Victoria.

Here we sort out the facts behind the fiction around this iconic historical figure.

Victoria, the major new drama series, which started on ITV Choice (123) on Wednesday 7 September at 20:00, is a riveting and ambitious eight‐part drama that tells the story of the first years of the monarch's reign, beginning with the Queen's accession in 1837 and following her first faltering steps from capricious, hormonal teenager with a weak grasp on her duties and responsibilities to her marriage to Albert.

The show is a saga of interlocking circles – the circuits of power in Buckingham Palace and Westminster, the intermarrying royal houses of Europe and the scandals of the below‐stairs palace staff. At the centre stands the new Queen – a spirited, passionate woman who must, somehow, become an enduring icon of stability and strength.
 
Here we sort out the facts behind the fiction around this iconic historical figure.

  • The name Victoria was unheard of in 1937. No one else was called Victoria, it was a made up name...the equivalent of calling herself Queen Beyoncé. Queen Victoria was originally called Alexandrina Victoria (after her mother whose middle name was Victorine). In a sense she chose her own name and thus the name of an era.
  • Dash the spaniel was truly Victoria's constant companion during her early years at Kensington Palace. The same spaniel, called Tori, also appears in the film Young Victoria.
  • So worried were her family about something happening to young Victoria, the heir to the throne, that she was not allowed to walk down the stairs at Kensington Palace without holding her governess' hand.
  • Victoria had never slept a single night alone until she became queen.
  • Victoria had about 150 dolls who were her companions growing up .
  • A special crown was commissioned for Victoria's coronation because the others were too big ... she was only 1,25 metres tall.
  • At Victoria's coronation the Archbishop forced the ring of state on the wrong finger and she was too brave to complain but had to ice it when she got home. Then she gave Dash a bath!
  • There was a huge amount of 'recycling' at the palace. Queen Victoria's gloves were worn once, sold onto minor aristocracy and then probably sold on again.
  • Royalty burnt beeswax candles, they were lit once and then the servants would collect them and sell them to the pickers. Poor people burnt tallow which was made from mutton fat and smelt terrible.
  • Victoria had to have a specially made throne because she was so small. In fact most things were subtly altered to accommodate her tiny frame.
  • Victoria was fluent in French and German and loved dancing and staying up late. She was a typical teenager.
  • Victoria and Albert played duets together, they were both very musical. Albert was a composer in his own right and wrote a number of symphonies and concertos and Victoria had a very good singing voice.