Who was Boy Jones? Did a tunnel under the Thames really exist? Get the scoop on the true history behind Victoria Season 2 Episode 2, and see images from the era of Her Majesty’s reign.
In Victoria, the palace was rocked by the realization that a young intruder had been sneaking around the halls unchecked.
This shocking story is rooted in fact: a young intruder named Edward Jones, soon dubbed “Boy Jones” is widely acknowledged to be the first celebrity stalker. He was caught in Buckingham Palace on at least three occasions, where he pilfered Queen Victoria’s underwear, took food from the kitchen, and sat on the royal throne.
Spitalfields Silk Weavers
Episode 2 brought royal growing pains, as Victoria’s attempts to help the struggling silk weavers fell flat.
The real Queen Victoria also faced this dilemma; London’s formerly successful silk industry fell into deep decline, partly due to increased foreign competition. The Spitalfields area, once filled with grand merchants’ mansions, degenerated into unsanitary tenements. It soon became known as something much worse: the preying ground of famous serial killer Jack the Ripper.
The Plantagenet Ball
Just as we saw in Victoria, the royal couple responded to the crisis of the silk industry by throwing a lavish costume ball. Victoria and Albert dressed as Edward III and Queen Philippa of Hainault, complete with expensive, silk costumes. The proceeds of the ball were donated to the unemployed weavers.
Albert Edward, or “Bertie,” was the oldest son of Victoria and Albert. He was born less than a year after his sister Victoria.
A Tunnel Under the Thames
The Thames Tunnel was hailed as “The Eighth Wonder of the World” when it opened in 1843. Over 50,000 onlookers watched the opening spectacle, which included aerialists, jugglers, and an appearance by the Queen herself.
The modern-day tunnel is part of the London Overground railway, and the “Grand Entrance Hall” that once served as its gateway has found a second life as a performance space.