The hit television show Victoria is back with a third series, with the first episode airing on Sunday, 24 March at 9pm on ITV. Jenna Coleman returns as a young Queen Victoria with Tom Hughes returning as Prince Albert, her husband. While the first two seasons have focused on the start of Victoria’s reign and the beginning of Victoria and Albert’s relationship, this series delves into more of the tensions that arise.
In addition to familial changes, the effects of the French Revolution and the ending of several different monarchies, and the domestic concern of Chartism all challenge Victoria’s position on the throne.
As the third series opens, Victoria is pregnant with Albert’s sixth child and is feeling the full effects of pregnancy once again. Struggles come for the couple, as they approach their parenting dilemmas quite differently. Show writer and creator Daisy Goodwin explains to ITV that they are “having problems with Bertie, the Prince of Wales who unlike his older sister Vicky, shows no aptitude for learning and is willfully disobedient. Today he would be diagnosed as dyslexic, but then he was considered slow.” Albert’s work on the Great Exhibition also plays a role in the development of their marriage, with Albert spending more and more time on the Exhibition.
This season sees Victoria’s side of the family expand. They are joined by Victoria’s half-sister Feodora, portrayed by Harlots actress Kate Fleetwood. The sisters have a strained relationship, as Fleetwood explains speaking to PBS: “Feodora has a complex relationship with Victoria, wanting to love her and undermine her at the same time. It’s family, and we can all relate to the contradictions that our family impose upon us.”
Though Feodora has a complicated position, Fleetwood enjoyed working on the third series and spoke to ITV about her time on set. “[W]hen you first arrive… you get sent straight into Buckingham Palace! The set is quite extraordinary and… you genuinely feel like you are standing at the doors of the palace.”
The couple also disagrees on political issues in the third series, with the French Revolution bearing heavily on their minds and the deposed King of France arriving at Buckingham Palace for help. This series will see Victoria and Albert push for very different responses to her people and their feelings. The introduction of Laurence Fox as Lord Palmerston as the politician and future Prime Minister further divides the couple.
Although “Lord Palmerston is everything that Albert does not respect; Victoria slowly realises they are more similar than she thought and she begins to become rather fond of him”, Coleman reveals to ITV. Palmerston’s confidence and gregarious attitude see him spar with Victoria, Albert, and Prime Minister Russell throughout the series.
Lily Travers is joining the cast as Sophie Monmouth, the new Mistress of the Robes. She brings new issues to the forefront, highlighting the difficult and complicated roles that women at court had. It also gives readers a perspective on a more common type of marriage than Victoria and Albert’s. When speaking with ITV, Travers elaborated that “[h]er position is really important to her as it gives her a sense of autonomy and duty outside of the marital home and her husband, who is pretty awful.”
Victoria returns to screens on Sunday, 24 March 2019 at 9pm on ITV.