Who was the real King Louis Philippe? Get the scoop on the true history behind Victoria Season 2 Episode 3, and see images from the era of Her Majesty’s reign.
Victoria & Albert's Ship
In Episode 3, Victoria and Albert sailed to France in their new steamer–named, aptly, Victoria and Albert.
The couple did indeed have a royal yacht named after them, which launched in 1843. She took royalty on voyages around the world until she was retired in 1868.
The French ladies in Victoria Episode 3 dazzled the Queen with their stylish, painted faces.
In the real Nineteenth-Century, it’s true that ladies looked very different from their English counterparts; French society took a much more relaxed approach to the use of cosmetics, such as powder and rouge.
Unfortunately, this fashion-forward thinking came at a price: Many of these cosmetics were made of toxic chemicals, such as arsenic, mercury, and ammonia.
King Louis Philippe
Episode 3 brought Victoria to France, to play the dangerous game of international relations with cunning French king, Louis Philippe.
The real Louis Philippe reigned from 1830-1848. After his father was executed during the Reign of Terror, Louis Philippe spent 21 years in exile before being named king.
The incident in Episode 3, known as the Affair of the Spanish Marriages, was indeed a tumultuous time in Anglo-French relations. Louis Philippe’s arrangement of a Spanish match threatened to overthrow the sensitive peace the two nations had built.
Two years after the incident, King Louis Philippe was forced to abdicate.
In Episode 3, Victoria tried a strange delicacy: small, roasted birds called ortolans.
Although now banned, ortolans were indeed once a popular delicacy. The birds were prepared by being overfed, then drowned in Armagnac and roasted whole.
According to custom, ortolans were meant to be eaten in one bite, with a napkin or towel draped over one’s head. Some claim this practice was to shield the shameful act from God.
In Episode 3, Albert was rocked by the revelation that his late father may not be his biological parent. Although there is no definitive historical evidence of this, Albert’s parentage was indeed rumored about, due to the complicated nature of his parents’ relationship.
Albert’s father, Ernst I, Duke of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, was a known philanderer. In 1824, his father and mother were divorced, and she went into exile.
It wasn’t long before Victoria and Albert were expecting their third child!
Princess Alice Maud Mary was born in Buckingham Palace on April 25, 1843.