02x01 - A Soldier's Daughter

♪ Gloriana

♪ Hallelujah

♪ Gloriana

♪ Hallelujah

♪ Gloriana, hallelujah

♪ Hallelujah!

Elphinstone has given the order to retreat, Duke.

They should reach Jalalabad within a month.

In January? The weather will be closing in.

Through the Khyber Pass, they will be single file in places.

- Damned easy to ambush.
- I'm afraid there is no alternative.

Elphinstone believes the Kabul garrison to be indefensible.

He has no choice, sir. They have been guaranteed safe passage.

I wouldn't put my faith in Afghan promises.

Thank you, gentlemen.

I see no reason to trouble the Queen with this.

I do not want to distress her at this delicate time.

Ma'am.

This is ridiculous.

Drina, it is too dangerous, please!

I may have had a baby but I am quite capable of walking down the stairs.

Huh... Victoria.

Is this wise, to be out of bed?

Sir James said at least a month.

This is what I'm telling her.
But she doesn't listen to me.

I'm not going to stay in that chair for a moment longer.

Your Majesty.

Albert, let's go out. Let's go out into the fresh air.

- I want to go riding.
- Riding? Are you sure?

Yes, of course I'm sure.

Erm, Forgive me, ma'am. I am afraid it will be most irregular for you to appear in public before you have been churched.

Churched?

Your Majesty. It is customary for a woman who has had a child to be purified in church before she rejoins society.

- And you are?
- Drummond, Ma'am.

Sir Robert's private secretary.

Well, Mr Drummond, I am not a woman. I am a queen.

Hm.

Almighty God, we give thee humble thanks that thou hast vouchsafed to deliver this woman from the pain and peril of childbirth, and cast out her sin.

The peace and blessing of God Almighty, the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost, descend upon thee, and remain for ever.

Amen.

What does the Archbishop know about the pain and peril of childbirth?

The ignominy of having to kneel in front of that old man as if I had committed some sin, instead of having a baby!

Such a charming ceremony.

I remember how it was after I had you, Victoria.

To be welcomed back into the Church after receiving such a gift from God.

God had nothing to do with it.

I won! I won!

Oh, I have missed this so much.

Let's go round again.

But there is so much to do.

Go!

Oh... Albert! Albert, wait!

You couldn't beat me even with a head start.

Perhaps I know how happy it makes you to win, Liebes.

I've missed this, too.

Not now, Lehzen.

Mein kleines Madchen. What beautiful blue eyes you have.

All babies have blue eyes, Albert.

I think you should come down to the kitchens, Mr Penge.

Mr Craddock has struck a kitchen maid.

Can't you see I'm busy, Brodie?

He has a knife, Mr Penge.

- You are in deep trouble, my dear!
- May I remind you, Mr Craddock, that this is Buckingham Palace, not Bedlam!

You will give me that knife.

It may be a Palace upstairs but down here it's no better than a rookery.

I caught her red-handed in the pantry with a loaf in her hand.

I was just taking the stale bread for Dash's dinner.

Mr Francatelli always said just go and get it.

- But I am not Mr Francatelli.
- Indeed you are not, Mr Craddock!

The knife.

Everyone, get back to work.

Ma'am.

I'm so glad you've made a full recovery.

I feel much better now I'm back at work, Lord Alfred.

Confinement... does not suit me.

Then, Ma'am, may I ask you to look at my brother Septimus's commission?

It should be on the Army List.

Albert has been doing the boxes in my absence.

I'm sure he would have approved it, though.

Thank you, Ma'am. It's much appreciated.

Sir. Despatch from General Ellenburgh.

Thank you.

Albert. There you are.

Do you have the boxes?

- Boxes?
- Yes.

- I have so much to catch up on.
- Ah, no. Do not worry.

I've already gone through them.

I've summarised my findings in this memorandum.

Thank you, my angel, but I should like the boxes to be sent to me,

- so I can... I can master the detail.
- Of course.

So long as you do not think you will wear yourself out.

I think I can manage.

To be honest, Miss Skerrett, I do not think you're ready for the Chief Dresser's position.

However... I have spoken to the Queen and, for some reason, she thinks you should replace Mrs Jenkins.

I hope you will justify Her Majesty's faith in you, MRS Skerrett.

But I ain't married, Baroness.

Oh, neither was Mrs Jenkins.

Not to a man, that is.

I remembered you dress to the left, sir.

The fit should be nice and snug now.

Thank you.

It fits you perfectly.

I'm glad it has your royal approval.

Where are you going all dressed up?

To inspect my regiment.

The th Hussars?

It won't take me long to get ready.

You want to come with me?

It may be your regiment, Albert, but it is my army.

It does the men good to see their Queen, and Lord knows we need to keep morale high if the rumours from Afghanistan are true.

Has anyone told the Queen?

The Prince still feels there is no need to worry Her Majesty... so soon after her confinement.

She looks robust enough to me.

But you are Prime Minister now, Peel.

The uniforms are magnificent.

But are they practical in the field of battle?

The helmets, for example. The plumes, they are... irrelevant.

But so splendid.

I do not think this uniform is designed for modern warfare.

But I think I would feel brave wearing it.

God save the Queen!

God save the Queen! God save the Queen!

God save the Queen!

I am glad to see Your Majesty fully recovered.

How fortunate you are to have such an able... substitute.

I try to be of service.

I was wondering, Ma'am, if you have come to a decision regarding your ladies?

More than that, Sir Robert.

The new Mistress of the Robes arrives today.

Oh, and might I enquire as to whom you have chosen?

The Duchess of Buccleuch.

Have you met her, Ma'am?

No.

I have met all your other suggestions, Sir Robert.

- She was on your list.
- At the very bottom.

- I hardly think
- If you will excuse me.

- Ma'am.
- Ma'am.

May I, Ma'am?

I wanted to see the Princess before I go.

I like watching her sleep.

When my children were babies, it was my favourite time too.

Did you like them...

.. straightaway?

Well, I was pleased they were healthy,

I would have killed anyone that caused them any harm, but like them?

I think that comes later, Ma'am.

Having a baby is a sacrifice as well as a blessing.

I will miss you, Harriet.

But you must come to the christening.

You're so good with my Coburg in-laws.

Your carriage is here, Harriet.

Till the christening, then.

Your Majesty, The Duchess of Buccleuch and the Honourable Wilhelmina Coke.

Your Majesty.

Welcome to Buckingham Palace, Duchess.

Oh, I have been here before, Ma'am.

Serving Queen Adelaide.

Such a great lady.

May I introduce my niece, Wilhelmina, as your Maid of Honour.

Keep your back straight.

- Madam...
- Oh.

May I show you and Miss Coke to your apartments, Duchess?

I expect you remember the palace from before, Duchess.

In my day, it was only a house...

.. but at least it was clean.

My valet tells me that your new Mistress of the Robes does not like her rooms.

Why aren't we going to the commissioning of HMS Trafalgar?

I went through those boxes this morning.

I know, Albert, but it is a very good thing I did.

You forgot to put Septimus Paget on the list of new commissions.

I did not forget. I did not find him suitable.

But he is quite charming, like all his family.

Lord M always says every officers' mess needs a Paget.

If Lord Melbourne understood that charm's not the most important trait in a soldier, then perhaps we would not be retreating from Kabul.

Retreating from Kabul?

Well, why didn't you tell me?

- I... I did not want to alarm you.
- Not alarm me!?

Albert... they'll be going through the Khyber Pass in winter.

- You know about the Khyber Pass?
- Of course I know about it.

Well, it is no reason for concern, Victoria.

It is only a strategic redeployment.

Really?

They are my soldiers, Albert.
I need to know these things.

You have no right to keep it from me!

Forgive me. I was only trying to make your life easier.

Is that what you were doing? You and Robert Peel?

You always seem very cosy together.

We have many common interests.

You know, he appreciates my ideas for reforming the army.

For improving the uniform.

He also agrees that an officer should only be promoted on grounds of merit alone and he was most complimentary about my helmet designs.

I don't give a fig about your helmets.

- Where are you going?
- To the nursery.

Isn't that where you think I belong?

Have you read The Old Curiosity Shop by Mr Dickens, Ma'am?

I believe it is much admired.

I've just got to the death of Little Nell.

Oh... it is so poignant, Ma'am.

I thought I would never stop crying.

Crying over a book. I've never heard such a thing.

In my day, no unmarried girl would be allowed to read novels.

I thought you might like to see the princess, Majesty.

Oh, Lehzen, look. She's smiling at me.

Wind, more likely.

You had better sit next to me, Mrs Skerrett.

I'm married to the job now, Brodie.

Let's hope you prove more faithful than your predecessor.

I suppose you will be looking for an assistant now.

I'm sure the Baroness will have ideas.

Even the Baroness can make mistakes... from time to time.

- Good afternoon, Lord Alfred.
- Your Majesty.

I wanted to tell you...

.. that your brother's commission has gone through.

Oh, I cannot thank you enough, Ma'am.

Septimus is quite my favourite brother.

I'm sure he will do very well.
Tell me, have you seen the Prince?

Why yes, Ma'am, I passed him just now, talking to the Prime Minister.

[Ambushed at Gandamak, according to the latest despatch.]

Good afternoon, Your Majesty.

I'm sorry to interrupt you. I do wonder what it is you're discussing so earnestly.

Army reform? Or perhaps it is the situation in Afghanistan?

I do have some interest in these matters, Sir Robert.

I'm a soldier's daughter.

The Prince and I were discussing the new Sanitation Commission, Ma'am.

The Commissioner, a Mr Chadwick, has some quite radical thoughts about the London sewers.

Would you care to hear them?

I'm sure Albert will explain it to me later.

Is there any news from Kabul?

Nothing... Nothing reliable. The mails are uncommon slow.

When you do get word, I want to know. Immediately.

I hope you don't mind being outside, Duke.

A soldier is used to marching in cold weather, Ma'am.

I have asked you here, because...

I want to know how things are in Afghanistan.

About as bad as they can be, Ma'am.

Macnaghten, the envoy, hacked to pieces by Afghans in Kabul.

And that fool Elphinstone, instead of getting the hell out of there, dithered until the snows came in.

, men we had in Kabul.

Let's hope they get home safely.

It sounds like a defeat.

No-one wants to call it that, but yes, Ma'am, that's what it is.

Afghanistan is a wretched, Godforsaken place.

Nothing but rocks and sand and tribesmen who fight like tigers.

We should have left well alone.

Thank you, Duke... for being so candid with me.

It's an old man's privilege. And you should know the worst.

If the army don't make it back, the country will look to you, Ma'am, for direction.

I will be ready, Duke.

No, thank you.

Papa?

Ah, good.

Why didn't you tell me Macnaghten had been hacked to death in Kabul?

Myself and Peel did not think it necessary until we had hard evidence and a plan to retaliate.

How thoughtful of you(!)

You have no right to decide what I should or should not know.

I saw no reason to upset you without the facts, Victoria.

I am the sovereign of this country, Albert.

It is not your decision to make.

His Majesty, The King of the Belgians, His Grand Ducal Highness, the Duke of Saxe-Coburg...

- Dash.
- .. and his Serene Highness,

Prince Ernest.

Oh, my dear Victoria... how well you look.

Motherhood suits you.

Now you will be distracted by those nursery duties so dear to women's hearts,

I hope to help dear Albert with the burden he must be facing.

I am sure he will appreciate your help on the Sanitation Commission, Uncle, while I attend to affairs of state.

I don't spend all my time in the nursery.

Ah...

Ah.

Oh, she has the family chin.

It is a pity she's only a girl, Albert.

But plenty of time, eh?

A fine young couple like you, I expect a grandson by Christmas.

Huh.

She is a delightful baby and almost as beautiful as her mother.

- Thank you for bringing Eos.
- He missed you, so very much.

I have missed him, too.

Dash!

Harriet was always so good with Dash.

Perhaps it is a Whig talent, Ma'am.

We have a new Mistress of the Robes, sir.

So it seems.

What happened to the last one?

She went back to her husband, sir.

You know, I am most surprised by this soup. What's this?

I believe it is a prune, sir.

A prune? They put prunes in a soup?

Cock-a-leekie soup. A fine Scottish recipe.

My late husband always swore by it when he had an attack of the gout.

So this is not a soup but a medicine?

- That would explain the taste.
- Oh!

Gott im Himmel!

A cockscomb. Give it a good chew, Ma'am.

Nothing quite like it for women at our time of life.

What was the name of our old chef, Lehzen?

Mr Francatelli, Majesty.

Please tell Mr Francatelli I would like him to return.

Yes, Majesty.

Another decision made in my absence.

Has there been some upset?

I detect that all is not well between Victoria and Albert.

Did you have to leave dinner so abruptly?

I couldn't bear to sit there for a moment longer.

- Evidently!
- All I can think about, Albert, is the one man I thought I could trust -- my husband -- has deceived me.

Deceived you? No. No, no.

There was no deception. I merely tried to shelter you from something

I thought you would find distressing.

I do not need your shelter, Albert!

- You have completely undermined me!
- Victoria, please.

Lord Melbourne treated me as an equal, not as some child to be protected from unpleasantness.

If Lord Melbourne and Palmerston had not interfered in Afghanistan in the first place, this debacle might never have happened!

I think you are tired. I think your mother was right.

- You should have rested for longer.
- I am not tired, Albert, I am angry!

Perhaps I should sleep in my own quarters tonight.

Hopefully, by the morning you will have recovered your reason.

Kinderspiel. Like gutting the Christmas goose.

Well I have too many battles to fight.

So... Victoria?

She has changed so much since the baby.

I do not recognise her.

She's angry with me for not telling her the truth about the atrocities in Kabul.

But I only wanted to give her time with the baby.

Respite from her position.

Perhaps Victoria doesn't like you trying to do her job.

- I was only trying to help.
- Of course.

But Victoria might think that you are trying... to control her.

Shall we?

Thank you, Ernest.

You know, I think you will make a very good husband one day.

Not much chance of that.

Unless, of course, the Duchess of Buccleuch is a widow.

Your Majesty.

Sir Robert asked me to give you the Army List, Ma'am.

In case you wanted to make any more amendments.

Mr Drummond?

Yes, Ma'am?

Is there any news of General Elphinstone's army?

Of my troops?

Not to my knowledge, Ma'am.

But if there IS news, I want to be the first to know, however bad!

Do you understand, Mr Drummond?

I do, Ma'am.

Drummond.

Ma'am. We should discuss the order of ceremony for the christening.

I thought that motherhood would make her less difficult, but it has only made her worse.

Ah, Albert should give her another baby. Schnell.

My dear brother, there is no need for such coarseness.

But I think I shall not leave immediately after the christening.

I have such a happy knack of pouring oil on troubled waters.

But Victoria is a tempest.

Mm.

The Queen is not happy with the new chef.

- Do you know why Mr Francatelli left?
- I have no idea.


But you know where he has gone?

Then I would be grateful if you could tell him that the Queen would like him to return.

Oh, no, Baroness, I... I don't think I'm the best person to...

The Queen is relying on you, Mrs Skerrett.

Good morning, Mr Francatelli.

You look very well.

You know that Mrs Jenkins left. I am Chief Dresser now.

Did... Did you come here to tell me that?

Because, if so, I have a kitchen to run.

No...

I... I came here to ask you...

.. or, rather, to tell you that the Queen would like you to come back.

Back to the palace?

Well, er, you can tell Her Majesty...

.. that I wouldn't come back even if she paid me five times what I'm getting here.

Wait!

That day when you left...

.. I came to find you, to tell you that...

But I was too late.

Yes, Mrs Skerrett, you were.

An English princess would make all the difference in Berlin.

Prussia becomes more powerful every year and it is so important that it develops in the right way.

My daughter is not even weeks old!

I think that when she is of an age to marry she will have her own ideas.

Young ladies have a mind of their own, it is true.

But sometimes their elders know best.

It is entirely possible I won't have any more children... and the baby will one day be Victoria II.

Oh, nonsense.

Albert is my son and he will not neglect his duties.

Papa, please.

I am sure that you and Albert will give your country many princes and princesses.

Actually, Uncle Leopold, what my country needs right now is a queen...

.. not a brood mare.

I commend this child, Victoria Adelaide Mary Louisa...to the care of her sponsors.

Who answers for this child?

Dost thou renounce the devil and all his works, the vain pomp and glory of this world and the carnal desires of the flesh?

- I do.
- I do.

In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost, I baptise this child.

What a charming piece.

I'm glad you like it.

I composed it myself for the occasion.

You?

It is the Leaning Tower of London.

Or perhaps it is a tipsy cake, your Serene Highness.

Tis a pleasure to see you again, Duchess.

Er, may I present my husband, sir?

Your Serene Highness.

The Palace is not quite the same without your wife, Duke.

My wife is an ornament wherever she is.

If you'll excuse me.

Mm.

This is inedible.

Lehzen, when is Mr Francatelli coming back?

Unfortunately, Ma'am, he does not wish to leave his current position at the Reform Club.

My apologies, Sir Robert.

I thought you would want to know at once.

Excuse me, Duke.

You know, Ma'am, my eldest brother is on the committee at the Reform.

Lord Alfred, how many brothers do you have?

Oh... seven, Ma'am.

I could have a word with William if you'd like.

Oh, please. That would be very kind.

Excuse me, Ma'am.

I er... I hate to be the bearer of ill tidings on such a joyous occasion, but there is something I must tell you.

I'm sorry to say that the worst has happened in Afghanistan.

Despite being guaranteed safe passage, the remainder of the column was ambushed near a village called Gandamak -- and annihilated.

, men left Kabul.

There is only one survivor, a Dr Brydon.

Despite being wounded, he managed somehow to make it across the border to our garrison in Jalalabad.

miles through hostile territory.

He's just arrived in London.

I must see him... at once.

One of the Gilzais took a swing at me with his blade, but he got the Blackwood's Magazine I'd stuffed in my hat, instead of my scalp. The paper had frozen solid.

Doesn't seem right that I should still be alive...

.. when so many decent men are dead.

You have been exceedingly brave, Dr Brydon...

.. and I thank you for coming here today.

We all thought about you, Ma'am, over there.

My friend, Captain Souter...

.. he was singing God Save The Queen when he...

.. when he was er...

I wish he was beside me now.

He would say... your picture does not do you justice, Ma'am.

Another petition came this morning, sir.

It's not me they should be writing to.

We had no business being in Afghanistan and now our brave soldiers have paid the price for the folly of...

.. Melbourne and Palmerston.

"Great game", indeed.

I see you have the papers.

A bad day for the country, Ma'am.

What a humiliation.

I am quite aware of that, Duchess.

Order!

Order!

Can the Prime Minister explain to the House how it is that the mighty British Army could be so humiliated at Gandamak?

I suggest that the real question should be, what were the British Army doing in Afghanistan in the first place?

A question the honourable gentleman knows can only be answered by HIS party.

Yes.

That's right! That's right!

- Why were we there?
- Shame on you.

Order!

We will try to play this down, but the country will know we have been defeated.

By tribesmen with barely a dozen muskets between 'em.

The mighty British Army, defeated by savages.

The army needs to be reformed.

It needs officers of ability, not breeding.

The uniform is impractical. My designs for the helmet would...

This is no time to quibble over helmets, Albert.

We need to do something splendid.

Sir Robert, I read in the order papers that HMS Trafalgar is to be commissioned tomorrow.

I have decided to attend.

Are you sure that's wise, Ma'am?

This is a time for the country to lick its wounds,

- not celebrate a famous victory.
- I must agree, Victoria.

Now is the time to attend to your family, not to parade yourself in public.

I'm sure you agree, Albert.

I do not think we should celebrate defeat.

And you, Duke? What do you think?

I think you're absolutely right, Ma'am.

Trafalgar was a great victory but it came after a defeat.

We must remind the nation that its army and navy are the best in the world.

Thank you, Duke.

Please make the arrangements.

Ma'am.

I will not be able to attend, Victoria.

I have a meeting of the Sanitation Commission.

As you wish... but I think the fighting spirit of this country is more important than... plumbing.

Your Royal Highness.

I thought you would be with the Queen.

As you can see, I am not.

Her expression.

It's as if she knows what I am thinking.

When the Queen was a little girl, maybe five years old, she said to me...

"I can see you're missing your home, Lehzen, and sometimes you want to cry, but I will make you happy again."

She was so young and yet so wise.

I had forgotten it.

Her Majesty the Queen!

Today... this becomes my ship.

It is called Trafalgar, after a great victory, when this country defeated a tyrant who threatened our very existence.

We have our travails now.

We have suffered a blow in Kabul.

Brave men have perished in the snows of the Khyber Pass.

We mourn their loss.

But, as a soldier's daughter...

.. I know this nation has the greatest armed forces in the world.

We will snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.

And the spirit of Trafalgar burns as bright now as it has ever done.

Nicely done, Ma'am, nicely done.

You know, Peel, I think little Vicky is doing her country proud.

They know their Queen is there when it counts.

It's disgusting in here, ladies. Do you think I can cook in a room like this?

Mr Francatelli, you came back!

These pots and pans are a disgrace, don't you think?

I want them scrubbed...so you can see every one of your little pock marks in 'em.

- Excuse me.
- Oh.

Mrs Skerrett.

Thank you.

- Miss...
- Cleary, Ma'am.

The Chiswick Institute sent me -- about the junior dresser's position.

I expect she is dreaming of her future husband, the King of Prussia.

Well, that's just the start.

If Uncle Leopold would have his way, we would have a Coburg on every throne in Europe.

I don't want her to be a pawn in some dynastic game.

I want my daughter to be free to marry, as I did...

.. for love.

I'm sorry I was rude about your helmets.

They really are very practical...

But not very splendid.

No.

I just want to make things better, for now.

I know you do...

.. but you must remember this country has a past as well as a future.

Do you think our future might...

.. might involve more of this?

♪ Hallelujah

♪ Gloriana

♪ Hallelujah

♪ Gloriana

♪ Hallelujah

♪ Hallelujah