Jenna Coleman reveals the difficulties of motherhood for Queen Victoria in the second series of ITV's hit historical drama...
TV Times was transported back to the 19th Century to watch Jenna Coleman and Tom Hughes film scenes at Ripon Cathedral for the second series of hit ITV’s Victoria.
The action picks up one month on from the gripping series one finale, which saw Victoria give birth to the couple’s first child, also named Victoria, and it now follows the Queen as she juggles her new role as a mother with her royal duties.
Here, former Doctor Who star Jenna, tells us what’s in store…
Where do we find Victoria at the start of this series?
“She has been in confinement since the birth of her child. She’s told she can’t do anything for herself so as you can imagine, she’s not in the best of tempers! Albert has taken over while she has been away, leaving Victoria feeling very threatened.”
When Victoria returns to work, Prince Albert (Tom) struggles to find a role for himself and a power struggle plays out between them. Tell us more…
“The Victoria we explore this series is in her honeymoon period, which is interrupted by numerous pregnancies. She’s hugely disappointed to be what she calls, ‘caught’. We see Victoria, as ever, deeply in love with Albert, learning to navigate her new life as a mother and keep her hands firmly on the crown, whilst ring true to her independent and stubborn nature. Such a balancing act leads to inevitable fireworks…”
You have done lots of research, what did you discover about Victoria’s approach to motherhood?
“She wrote in her diary that being pregnant ‘it is the ONLY thing I dread’, but she does love her children. There is a misconception that she wasn’t very tender and motherly towards them, but it was just that being pregnant was a great misery for her. She was the first queen ever to have children, and to manage nine children, a husband and being Queen is a remarkable feat.”
How does Victoria react when she discovers she’s pregnant again so soon after her first child?
“It’s a devastating blow and we deal with Victoria’s inability to bond with the second baby, it was perhaps undiagnosed postnatal depression. We see Victoria retreat into herself.”
How would you describe Victoria’s relationship with Albert?
“They’re complete opposites and on paper should never work. You have a logical, scientific and mathematical mind; a rational and sensitive man, and then Victoria who is selfish, impulsive, romantic and passionate. The biggest thing this series to get right was how those dynamics between them shift and change. It’s an unusual marriage because there aren’t many marriages which hold such intensity and are under such public scrutiny. I guess you could say it was unique.”
How did you find filming with the little ones who play Victoria and Albert’s children?
“The hardest thing this series is learning how to do a scene with three children! I’ve not developed that multi-tasking function yet; maybe it comes with motherhood.”
We’re very excited that Dame Diana Rigg joins this series as Victoria’s new Mistress of the Robes. You worked together on Doctor Who, was it nice to be reunited?
“Yes and funny because we’re both wearing Victorian costumes again. She’s fabulous as the Duchess of Bucchleuch – she isn’t what Victoria is expecting as she has a very different perspective on things. But as the series goes on, their relationship changes…”
Finally, what do you love most about playing Victoria?
“Her absolute candidness and frankness to say exactly what she thinks.”
Victoria series 2 premieres on ITV on Sunday, August 27 at 9.05pm