The whirlwind third season of Victoria may have had its dramatic highs and lows, but what parts were really true? A cholera epidemic, riotous uprisings, political chess moves and marital tensions marked this season’s storylines, and much of it was on par with how things really happened in 19th century England. Take a look through our roundup of each episode’s historical features to learn more about the real-life events that inspired the season. [Contains Season 3 spoilers.]
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Episode 1: Uneasy Lies The Head That Wears The Crown
The palace doors swing open for some pivotal new arrivals: Victoria’s mysterious half-sister Princess Feodora, and the womanizing Foreign Secretary Lord Henry Palmerston, not to mention a king escaping political unrest. Find out the real story about these key characters in Victoria’s life, the backstory of brewing revolution in London, and more.
Episode 2: London Bridge Is Falling Down
With an outraged mob just outside the Palace gates and tensions running high, Victoria gives birth to Princess Louise, Albert fights to keep his family safe, and the Chartist movement gains momentum. Find out more about what the Chartists were fighting for and see period images of the growing royal family.
Episode 3: Et In Arcadia
Despite the idyllic surroundings, tempers flare at Osborne House when Victoria and Albert go head-to-head. Sparks of a different kind fly between Lord Palmerston and Duchess Sophie. A room mix-up nearly causes scandal, and the games between Lord Palmerston and Feodora began. Find out the truth behind that drink-throwing moment, and learn all about bathing machines and more.
Episode 4: Foreign Bodies
A cholera epidemic sweeps through the streets of London, leaving devastation in its wake, and a distraught Victoria searching for how to help. Skerrett and Francatelli make a bold move, but not everything goes according to plan. Learn more about Victoria’s real-life relationships with Dr. John Snow and Florence Nightingale, and about the devastating toll that cholera took on 19th century London.
Episode 5: A Show of Unity
Following another assassination attempt, the royal family (finally) visits Ireland hoping to mend fences. The Palmerstons offer a warm welcome, but Albert has some confrontational questions for Lord Palmerston. See what Lady Palmerston really looked like, and learn more about Victoria’s relationship with Ireland with in Episode 5’s Fact or Fiction and History in Images features.
Episode 6: A Coburg Quartet
The birth of Prince Arthur (baby number seven!) calls for a Georgian-era themed christening ball, but scandal strikes involving private family drawings. Meanwhile, Victoria and Albert can’t quite see eye-to-eye on a new coin design, and tensions between Victoria and Feodora finally (and dramatically) came to a head. See images and learn more about the controversial coin, the family etchings, and the glamorous ball.
Episode 7: A Public Inconvenience
Albert has an inspired new plan, but not everyone is on board. Victoria, meanwhile, tries to make some sort of peace with Feodora, and Palmerston makes a questionable political move. Learn all about Albert’s vision for the Great Exhibition of 1851, Albert’s partner Henry Cole, and the international trouble that Palmerston faced.
Episode 8: The White Elephant
In the Season 3 finale, after many long, tireless nights and jam-packed days, Albert’s big day arrives at long last. Feodora shows her true colors, while Palmerston must face his new fate after political disaster. Learn all about the history behind the Crystal Palace, Heidi’s marital prospects, and more from the season finale.