What’s real history, and what’s just really dramatic in Victoria‘s Season 3 opener? Find out when we separate the fact from the fiction in an episode filled with exciting drama, new characters, and historical accuracies that are sure to surprise and delight!
Fact or Fiction: Victoria had a half-sister named Feodora.
Fact: Add a half-sister to the list of surprising things we’ve learned about Victoria, because she had one, and her name was Feodora! Nine years Victoria’s senior, Feodora was the daughter of Victoria’s mother (the Duchess of Kent) and her first husband, the German nobleman Emich Carl, Prince of Leiningen. Carl died in 1814, and her mother married Victoria’s father, Prince Edward Augustus, Duke of Kent and Strathearn, in Germany four years later. The family relocated to England the following year, at the end of the Duchess’ pregnancy, so that the (potential) future heir to Britain’s throne—Victoria—would be born on British soil.
Watch this space for more facts and fictions about the royal sisters in future episodes!
Fact or Fiction: Lord Palmerston was a notorious womanizer.
Fact: A quick glance at Google reveals descriptions of Palmerston as a “hottie,” a “dandy,” and a “buck” who “combined office with a rambunctious sexual adventurism.” (The Telegraph) While this certainly backs up Penge’s pearl-clutching warning that “no girl is safe” around the Foreign Secretary, it is perhaps more interesting to Victoria fans that Palmerston’s wife is none other than Emily Cowper, sister of our beloved Lord Melbourne! Palmerston conducted a long affair with the married Lady Cowper until she was widowed and her year of mourning was complete, at which time they married. Their marriage, like their courtship, was anything but conventional…
Stay tuned for more on the Foreign Secretary’s affairs of state…and the heart!
Fact or Fiction: Albert visited London's slums.
Fact: As evidenced by Prince Albert’s call for the abolition of slavery and his enthusiasm for the steam train in Victoria, his interests in technology and justice are legendary. And in Season 3, Albert visits London’s slums to understand the living conditions of the poor, just as he did in real life. In fact, Albert toured London slums with philanthropist and social reformer Lord Shaftesbury, and was the first president of the Society for Improving the Condition of the Labouring Classes. Through the Society, Albert tasked architect Henry Roberts to design model housing for poor families, which were shown as part of the Great Exhibition in 1851.
Fact or Fiction: A mob marched on the palace and threw a brick through a palace window.
Fact: As Victoria writer, creator, and executive producer told the MASTERPIECE Studio podcast, “Yes they did. They did throw a brick. A mob did march through London and did throw a brick wrapped in a French flag through the Buckingham Palace windows, because they were so angry about Louis Philippe staying at the palace because they felt that Victoria shouldn’t be harboring a tyrant.”
Did the shock of that brick really induce Victoria’s labor? Find out: Listen to Daisy Goodwin’s podcast interview, where she answers that question and offers tantalizing hints and insights about what’s coming in Season 3!