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PBS MASTERPIECE VICTORIA SEASON 2

 

   Victoria returned last night on PBS for season 2 which picks up a month after it left off. Victoria is trying to balance her life as a wife, mother and queen. She's feeling left out of her regular "queenly" duties and is determined to come back strong.

  Interesting to see Diana Rigg as Duchess Buccleuch (hired by Victoria) who brings her young niece along. The niece is infatuated by Albert's brother.

   Another addition is Lord Byron's daughter, Lady Ada Lovelace, the renowned mathematician, played by the actress who plays/played nurse Patsy in Call the Midwife. Victoria is a bit jealous of the time Albert is spending wth her, but it all works out.

  And, ta-da! Lord "M" is back in the picture much to Albert's chagrin.

 

The show was 2 hours and it looks like next week is scheduled for 2 hours also. I can't remember if season 1 was shown in 2-hour epiodes or not.

Anybody watching?

 

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Another momentous episode last night, with so many changes about to take place!!

 

The Queen's oldest child almost dies, when Lehzen stubbornly insists a mild fever is "nothing", and the Queen listens to her .. instead of Prince Albert. It doesn't go well for the Baroness ..

 

Sir Robert Peel - liked & trusted by the Queen & Albert - supports the corn law repeal, losing the support of his party .. and is on the verge of resigning (to be replaced by John Russell, 1st Earl Russell).

 

Prince Ernest seems "cured", is on the verge (we think) of proposing to Harriet, until a recurring "rash" is discovered during a bath. 😞

 

And then there's the on-again, off-again engagement of Edward Drummond, and his selfless act to protect Prime Minister Peel from a gunman, that ends everything for him & Lord Alfred.

 

It's amazing how the heighten the drama of these historical incidents! On last night's episode, the gunman fires at Peel, and Drummond pushes him out of the way, taking the bullet .. dying right there. In reality, apparently the gunman mistook Drummond for Peel, aiming at Drummond. He was hit in the chest & abdomen, the bullet removed later that day, then lingered for 5 days before dying. In reality, Drummond was much older & married at the time, not the hot-looking young guy on the TV series!


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@ASTRAEAwrote:

Another momentous episode last night, with so many changes about to take place!!

 

Yes…one unwelcome arrival (Uncle Leopold) and 3 unwelcome departures (Peel, Lehzen, and Drummond). And next week is the season finale.

I was so hoping Ernst was not going to ask Harriet to marry him and was almost glad when after being declared “cured” the rash was discovered. At least he had the decency to halt the proposal.

I thought Drummond told Alfred that he had called off the engagement, but obviously never told the girl since she was referred to as the fiancée.

 

 @ASTRAEA also wrote: It's amazing how the heighten the drama of these historical incidents!

I'm guessing it makes for better theater, the more drama they inject. Cat Wink

Thanks, Astraea, for filling in the details of what really happened. N.


 

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Considering that Uncle Leopold was King of Belgium and Ernest was Duke of Coburg, I think that the "Victoria" series overinflates the amount of time they spent in England, being supportive and/or meddling! Leopold was not only busy match-making for his relatives (very true), but was staving off an attempt by the Netherlands to recapture Belgium, and preventing the spread of revolution into his country. And by age 24, Ernest was married to Princess Alexandrine of Baden (childless marriage), and commander in the German Federation, in a war against Denmark.

 

I don't remember Drummond's exact words about the engagement; whether he considered it "called off" in his own mind .. only needing to break that news to his fiance, or that he'd actually told her. Going with the position that they were still engaged when he was killed, was socially a lot better for both families. I think I posted previously that Lord Alfred Paget married, and had even more children than Queen Victoria!


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I so wanted that final episode to go on forever last night.

Now for a couple of questions. Did Sarah, the child from Africa, really come to the palace as a gift and then find a home with the Forbes?

And, did Albert nearly drown all alone in a skating accident?

 

I was glad that Uncle Leopold did tell Harriet about Ernest's condition after the fiasco in the bedroom.

I'm guessing that becoming engaged to a woman was what gay men kind of had to do back in the day as seen with Alfred and Wilhelmina Coke. (For the whole season I thought they had been saying "COOK").

 

According to some hints for next season, Francatelli and Nancy will not have an easy time keeping their secret. And... SPOILER ALERT if you didn't know already....

 

 

 

 

 

 

Victoria has a sister! N.

 

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@catwoman500 - I enjoyed the long episode too last night! I thought her name was Cook also.

 

Victoria had two half-siblings; a sister & brother. From Wikipedia "In 1818 he (Prince Edward, Duke of Kent & Victoria's father) married Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, a widowed German princess with two childrenCarl (1804–1856) and Feodora (1807–1872)—by her first marriage to the Prince of Leiningen. Her brother Leopold was Princess Charlotte's widower (Charlotte was Victoria's older cousin & 1st in line to the throne .. but she died). The Duke and Duchess of Kent's only child, Victoria, was born at 4.15 a.m. on 24 May 1819 at Kensington Palace in London."

 

So a brother (Leopold) & sister (Victoria of Saxe-Coburg) married a princess (Charlotte) & her uncle (Prince Edward). Talk about "family ties"!

 

It's possible that Lord Alfred was bi-curious, or at least in their version willing to be married to a 'best friend" type of woman. In reality, he married Cecilia Wyndham, and they had 14 children.

 

I was glad too, when Leopold told Harriet about Ernest's illness .. better to know that he's sick & denying himself not to spread the disease, than for her to think that he's repeatedly played her.

 

I'm glad Mrs. Skerrett did the right thing, giving her slaves their freedom. I guess I never realized how valuable they were on the market.

 

Sarah - Captain Forbes was the Queen's representative in Africa, who told that native King that Queen Victoria wouldn't be happy if he killed the little princess as well as the rest of her family. So he traveled back to England with Sarah, and apparently she stayed with him & his wife for several months. I'm not sure what held up his audience with the Queen & "giving" Sarah to her .. except maybe communications/administration were that slow.

 

I don't ever remember reading about Prince Albert & the skating accident. At first I wondered if he'd catch pneumonia .. because I know he died young .. but that was still 21 years in the future. It's hard to believe that when Victoria was pregnant with their 3rd chidl, Albert was only 23 years old!


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I have not watched this season at all.  I will have to binge watch to catch up!

 

 

Life's a Journey, not a Destination" Aerosmith
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Last night's episode ( 2/11), the Scotland visit, was sort of charming. I smiled and sometimes even laughed during the show. Of course there were other pieces that were more serious, but this episode made Victoria and Albert seem like real people.

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@catwoman500  Last year only the first episode was a 2 hour one.  I began watching the first episode of season 2 yesterday.  Ada Lovelace has been coming to my attention in various ways lately. I know very little about her.  A library worker talked me into getting Enchantress of Numbers by Jennifer Chiaverini as an honor book to keep until I can read it.  Have not started reading it yet.  I also watched a documentary on Acorn recently, Calculating Ada.   

 

I am about halfway through with the 1st episode so cannot comment on all the goings on.  But I am definitely watching! 

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Is everyone caught up with last night's episode of "Victoria"?

 

I thought the parallel story lines of Lord Melbourne's decline & Dash's death were poignant; the latter allowing the queen to grieve for her beloved dog, in a way she couldn't grieve openly for Lord M. Yet when I looked up the actual history, apparently they took artistic license with those 2 incidents chronologically! Dash died in 1840, at age 10 .. whereas Lord M. died in 1848!

 

I've really liked Albert's brother Ernest; he seems so authentic & romantic a figure. Although he was the older brother, his life seems a series of disappointments. An interesting article about David Oakes, who plays the part.

 

What about King Leopold's bombshell discussion with Albert? There have been rumors, and the timelines fit. King Leopold was quite the looker in his youth!


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There certainly was a lot going on last night. WOW!

Things happen in 3's, so there were 3 deaths...but they really didn't show a dead Lord M. If he died 8 years after Dash, that sure was a lingering illness. Cat Tongue By skipping the death, maybe that was the writer's way of not coming right out and saying the dog and Lord M. died at the same time? It certainly allowed Victoria to grieve for both.

 

I'm hoping that Lord Alfred doesn't "have to" marry (Miss Cook, maybe?) just because Drummond is now getting married. Alfred looked so heartbroken when Drummond told him. Miss Cook was sure broken hearted when Ernst returned to Coberg. That princess (Alda?) was a piece of work, wasn't she? Cat LOL

 

Well, well, Uncle Daddy exposed quite a shake up in Albert's life! Hmmm!

 

Then there was the tower explosion disaster and a new puppy...did she call her Ayla?

Oh, and also the "true" story of how Nancy Skerrett ended up at the palace, except for...is that little girl really hers?

My head is still spinning with all that happened last night! N.

 

 

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@catwoman500 - Last night's show made it sound as if Lord M. had some debilitating disease like ALS, but he had a stroke ~ 1942 .. and I see no mention of any chronic disease other than that.

 

Lord Alfred Paget didn't marry Miss Cook, but he did marry .. Cecilia Wyndham .. and had 14 children with her! Of those, one died as a pre-teen, but the rest lived well into the 20th century. An article about Edward Drummond; private secretary to several Prime Ministers, says that he was quite a bit older than shown in "Victoria", and that a relationship with Paget was improbable. If we use use the year 1840 (when Dash died), Paget was 24, where as Drummond was twice that at 48.

 

Yes, Leopold's choice for Ernest was pretty awful; I felt sorry for him .. but was glad that he had a sense of humor about it.

 

I'm glad Ms. Skerrett stepped forward, to prevent Mr. Francatelli from being falsely accused & fired! I've wondered all along about that little girl, and why Skerrett would feel so obligated to help out .. and if she were being blackmailed, what could it be for. It almost seems like "jumping the shark", to now have Nancy Skerrett say that she just stepped in for the position without any training, because her sister (?) got pregnant, when she's been exemplary in her work since the beginning.

 

I'll miss Rufus Sewell!


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@ASTRAEA,

 

YIKES! 14 kids for Alfred?

 

24 years difference in age!...more artistic license with the Drummond and Paget relationship then.

 

I was certainly hoping that Mrs. Skerrett would not really have to leave. Wonder if Francatelli and she will resume their "friendship?" Love the thank you gift of dried fruit... until he snarkily said they were leftovers. Cat LOL

 

Missing Lord M? Oh, yes...he was easy on the eyes. Cat Happy

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@catwoman500 - Yes, "Mrs". Skerrett & Mr. Francatelli seem to have a complicated relationship!

 

Apparently the title "Mrs" back in 19th & early 20th century society, was a connotation of respect & seniority in the staff, not related to being married! Speaking of "staff" .. Jim Carter (Mr. Carson, the butler on Downton Abbey) plays Pope Boniface VIII in "Knightfall" about the Knights Templar & search for the Holy Grail (History Channel)!


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@ASTRAEA,

Mr. Penge always seems to make a point of emphasizing the MRS. when he speaks to her. Does that mean he uses the sign of respect unwillingly? Probably. Cat Sad Hope he gets his comeuppance soon.

 

Yes! I remember seeing a preview for Knightfall and recognized Jim Carter right away! Cat Very Happy

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@catwoman500 - Thanks for posting. I have it on DVR and need to catch up. It should be an interesting season with the new characters and story lines emerging, as well as those that were carried over from last season. We get to see more of how Victoria grew into her queenship.

 

@ASTRAEA - Thanks for posting the background info. It's helpful to know who these people really were.

"Music can change the world because it can change people." - Bono
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Thanks for starting this discussion! It gives me the opportunity to clarify what may have been a deliberate misdirection by the show's producer .. the "awkwardness" of Lord Melbourne meeting Ada Lovelace, daughter of Lord Byron. Knowing that Melbourne's wife - Lady Caroline Lamb - ran off & had an affair with Lord Byron in 1812, makes you think the meeting was awkward because he was meeting her  child with Byron .. but that's not at all the case!

 

Ada Lovelace was Byron's one legitimate child, born to Anna Isabella Milbanke in 1815, whom Byron married 2 years after the affair! Their marriage only lasted a couple of years, with Anna Isabella thinking Byron was losing his mind.

 

Another fact I learned was that the brilliant Ada Lovelace died at only 36 of uterine cancer; she was the same age as her father Lord Byron had been, when he died.

 

Diana Rigg (now 79 & apparently quite stocky) was excellent as Charlotte Ann Montagu Douglas Scott, Duchess of Bucchleuch, and Mistress of the Robes .. she was an infuriating dinosaur! IRL she became very close to the queen, which sure didn't seem the case last night.

 

Where do you think they're going with these 2 story lines?

 

- Chef Francatelli's return

- The elusive thief in the palace


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Interesting... I did not know that Lady Lovelace died so young with (did she say 3?)  young children.

 

Chef Francatelli...Hmmm. Miss /Mrs.? Skerrett at first seemed afraid to do the task of telling him the queen wanted him back considering their (romantic?) previous relationship, but when he finally did return under duress, she seems to approach him without any qualms. I also wonder where this is going. That replacement chef was awful. Cat Tongue

 

As for the little thief...who is it? Is he somehow connected to the new assistant Miss Cleary? He seems to have arrived around the same time she did. She seems very easily frightened. Cat Surprised

 

I'm glad that this production is finally back. I really enjoy it. N.

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@catwoman500 - Interestingly, Lady Lovelace's husband, a Baron, was a scientist .. so they were a couple way ahead of their time, if he encouraged her work! Her youngest child was 13 when she died, the eldest 16.


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