– Queen Victoria in Her Own Words –
This is a revolutionary new look at one of history’s giants, the “Grandmother of Europe” – Queen Victoria. Through exclusive access to her personal diaries and letters, this fascinating documentary uncovers the woman behind the infamous icon.
Never before or since has a monarch so openly expressed themselves through the written word. For the first time, we hear Queen Victoria in her own words, as she opens a window on everything from the political turbulence of the age to her most intimate feelings. Renowned host A N Wilson, author of the definitive biography “Victoria: A Life”, takes us through exclusive archives to construct an astonishing and touching portrait. From a fatherless girl longing for emotional and physical closeness to a passionate wife tormented by consecutive child-births to a widow revelling in new-found freedom, Queen Victoria’s private writings guide us through every stage of the monarch’s extraordinary life.
With unprecedented access and penetrating insight from leading historians, this is an exhilarating journey to heart of the woman that defined an epoch.
Episode 1 – Constraint
Examining the first half of Queen Victoria’s life, we go in search of a monarch too often misunderstood as the solid black-clad matron.
We uncover a passionate and romantic woman who spent her years as a child and young Queen fighting the control of domineering men.
Whilst much of Queen Victoria’s writing was destroyed after her death, what survives reveals a woman in stark contrast to her public image.
As one of the nineteenth century’s most prolific diarists, Queen Victoria recorded everything from state affairs to family gossip. She poured out her emotions onto paper. Those close to her were afraid her more alarming opinions might escape in written form, causing havoc.
Episode 2 – Liberation
The concluding part of this series shatters the well- known image of Victoria as the weeping widow after the death of her beloved Albert. Through her private writings, we discover a Victoria emerging for the first time from an oppressive marriage to a life of excitement and possibility.
We unveil her closest personal relationships in the four decades after Price Albert’s death. From the controversial friendship with her highland servant, John Brown, to her most unconventional favouring of her young Indian Servant, Abdul Karim, this is a woman who was anything but ‘Victorian’…
Far from being prim and proper, Queen Victoria loved life in all its richness – she was blind to class and colour, and, contrary to preconceptions, had a wicked sense of humour.