Directed by John Erman

More on Queen Victoria

Daily Mail -- Tuesday, August 14, 2001

Victoria's secret Behind the austere mask, a queen full of passion and romance ... or so the BBC would have you believe

THE austere image of Queen Victoria is blown apart in a controversial BBC film which portrays her as a passionate romantic.

Victoria and Albert is described by the corporation as the story of her 'life of passion, both as monarch and lover' and 'the man who awakens her sexually'.

The project has already provoked anger among monarchists, who say it is based on nothing more than a vivid imagination and will taint her reputation.

The two-part drama, to be shown in a pre-watershed slot on BBC1 over the August Bank Holiday weekend, explores Queen Victoria's love life and the desire she felt for Prince Albert.

In one scene the Queen played by Victoria Hamilton is shown barely able to control herself when she sees her future husband wearing tight breeches.

She also asks one of her ladies-in-waiting for tips on lovemaking.

The couple's wedding night is played out on screen, with the Queen and Prince shown kissing passionately in bed.

In another scene, Albert barges in on Lord Uxbridge having sex with his mistress.

Distinguished historian Philip Ziegler, Edward VIII's official biographer, said the drama could not possibly reflect the exact details of Victoria and Albert's private life.

'My own feeling is it must be a work of imagination,' he said. 'No one really knows what went on in the bedroom.

I can't see the point of it. To ascribe such words and gestures seems a fairly pointless exercise.' Donald Foreman, secretary- general of the Constitutional Monarchist Association, said some members of his organisation would be upset by the royal bedroom scenes.

'Queen Victoria may well have been a passionate woman, but do people really want to see it portrayed on the television?' he asked.

'She is still a living memory for some people and certainly people remember their grandparents talking about her.

'She seems close to many people and for them it will be like having the curtains drawn back on their own grandparents' sex lives.' Actor Jonathan Firth, who plays Prince Albert, defended the series as 'the story of a passionate romance between two people'.

'Queen Victoria was a product of a the Regency period, which was quite debauched and louche,' said Firth, brother of Pride and Prejudice star Colin Firth. 'She was initially more like that, but then took her morality from Albert in later life. Most people have an image of Queen Victoria from her later life in films such as Mrs Brown.' Producer David Cunliffe pointed out that Queen Victoria's diaries had revealed her to be a passionate woman.

'This drama is essentially a love story about two people,' he said.

'We have done extensive research, making use of Victoria's diaries. Although it does give an account of Victoria and Albert's personal life it is not torrid.

'You would be quite happy to let a child of three months see this programme.

Many of the people who have commented on it have not actually seen it.' The 5million drama had been due to be shown in the spring, but was put back to August after a series of classic dramas flopped in the ratings.

The cast includes many well-known names, including Nigel Hawthorne, as prime minister Lord Melbourne, David Suchet, as German diplomat Baron Stockmar, and Diana Rigg, as Victoria's governess Lehzen.


Article and pictures above thanks to Gill

12/17/00 - STEAMY!!!
New Article from the UK Sunday Telegraph HERE

MoreHEREand on the News Page

Picture above thanks to Grace

With Jon Firth as Albert
(Filming starts September 25)

And Victoria Hamilton as Victoria

Victoria at age 24, painted by Winterhalter

In Persuasion as Henrietta Musgrove
Links are to the IMdb

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