01x05 - An Ordinary Woman

'If you stay, you could be King of England.'

'No. I would be the Queen of England's husband.'

Albert and I are not suited. He has no manners.

'You like her, Albert, and she likes you too.'

'Victoria likes many people. Lord Melbourne, for example.'

Some MPs might not like to feel they were being inspected by a German Prince.

'He is a younger son from nowhere, and you are a queen.'

'Albert, will you marry me?'

'For me, this is not a marriage of convenience.'

No, I think it will be a marriage of inconvenience.

♪ Gloriana ♪
♪ Alleluia ♪
♪ Gloriana ♪
♪ Alleluia ♪
♪ Gloriana ♪
♪ Alleluia ♪
♪ Alleluia ♪

Did you sleep well?

Not particularly.

Did you?

Not particularly.

Duchess, there are some very curious-looking shrubs over there.

Would you be kind enough to explain them to me?

Shrubs are my speciality, sir.


Oh, Albert, we must get married as soon as possible.

I agree.

But I have to go back to Coburg first.

I wish I were an ordinary woman... and you could take me back with you to Coburg.

..and carry me over the threshold of the Rosenau.

But you are not an ordinary woman.

You are a queen.

And before the wedding, there are things that have to be decided.

But everything I have is yours.

That's exactly my point.

It's yours.

I do not want to have to ask you for money each time I wish to buy a... handkerchief.

But I have a palace full of handkerchiefs.


Why are we running away?

I don't want Mama to see us.

She will think this is all her doing.

But this isn't about pleasing her or anyone else, is it?

The only person I want to please... is you.

She's not there.


Have you kissed her yet?

That's er... none of your business. That means you haven't.

No, wait. You have!

My little brother has had his first kiss.

So, now the real work begins.

Fortunately, Victoria is most impressionable, so you will have no difficulty in moulding her to your views.

I hope I will be a good husband to her.

Any man can keep a woman happy if he pays her enough attention and keeps his other women out of sight.

No, the important thing now is to establish your position.

Indeed? This is the moment to settle your household, title, and, above all, allowance.

You won't be bringing any money of your own.

I'm quite aware of that, Uncle.

Forgive me for being a little late, Ma'am.

We do not usually meet so early in the morning.

There is something I must tell you.

Yesterday I had a conversation.

A very... satisfactory conversation.

I'm glad to hear it, Ma'am.

So, you do approve?

You think I'm doing the right thing?

As you've not yet told me who you spoke to, or indeed what you spoke about, it's hard for me to say.

I have asked Prince Albert to marry me... and he has accepted.

Then he is as wise as he is fortunate.

Allow me to congratulate you, Ma'am.


Forgive me for interrupting, but I just heard the happy news, and I wanted to lose no time in congratulating you, my dear niece.

If you will excuse me, Ma'am...

Please stay a moment, Lord Melbourne.

We should discuss my nephew's allowance.

When I married my poor, dear Charlotte, I was awarded an income of £50,000 a year.

Er... yes, an income which, if I'm not much mistaken, Your Majesty, you continued to draw in the 20 years since Princess Charlotte died.

Albert will be expecting nothing less.

Why should it matter?

Surely, I have enough for both of us?

(SOFTLY): Are you going to tell her, or shall I?

You wouldn't dare!

Wouldn't I?

I'm not your subject yet.

Mama... Albert and I have some news.

My little Drina, is it really true?

I am so happy.

I always told you Albert would make you a fine husband.

I couldn't have chosen better myself, Mama.

The Baroness says the wedding is set for the tenth of February.

In the Chapel Royal.

What a handsome couple they will make, walking down that aisle, like a fairy tale.

I see nothing but trouble ahead.

Why can't you admit that the Queen and Prince might care for each other, Mr Penge?

While you indulge in fruitless speculation, Mrs Jenkins, I have duties to perform.

I've already had Mr Francatelli here, telling me that six weeks is not long enough for him to create the wedding cake he has in mind.

Rome wasn't built in a day.

Anything good is worth waiting for.

It's a cake!

Victoria: Six whole weeks.

I know.

But then we will be together for ever.

Victoria, I hope you will be able to sort out the matters about which we spoke.

My household and my position.

Why do we have to talk about money now, when I am not going to see you for six weeks?


I will miss you so much.

(WHISPERING): Imagine I'm kissing you here, around your neck... and how often I want to kiss you when I return.

Until the wedding, dear sister.

If she invites me.



I expect there'll be a lot of visitors coming over.

German visitors.

First rats and now an infestation of Coburgs.

I feel like a chapter from the Book of Job.

Even if one of those Coburgs is the Dowager Duchess and her dresser?

Is this really necessary?

Surely, whom I marry is my decision?

Of course it is. Nevertheless, we do need the approval of the Privy Council.

Uncle Sussex.

Such a delight to see my favourite niece.

Since we last met, I have declared the intention of allying myself in marriage to Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha.

I hope that God will bless this union and render it conducive to the interests of my people as well as my own domestic happiness.

Before I congratulate you, Ma'am, may I remind you that the Sovereign may not marry a Roman Catholic without forfeiting the throne?

The Prince's Uncle, Leopold, became a Papist when he became King of the Belgians.

How can we be sure that Prince Albert is in fact a Protestant?

How can Wellington be so wicked?

He knows quite well that Albert is not a Catholic.

The Duke is a Tory, Ma'am.

I suspect he means to use the Prince as a stick to beat my government.

He knows very well, the one thing the people hate more than a German is a Papist.

I'm sorry to say this may not be a popular match.

What is wrong with being German?

If you go back far enough, my entire family is German.

Public opinion is not known for its logic, Ma'am.

I don't want to marry to curry favour with my subjects.

Indeed, but as their Queen, you must expect them to have opinions.

We must fix Albert's allowance. I want it settled before he returns.

I will take the bill to Parliament.

And he must have a title.

Can't you persuade Parliament to make him King Consort?

I'm afraid, Ma'am, if the people get into the way of making kings they might get into the way of unmaking them.


English, brother, English.

As they say there, he that pays the piper calls the tune.

Ja sehr gut.

Then they can pay for the roof, which is leaking.


Nothing is settled yet, Father.

Nonsense, boy.

You are marrying the Queen of the richest nation in the world.

And I think there will be some crumbs from her table for Coburg.



Come on, gentlemen, please. Let's have some order.

How many more German princes are there hoping to grow fat on Britain's public purse, I wonder?

I say let the Prince learn to be an Englishman on 20,000 a year.


Furthermore, can the honourable member assure the Commons that His Serene Highness will not be given an English title which allows him to sit in the other place?

We cannot have Germans running the country!


I thought I was going to have to beg for mercy there, Albert.

I wish things could still be decided at sword-point.

No title and only 30,000 a year?

Lord M, Uncle Leopold was given almost twice that.

Unfortunately, Uncle Leopold did not spend that money with discretion.

What do you mean?

Well, I believe there is an actress, Ma'am, whose household is paid for by your uncle.

That is shocking.

At least I know Albert doesn't have any secrets.

No. No.

Well, that usually comes later, Ma'am, but no.

I know Albert is different.

I'm sure, Ma'am.

I told Albert I would settle this. How can I explain?

I'd suggest you tell him that the Parliament that he admires so much needs to be coaxed rather than commanded.

My dearest angel, I am counting the hours, minutes and days until I see you again.

I know this is not all you wanted, my love, but after all, what else could you possibly need when you are my husband?

And you will never want for handkerchiefs, I promise.

It seems Victoria wants me but her people do not.

You are too sensitive.

It is not you they object to, but the idea of you.

I want to be her husband, but I cannot be like Dash, always running at her heels, waiting for her to throw me a treat.

I need not tell you that, since we left, all my thoughts have been with you.

That your image fills my whole soul.

Even in my dreams I never imagined I should find so much love on earth.

But it is essential, my dearest, that I have some title of my own.

And an allowance that means I am not always the poor relation.

Victoria: I just hope he is going to be happy here.


The Prince is most fortunate, I think.

Why is he asking for money and titles when he will be your husband?

A young man should not have too much money at his disposal.

Look at Prince Ernest.

What do you mean?

Nothing, Ma'am.

Gee up!

It's my last night, Ernest.

I really don't have time to be gallivanting with you.

Regard tonight's excursion as part of your education.

What colour will it be, Ma'am?

Princess Charlotte wore gold brocade, if I remember correctly.

But this is my wedding.

Have you decided, Ma'am, who will give you away?

It can't be Uncle Leopold. (CHUCKLES)

The Duke of Wellington would think it were a Catholic conspiracy!

There is the Duke of Sussex.


He is so very eccentric.

You know, the last time I saw him he was wearing a skull cap and rouge.

Better a bit of rouge than a mistress and a clutch of children on the wrong side of the blanket.

I think I would like my wedding dress to be white.


Ernest. Ernest.

This is a house of ill repute.


Think of it as a university... of love.

But such things cannot be taught.

You'd be surprised.

Spend an hour in the company of Gretchen here and I promise you that our dear little cousin will thank you for it.

Also... eins, zwei... drei.


Did you know that Uncle Leopold has a mistress?

An actress.

Here in London.

She even has a child.

Does he? At least your father gave up his mistress when he married me.

Papa had a mistress?

I'm afraid the Baroness has failed to teach you about the ways of men.

Do you think that Albert has a mistress?

Albert? No.

Not yet anyway.



Danke, Gretchen.

Lord Melbourne, did you know that my father had a mistress?

Madame St Laurent? Oh, yes.

I believe they were quite devoted to each other.


Footman: The Lord Chamberlain.

May I congratulate you, Your Majesty.

I want a small affair with a wedding breakfast afterwards here at the palace.

Royal weddings usually take place in the evening, Ma'am.

In the evening?

It has been the custom that the courtiers put the royal couple to bed.

They were more direct times, Ma'am.


As to the ceremony itself, I think, in the circumstances, you might want to omit the line about obeying your husband.

And then there are your bridesmaids.

I have made a list of suitable girls.

Prince Albert is very concerned the girls should come from families of unblemished reputation.

But your attendants must come from the aristocracy, Ma'am.


Do you find this amusing, Lord Melbourne? Forgive me, Ma'am.

I think you might make the Lord Chamberlain's task a little easier if you were to reduce the number of bridesmaids from 12 to... six.

Or to four?

Not bad, eh?

Not bad at all.

When I have my own establishment, I'll need someone at my side.

I'm sure you will.

Wouldn't you like to start again?

It's too late for that. This is the life I've got.

I have... responsibilities.



I saw her once.


I was playing in the park at Bad Homburg.

And she was watching me from the terrace.

And so I waved and she put her finger to her lips and she stayed there, for as long as I did.

When I looked up... I could see that her cheeks were wet.

Why did you never tell me?

Perhaps it was easier to believe... that she did not love us... and we had each other.

And now you have Victoria... and she will never leave you.

Do you know how much I envy you?

And how I will miss you?

When you two have finished embracing like a couple of foolish Maedchens, the carriage is outside.

You may be about to marry the richest woman in the world, Albert, but I can't afford to keep my horses waiting.

Uncle Leopold.


Your Majesty.



Do you find me much changed?

Had you not been sitting on your throne, I... I would not have known it was you.


Might I suggest we start the ceremony, Ma'am?

I'm going to make you a Knight of the Garter.

A title?

I thought that was not permitted.

This one is in my gift.

I was made a knight on the eve of my wedding to poor Charlotte.

It is a great privilege.

Melbourne: It is the very highest order of chivalry, Sir.

Are you one too, Lord Melbourne?

No, Sir.

But of course you have a seat in the House of Lords.

Is Mr Penge wearing a new shirt? He looks uncommon smart.

He made me polish his silver buckles again this morning.

He said they weren't shiny enough.

Mr Penge, I am entrusting the Coburg servants into your care.

Please make sure they are treated with respect.

Of course, Baroness.



I have been thinking about our honeymoon all the way from Coburg.

A week away from all this. I long to be alone with you. Really alone.

If only it could be a week, but I'm afraid I can only spare two days.

Two whole days?

I know you are disappointed, Albert, but you must not forget I am the Queen.

That is unlikely.

Ma'am, Your Serene Highness, may I present George Anson, who will be acting as your Private Secretary?

At your service, Your Serene Highness.

I wonder, Mr Anson, what you've been doing before now?

I've been working for Lord Melbourne, Sir, helping him with his correspondence.

And a capital job he's done of it too. I shall be sorry to lose him.

Victoria, you know I would have liked to have... chosen my own household.

I know, Albert, but it is better for you to have an English advisor, someone who understands our ways.

Please excuse me, I am tired after my journey.

We've hardly spoken to one other.

I thought that was the English way of doing things.

I think you are being peevish, Albert.

Peevish? This word I do not understand.

Perhaps, I should ask my new secretary to translate it for me.

Now you are being rude.


No, no, I am being honest, Victoria.

All the promises we made before I went to Coburg have come to nothing.

I have a title, but I do not have a seat in the House of Lords.

I have money, but not enough to be independent, and now I find I am to be supervised by Lord Melbourne's spy.

I think you are right. You are tired after your journey.

I don't think I want to play with you today.

Is he going to find himself... an actress, like Uncle Leopold?

You said that came afterwards.

Don't listen to an old cynic like me, Ma'am.

I believe the Prince to be a man of true feeling.


I...I thought that you did not care for him.

Oh, I didn't mean to give you that impression, Ma'am.

I think he will make you an excellent husband.

But if that is your concern, then you should tell him the truth.


You always say the truth is over-rated.

I do, Ma'am.

But then I was not happily married.



Your Majesty.

Why does the allowance mean so much to you?

Is it so that you can keep a mistress?

Is that what you think of me, Victoria?

How can you be so foolish?

The only woman I want... is you.

Will always be you, but I cannot sit idly and wait for you to smile at me.

I am not asking you to.

Then, please understand that all I've asked for is so that I could have something of my own: my own position, my own freedom.

The chance to... do something good.

They won't give you the funds Uncle Leopold had because he is still drawing on them and he's spending them on actresses!

It's not funny.

No. No.

When I marry you tomorrow, it will be as an ordinary woman.

And I will promise to love, honour... and obey you.

Obey me?

But I am your subject.

You will be my husband.

And you, Liebes... will be my wife.

We've been replaced, Lord Melbourne.

That's as it should be.

Mrs Jenkins: Fraulein Hilde. Hm.



Wedding bells. I must go.


How I wish you could have answered my letters.

You wrote to me?

Every week for a year after you left.

I received no letters.

What did they say?

The things that a young man would say... to the woman that he dreams of.

I would like to read those letters.

Mr Penge, we're going to be late.

The Prince's party has already left for the chapel.

The bells are ringing!

Brodie: Mr Penge!

No diamonds.


Crowd: God save the Queen!

♪ Hallelujah ♪
♪ Gloriana ♪
♪ Hallelujah ♪
♪ Gloriana ♪

Surprised he didn't cross himself when he came in.

He even walks like a Papist.

Lady Peel: But what a profile!

♪ Hallelujah ♪
♪ Gloriana ♪
♪ Hallelujah ♪
♪ Gloriana ♪
♪ Hallelujah ♪
♪ Hallelujah... ♪

Albert, wilt thou have this woman to be thy wedded wife, to live together after God's ordinance in the holy estate of matrimony?

Wilt thou love her, comfort her, honour, and keep her in sickness and in health, so long as you both shall live?

I will.

Victoria, wilt thou have this man to thy wedded husband, to live together after God's ordinance in the holy estate of matrimony?

Wilt thou obey and serve him, love, honour and keep him in sickness and in health, so long as you both shall live?

I will.

With this ring I thee wed... and with my body I thee worship... and with all my worldly goods, I thee endow.

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost.


I pronounce that they be man and wife together.

♪ Hallelujah ♪


For you, Mama.


It's a shame about your allowance, but I'm sure Victoria will be generous.

If you would give up your actresses, she wouldn't need to be.

Give up my charity work? What a suggestion!

And what will you do now, William?

St Chrysostom is waiting for me in the library at Brocket Hall.

I have been neglecting him of late.

You were needed elsewhere.

The Queen wishes to see you, My Lord.

Congratulations, Ma'am.

I have never seen you look more radiant.

You once told me... that when I gave my heart... I would give it without reservation.

Yes, I remember.

And you were almost right.

Almost, Ma'am?

I shall never forget.

May I kiss the bride?

Goodbye, Lord M.

Goodbye, Ma'am.

It suits you.

The Queen wants these set in wax before they fade.

Don't you want to get out of here before you fade, Miss Skerrett?





Do you want anything?


Madeira perhaps?

No, thank you.

I'm not thirsty.

No Madeira?

No Madeira.

(SOFTLY): Victoria.


They laugh at my clothes, at my accent.

I've seen the cartoons when I'm drawn as a sausage.

I cannot bear to see the Prince so humiliated.

I so want to be a father and you will make a wonderful mother.

I have friends who do not let the Peelers stand in their way.

I hardly think you're in danger from a harmless flirtation with a married woman.

For 20 years, we've been together every day.

It's a very brave undertaking if I may say so, sir.

Our little Queen has become rather good at getting what she wants.