. #Marriage. Peel ends up going to bat for Albert with Parliament to approve him as regent and Albert and Victoria begin working as a team to rule the country. Awwww.

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No Ernest & Harriet

You may be asking yourself how people survived before they could stalk their forbidden love interest on social media. Apparently, it was by staring at a 2X3 TINY photo. Oh, what Harriet wouldn’t give for a public Instagram feed right now. Is Ernest coming back? I mean, this isn’t a Lord M kind of deal where they just WRITE HIM OUT OF THE SHOW, is it? (Don’t @ me, I know it’s history. I JUST DON’T CARE.)

Victoria, Ep. 6: “The Queen’s Husband” Recap

Oh, Lehzen. SMH. I know typically kings and queens have separate bed chambers but literally, the first day Victoria’s back from her honeymoon, you don’t even THINK to knock on the door?! Lehzen brings us some hilarious comedic relief this episode by walking in on the newlyweds and giving “advice” on 1840’s birth control. I literally laughed out loud when Victoria jumped up and down 10 times hoping she wouldn’t get pregnant. No wonder she ended up with 9 children. (All the crying laughing emojis.)

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“The Queen’s Husband”

Albert and Victoria have been married like 3 days and Albert starts talking about having babies. Whoa, man. Back up. Victoria goes off to “work” fulfilling her daily duties as queen, while Albert becomes a stay-at-home-husband and he hates it. He’s in charge of thank you notes for the wedding presents. This is not going well. He tells Victoria he wants to find a place he belongs, a place he has earned. Plus, can we cut the guy some slack? He’s having culture shock. People draw him as a sausage! (C’mon guys. Is that the best German stereotype you could come up with? Nothing about Oktoberfest? I expected more from you.)

Ernest & Harriett

Ernest decides to stay in England and start hitting on married women. A step up from prostitutes, but this will not end well. Harriett thinks Ernest puts on a bad boy facade but secretly he has a heart of gold. A Tim Riggins if you will. (Muah.)

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The only problem is, HE’S ACTUALLY A BAD GUY HARRIETT AND WHERE IS YOUR HUSBAND?? Harriett thinks they’re just casually flirting, but Ernest acts like he’s in love. Albert tells Ernest he needs to go back home and he actually seems sad! Is this guy yanking our chain? Either way, Harriett falls for it. She “accidentally” drops her handkerchief for Ernest to keep which is basically the original 19th century Tinder. Harriett totally just swiped right.

Anti-Slavery

Europe is always setting trends. You know, with British Vogue and Anti-Slavery meetings. Victoria can’t get involved in the anti-slavery convention because she’s the sovereign and Lord M taught her well. (Miss you, boo.) The protocols prohibit her from interference but they do not prohibit Albert. He decides to give a speech. Albert and his secretary finally bond over a bizarre quoting of Shakespeare and translating his speech from German to English. Albert gets a standing O for his speech and England seems to have accepted the German sausage! I mean, once you get the slow clap from a runaway slave, you’ve officially made it, bruh.

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Lord M

I checked the IMDB. I knew he wouldn’t be in this episode, but still when they would mention his name or show someone writing a letter, then sloooooowly pan up to their face I was like, could it be him?!?! We’ve already taken a few liberties with history right? (Especially in this blog.) Can’t we just throw it all out the window and bring Lord M back? I need to get some Social Justice Warriors from Twitter on this cause. #LordMMatters!!

Victoria, Ep. 5: “An Ordinary Woman” Recap

You know who loves a royal wedding?! THIS GIRL. I woke up at 5 AM to watch William and Kate get married, and then I bought the entire 6 hour coverage on DVD. Don’t judge me.

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Get a Room

Albert and Victoria are all over each other in this episode. Making out in that folly/gazebo thing, whispering sweet nothings to each other. These actors have some serious heat and the letters they write back and forth are SO passionate. (I’m going to assume these are 100% real since the lady that wrote this series studied Victoria’s letters for a living.) Albert is charming and Victoria is a sucker for romance, so it’s just flat out adorable.

The Germans

Everything’s all rainbows and butterflies until Uncle Leo starts drama about Albert needing an English title and an allowance of 50,000 pounds a year. Now, I don’t know the British inflation rate from the 1790’s to the 1840’s, but Mr. Darcy only had 10,000 a year and HE WAS A MULTI-MILLIONAIRE. So seriously, Albert, why do you need that much money? Parliament is a LIL bit pissed that Victoria chose a German groom, so they agree to only 30,000 a year and no English title.

Albert returns to Germany and are the Family-Von-Coburgs broke? Why do they care so much about Albert’s allowance? Ernest throws Albert a bachelor party at a house of ill repute so he can get a lesson in lady love. (OMG) I yell, “Don’t do it Albert!” but then he takes the girl’s hand and I’m all wide-eyed-mouth-gaping-open-NOOOOOOOOOOOO. Turns out my freakout was premature, because he just ends up asking the whore for instructions on how to… ahem, you know. He takes notes. WITH A PEN AND PAPER. (Also, she literally is a whore, so don’t @ me for slut shaming.)

Mistresses Everywhere

Victoria freaks out because she learns her Uncle Leo has a mistress, her father had a mistress and everybody just acts like this is totally normal. Listen, we’ve all been there. When you’re about to get married, everybody and their mistress’ mother tries to scare you that you’re doomed to repeat their awful marriages. YOU DON’T HAVE TO BE LIKE THEM! ALBERT IS A GOOD MAN! IF YOU’D ONLY BEEN AT THE WHORE HOUSE YOU’D KNOW!

Victoria makes Albert a knight, but the Family-Von-Coburgs can’t let the allowance thing go. He wants to be independent, but Victoria is all like hey man, isn’t it enough that I’m letting you marry me? (She has a point.) She confronts Albert and asks him if he wants the money so he can keep a mistress. (You go girl!) He ever so sweetly tells her she’s the only woman he could ever want which was definitely a better way to go than, “Listen honey, I just turned down a hooker for you. You owe me 50k.”

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The Wedding/GOODBYE LORD M I WILL ALWAYS LOVE YOU

Victoria decides to buck tradition and wear a white wedding dress, setting a trend that has lasted almost 200 years. She wishes she could get married as “an ordinary woman” so she chooses to keep the line about obeying her husband in her wedding vows, which is SUPER respectful to Albert. These cats really love each other. It’s presh.

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When Victoria told Lord M she was marrying Albert, he did a decent job of hiding his feelings. During the wedding, he carries a giant sword that I’m sure is heavy, but is nothing compared to the emotional weight he’s carrying. He looks like a man that they probably shouldn’t have given a massive weapon to, if you know what I’m saying. Victoria asks to see him before she leaves for her honeymoon. I start to quietly cry. They have this exchange:

V: “You once told me that when I gave my heart, I would give it without reservation.”

M: “Yes, I remember.”

V: “And you were almost right.”

M: “Almost, ma’am?”

V: “I shall never forget.”

I AM NOW VIOLENTLY SOBBING. Lord M kisses her on the cheek and they say their goodbyes. He turns to look at her one last time, but she runs off to be with Albert. It’s so ridiculously sad how time stood still for Melbourne, while Victoria is just beginning her young, exciting life. Goodbye, Lord M. We’ll never forget you either. (Does anyone have directions to Brocket Hall? I just wanna check and make sure he’s ok.)

Victoria, Ep. 4: “The Clockwork Prince” Recap

Elementary School

Albert and Victoria’s relationship begins similar to an elementary school love. There’s some fighting, (figurative) hair pulling and a lot of chasing each other around. He loves art and he ROCKS at playing the piano. They play a duet (which he uses to get all up on her) and he tells Victoria she’s very talented but reprimands her for not practicing enough. (Too honest, bro. Facepalm.) Victoria gets all pissed, but the next day she practices the piano. Hmm.

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Lord M is super suspect of Albert, thinking he only wants to marry Victoria for the crown. (We see right through you, Lord M.) Albert thinks he’s on a “fool’s errand” trying to get this chick to propose to him since they can’t get along. He has a good heart, with concern for the poor and appreciation for the dude who invented lick-able stamps. He stands up to Victoria and she doesn’t like it… but… she likes it. You know what I mean? #women

The Dance

Lord M gives Victoria flowers (again) and she wears them on her boobs. (Why is this a thing? I know elastic hasn’t been invented yet but surely there’s a way to tie these on her wrist.) Lord M wants to ask Victoria to waltz with him but it gets SUPES AWK when Albert asks instead. I learned at the Dancing with the Stars Tour (which was awesome by the way) that the waltz was super scandalous when it first came out because of how close the men and women stand to each other. CLEARLY, those dudes were correct because this is the most sensual 1800’s dance I’ve ever seen. Lord M is hella jealous.

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Albert tells Victoria that her “corsage” (aka flowers on her boobs) reminds him of his dead mother. Victoria is touched by his sentiment and gives them to him to remember his mother. BRUH. Albert then pulls a knife out of his boot and SLICES A HOLE in his shirt to put the flowers next to his heart!!! What. A. Man. Lord M is pissed. THOSE WERE HIS FLOWERS, HELLO.

The Forest

Victoria decides to take everyone to Windsor because Albert likes trees. While there, she takes an interest in learning about the castle’s paintings to impress him. (I mean, are you really a 20 year old girl if you don’t take up a new hobby to impress a guy?) Lord M tries to bail on dinner, but ends up staying as a third wheel. Sad!

Albert and Victoria frolic in the woods. He takes care of Dash’s broken leg- with said pocket knife and a ripped shirt again (seriously, who is this guy?) but they end up fighting about Melbourne. Their relationship is like 2 steps forward, 1 step back. Every time they get close to getting along they end up in a dramatic, overblown fight. Ah, young love.

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Will you marry me?

Albert’s mad and plans to leave. Victoria wants to ask him to marry her, but she’s afraid he’ll say no. (PSA: Please don’t ask someone to marry you if you don’t already know their answer. We will grant an exception if you’re a queen in 1839.) Lord M mutters under his breath: “Only a fool would turn you away, ma’am.” YOU’RE RIPPING MY HEART OUT AND STOMPING ALL OVER IT.

Victoria gets some more dead-mom-flowers for her hair and asks Albert to marry her. It’s REALLY sweet. He says he’ll only answer if she agrees to kiss him. Oh, you little artists are always so romantic. She agrees, and they have this precious exchange:

A: “For me, this is not a marriage of convenience.”

V: “No… I think it will be a marriage of inconvenience.”

Victoria, Ep. 3: “Brocket Hall” Recap

Queen Elizabeth I

Victoria takes an interest in Queen Elizabeth I’s reign. (Not to be confused with Queen Elizabeth II who lived 400 years later. The monarch family tree is FRYING my brain.) QEI never married and chose to reign alone with “companions” by her side. She’s nicknamed the Virgin Queen, but that’s probably because no one could kiss her with that ridiculous thing around her neck.

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Uncle Leopold & a band of suitors

Victoria’s Uncle Leopold comes to town to pressure her into marrying his nephew, Albert. She hates Albert, but Uncle Leo uses the political chartist uprising to scare her into her duty to stabilize the monarchy. He also corners her and basically says, I know you like Melbourne, but you don’t really think you’re allowed to marry that old dude, do you? #rude

Victoria has a bucket load of suitors who embarrass themselves fawning over her. To make matters worse, Lord M discourages Victoria from taking any of them seriously. (Because he loooooooves her.) Uncle Leo sees this when V & M stare at each other during the opera. (How can I get the looks of Rufus Sewell on a never ending gif loop?)

Related: did anyone else know there was ANOTHER Prince George of Cambridge?? WHY DO ALL THESE MONARCHS HAVE THE SAME NAMES.

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Brocket Hall

Victoria sneaks away to visit Lord M at Brocket Hall and confess her true feelings. Ok, listen. I know she has to marry Prince Albert, and yeah, he’s a good lookin dude and later, they actually fall in love. But OH MY GAH MY HEART WAS RIPPED OUT OF MY CHEST DURING THIS SCENE. Lord Melbourne knows he has to be the one to say no. He breaks our hearts with some freaking bird analogy leaving Victoria to believe he’s still hung up on his dead wife. He lets her down SO. EASY. that it only makes me love him more.

M: “When you give your heart, it will be without hesitation. But you cannot give it to me.”

YOU ARE KILLING ME, LORD M.

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She returns to Buckingham Palace crushed, when one of her ladies realizes Lord M has reopened his greenhouses just to grow orchids for Victoria.

Vic: “He cares only for the memory of his wife.”

Lady: “Is that what he told you? Then that is what he wants you to believe.”

Theme Party

They throw a theme party and Victoria goes dressed as QEI (with that stupid thing around her neck) and Lord M goes as the Earl of Leicester. And do you know who that guy is?! Oh, he’s just the guy QEI LOVED AND COULDN’T MARRY. (Btw, someone add this to the list for potential Halloween couples costumes.) Victoria still thinks Lord M doesn’t like her, until they dance and have an entire conversation laced with subtext about QEI and Leicester. Melbourne says, ”I think he and the queen both understood they were not in a position to marry. Whatever their inclination.”

OK. THATS IT. HE LOVES HER AND NOW SHE KNOWS HE DIDN’T REALLY MEAN ALL THAT BIRD CRAP HE SAID EARLIER. AND HE’S STARING AT HER WITH THAT LOOK AGAIN. (So not joking about the gifs.)

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Take the money and run

In other news, Savage Sir John realizes he will never be able to control Victoria and she pays him to leave court. He seems a TEENY bit sad he’s breaking the Duchess’ heart, but he still wants the money. This appears to have repaired (sort of) the relationship between Victoria and her mother. When Vic’s heart is broken, her mother comforts her with this amazing line: “No man would give you up, unless he knew it was his duty.”

The Decision

Victoria decides to reign alone but we all know it’s so she can keep Lord M as her “companion.” In a crucial scene, Lord M falls on the sword and convinces her to give Albert a shot. He tells her she needs a husband to love, honor and cherish her. MORE SUBTEXT AND ALL THE FEELS. He twists the knife once more when they discuss their time spent together:

V: “You were happy too?”

M: “You know I was.”

During the final scene, I’m still reeling from my broken heart when Albert arrives, but all of the sudden my heart hurts a little less…

 

PBS and Victoria on Masterpiece

Growing up, watching PBS was not my favorite thing to do. Sure, it had some classic kids shows: Sesame Street, Mr. Rogers… but it was free TV. PUBLIC. Broadcasting. All you rich kids out there (i.e. your parents paid for cable) can’t understand the struggle because you had the Disney Channel AND Nickelodeon AND Cartoon Network while I was stuck watching Reading Rainbow. Bluh. PBS would get worse when I was forced to watch some bizarre British show that my mother watched while she folded laundry. The day we got cable was the greatest day of my childhood.

Recently, I sat down to fold some laundry. In my own house. With my own TV. And I turned on PBS. Granted, it was the Amazon Prime video app streaming through my Apple TV… BUT THE POINT REMAINS. I chose to watch a British television show on PBS! (Related: I am turning into my mother.) Those Masterpiece Theater people, whoever they are, make such freaking good TV shows that I’ve stopped watching network television. (Literally, how many shows can we make about a police force?) If you decide you want to be like me (and consequently, my mother) these are some of the British TV shows I’m obsessed with:

Poldark. Aidan Turner is so hott he has an entire blog devoted just to his show. You can read it here: Poldark

Mr. Selfridge. Kinda like Downton Abbey, only they work in a fancy department store and they’re way more slutty. Also, Jeremy Piven plays the exact same character as Ari Gold… minus all the cursing.

Death Comes to Pemberley. Only a 3 part mini series, but watching a continuation of the characters of Pride and Prejudice is just beyond cool. Spoiler (Non)Alert: Wickham is still a bad dude.

Sherlock. I LOVE Benedict Cumberbatch as a fast talking, annoyingly brilliant Sherlock Holmes. For all you people out there scared of old fashioned clothes in period dramas (I’m looking at you, Matthew) Sherlock Holmes is a perfect starter piece for your British TV obsession. It’s set in modern day!! They have smart phones!! Husbands everywhere rejoice!!

Victoria. This is your opportunity to jump on the Masterpiece bandwagon. Victoria just premiered (in America) this past Sunday and it was PHENOMENAL. It’s everything I *thought* The Crown would be. (ICYMI: My negative review of the The Crown) I’ll be recapping Victoria each week, so catch up on the premiere, set your DVR for Sunday night and get excited.

My recap of Victoria’s 2 hour premiere:

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Episode 1 “Doll 123” & Episode 2 “Ladies in Waiting”

Victoria inherits the British throne after her uncle dies. To understand why the crown was passed to her, while another uncle is still living, you’ll need to speak to your nearest European history major because it’s confusing. Victoria is 18, short, stubborn, and in this series, SO pretty. She’s been sheltered by her overbearing mother and some other guy named Sir John who tells her what to do all the time. Like who even is this guy? We will call him Savage Sir John.

Since Victoria’s been bossed around her whole life, when she becomes queen she won’t listen to anyone. Until the suave Prime Minister, Lord Melbourne, wins her over. He becomes Victoria’s private secretary basically because he’s the only one who can tell her what to do without telling her what to do. Women are complicated, but “Lord M” gets it. She likes him and we don’t really blame her because he’s easy on the eyes for an old dude.

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In the early days of her reign, Victoria royally screws up. Pun intended. She drinks too much at her coronation ball and throws herself at Lord M, 1800’s style. She then accuses Savage Sir John of knocking up Lady Flora, even though Lady Flora is still a virgin. (I guess there was no sex ed in 1837.) Turns out the poor chick was DYING from a tumor in her stomach. Whoops. Victoria’s upset and feels like she won’t make a good queen. Lord M swoops in to save the day with a pep talk inspiring her to put on a brave face for the British people. Thanks, Lord M. (Heart emoji.)

Everybody is vying for the throne. Victoria’s mom, Savage Sir John and the still-alive-uncle spend the entire 2 hour premiere coming up with ways to control Victoria. They try to deem her insane, or prove that she’s inept. They want a “regent”… an adult to rule instead of Victoria. Shocking.

Lord M used to complain about being Prime Minister but he doesn’t anymore and Victoria thinks it’s because he likes hanging out with her all day. (This is probably true.) He starts to like his job at a bad time though because he’s losing support in parliament and has to resign. Victoria freaks out. One: she’s not confident enough to be queen without Lord Melbourne’s advice. Two: she’s obsessed with him.

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Victoria plays the government games for awhile until she contrives her own plan. She “out flanks her enemies” when she refuses to change any of her ladies in waiting. See, it’s basically like she has 4 republican friends and refuses to make any friends that are democrats. Can you blame her? (JK all you liberals out there. Kissing emoji.) Lord Melbourne tries to reason with her and explain that as the monarch, she cannot show any impartiality to either side of government, but she refuses to listen. He soon gets wind of the “regent” plan to steal the throne and once again saves the day when he resumes his position as Prime Minister.

We always knew you wouldn’t leave us, Lord M. #swoon