Hands up who watched Victoria on ITV over the weekend. Good wasn't it? Yep, ITV's newest big budget period drama Victoria has certainly gotten TV folk talking, and with 7 more episodes left to air, team InStyle are unashamedly hooked. Starring ex Doctor Who assistant Jenna Coleman as the young monarch, Victoria chronicles the queen's early years, from her accession to the throne at 18 through to her renowned relationship with her beloved Prince Albert.
So if, like us, you are all about Victoria right now, here are 7 reasons why you need to watch the show...
1. Daisy Goodwin
Victoria was created by British writer and producer Daisy Goodwin, who up until now has been famous for shows such as The Apprentice and Pulling. In Victoria — her screenwriting debut — Daisy wanted to reveal that there was much more to Victoria than the stern old monarch we read about in school. Daisy told the Radio Times:
'It’s very nice to spend some time with this young, effervescent, enthusiastic girl before she morphs into the Mother of Empire.'
It's basically not just for your mum.
2. Jenna Coleman
After three years playing Doctor Who's companion Clara in the BBC series, Jenna Coleman didn't wait long to get her teeth into a new blockbuster TV show, and in Victoria she positively shines. Allegedly beating back competition from the likes of Lily James, Cara Delevingne, Emilia Clarke and Chloë Grace Moretz for the title role, Jenna has had to learn the waltz and how to ride side saddle since accepting the part. Oh, and she had to wear blue contact lenses (her eyes are actually brown...)
3. Fun facts
Gone are the days when history was regarded as boring, in fact, these days we can't seem to get enough of it. Learning facts about otherwise stuffy historical moments has become prime water cooler fodder. For example, did you know that Queen Victoria was 4ft 11'? Also, her real name wasn't Victoria. Boom, we've become overnight Victoria nerds.
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4. Rufus Sewell
The piece of new Sunday night totty set to go head to head with Aidan Turner in Poldark (yes, they will be screening at the same time on Sunday 4th, expect one massive ratings battle), and a DILF that we don't mind admitting to, Rufus Sewell is one chap we don't mind flicking over to after Countryfile. Playing Victoria's first Prime Minister Lord Melbourne, Rufus catches the eye of the young queen and she in turn becomes a bit besotted. As are we. Aidan who?
5. Hair goals
Victoria was forward-thinking enough to realise that a young queen needs a good hairdo. Cue the plaited ringlet coiffed style seen on the young Victoria throughout the show.
6. For a queen, she's pretty relatable
Daisy Goodwin wanted to portray the young Victoria as more than just a queen; she also wanted to show a side to her that was very real, and very human.
'Just imagine what it was like to be this tiny teenager surrounded by a forest of old men telling her what to do,' she told the Radio Times. 'I have a teenage daughter, a bit younger than Victoria but also small. I had this vision of what it would be like if the nation was being ruled by my daughter – all those hormones in that tiny package! – and from that point, Victoria sprang into my head.'
7. The diaries
Daisy Goodwin used a collection of Queen Victoria's diaries as a resource for the show, and as a result, we've got quite a lot of saucy action to look forward to. According to the diaries, the queen enjoyed quite an active sex life with husband Albert (she did mother nine children), and we've yet to see this sizzling relationship to hit the screens. There is talk of a reference made to a mechanism that Albert installed on the side of the bed to lock them away from courtiers who might otherwise 'ruin the moment'. Crikey, we can't wait for that episode!
Catch Victoria at 9pm on Sundays, ITV.