There’s no question that the events in Victoria are dramatic, but are they fact, fiction, or somewhere in between? Victoria‘s writer and creator Daisy Goodwin reveals the surprising history—and the delightful inventions—of Victoria Season 2, Episode 1.
Fact or Fiction: Albert kept Victoria out of the loop during her confinement.
Fact: “I think there’s some evidence of that, definitely. I think Albert really enjoyed her pregnancies, her confinements, because it gave him a chance to do things his way. I think there was a certain amount of keeping stuff from her, on the pretext that it would upset her.”
Fact or Fiction: Prince Albert redesigned a more practical British Army helmet.
Fact: “That’s completely true, yes.”
*Note: In 1844, the more utilitarian “Albert shako,” attributed to designs by Prince Albert, was introduced. Sadly, the general public wasn’t as enthusiastic as Albert, and due to its unpopularity, it was entirely replaced by 1878.
Fact or Fiction: The real Duchess of Buccleugh was like Victoria's characterization of the duchess.
Fiction: “The real Duchess of Buccleuch was younger and not quite as cantankerous as Diana Rigg’s portrayal. When you’ve got Diana Rigg, you go with that!”
Fact or Fiction: Victoria didn't want an arranged marriage for her infant daughter.
Fact: “Yes, I think she was slightly amazed that everybody wanted to arrange a marriage from the moment the child was born. She came around to it later, but she didn’t like the idea at the moment she was born.”
Fact or Fiction: Victoria made a visit to the Royal Society to see Babbage's analytical engine.
Fiction: “There’s a little bit of fiction there. I wanted very much to put in Ada Lovelace because she’s such an extraordinary woman, a pioneer of computing. I think Victoria would have been fascinated by her, as Albert was.”
Fact or Fiction: Ira Aldridge really performed Othello.
Fact:“He did perform Othello all over Europe. He was an African American who came to England and Europe and had a very successful career. He was a great Shakespearean actor. I don’t know whether he actually came to Buckingham Palace to perform, but I thought it would be great as part of the texture of Victorian life, that we think of it as very white, but actually there were people like him doing amazing things. I thought it would be great to have him in the show.”