Considering I write historical romance, it’s probably no surprise that I’ve been watching the new Masterpiece Theatre show, VICTORIA. Have you? The first season aired across the pond last year, leaving us Americans high and dry, forcing us to wait until 2017. As if I already didn’t want to be British enough, right? Victoria just looked so decadent and romantic, and it’s exactly the kind of slow burn I love. For the last few Sunday nights, I’ve been getting my girls in bed, pouring a glass of wine, and hopping on the couch, all before 9 p.m.
So can we talk about Lord Melbourne? (Warning! SPOILERS ahead!)
I had to research the real Lord M and his relationship to the young queen because I was just so in love with the idea of them hitting it off, and then fighting the rules and expectations of their stations, and maybe even more so, a May-December romance. I’m not going to lie – I was hoping for them to at least kiss.
The real Lord Melbourne was definitely old enough to be Victoria’s grandfather. Or at least father. And while he had that prim and jovial grandfather look going on…
he wasn’t nearly as I’m-going-to-destroy-your-heart-handsome as Rufus Sewell…
But apparently he did have a rather scandalous marriage and suffered the death of a child. The first two episodes drew me in with the setting, the costumes, the intrigue, Victoria’s bold attitude, and especially the romantic tension between Lord M. and Victoria. So when Lord Albert showed up I automatically didn’t like him. I mean, I know it’s historically accurate and everything, but could he, I don’t know, maybe hold his head up a little higher (what’s with all the hunching over?), push his hair out of his eyes, and stop being such a wet blanket?
I can see what the writers for the show are doing, though. To compete with the attraction Victoria and Lord M have, they needed to do something special with Albert. The friction between him and Victoria is well done, and I especially like how his unflappable attitude and the little digs he takes at her behavior shine some light on her flaws. While Lord M adores her, Albert isn’t going to let her off the hook so easily.
Still, my heart was breaking for Lord M in the last episode (ep.4), when Victoria had seemed to be completely over him. Then again, the real Lord M never remarried, which is kind of in line with this Lord M’s reluctance to accept Victoria when she all but proposed to him.
Alas, we all know Queen Victoria and Prince Albert’s marriage was a love match, and that when he died she mourned him for the rest of her life. So I suppose there is no room for Lord M after all!
If you haven’t started watching VICTORIA yet (and haven’t been ruined by all the spoilers), check it out on Masterpiece!
(images taken from Pinterest and the illustrious Wikipedia!)