Season 01, Episode 02 – “Ladies in Waiting” With Lord Melbourne’s popularity in the house waning, the Tories eagerly await triumph. Victoria’s uncle, the Duke of Cumberland, sees a chance to prey on her vulnerability and establish a co-regency.
Season 01, Episode 03 – “Brocket Hall” King Leopold suggests that Victoria considers Prince Albert as a suitable consort, which results in the young queen being surrounded by suitors. She is determined to rule alone, leaving her uncle suspicious of her closeness to Melbourne.
Season 01, Episode 04 – “The Clockwork Prince” Victoria and Albert manage to offend each other within minutes of his arrival. Albert’s brother Ernest encourages him to flirt, but Albert is utterly humiliated by the situation. His unease around Victoria manifests as moody insolence, at least that’s how she interprets it when she complains to Melbourne. Secretly hoping to impress Albert, Victoria transports the household to Windsor, where the tension between Victoria, Melbourne and Albert escalates. As she grapples to understand her feelings she must ask herself whether she wants the flattery Melbourne has hitherto reassured her with, or if she is ready for the challenging truth which Albert represents. Below stairs, the Royal servants clash with the Coburg princes’ haughty valet Lohlein and a girl called Eliza turns up at the palace asking Skerrett for money and insinuating that she is not who she says she is.
Season 01, Episode 05 – “An Ordinary Woman” In the precious stolen moments before Albert leaves for Coburg, he asks Victoria to secure a title and settlement for him before they marry. Victoria however is more preoccupied with telling Melbourne of her engagement. In Coburg Albert fears for his future in England: husband to the most powerful woman in the world but without financial independence. Victoria meanwhile has let paranoia reign and has convinced herself that Albert only wants the money to support a mistress on the side. Melbourne finally gives Victoria the approval of her fiancé she’s been seeking and at last she and Albert confront their deepest fears about married life. Victoria says her last farewell to Melbourne before she and Albert nervously prepare for their
Season 01, Episode 06 – “The Queen’s Husband” With no real role in the household, Albert feels worthless and matters are made worse when the Duke of Sussex refuses to let him take precedence at dinner. Whilst a dejected Albert hopes that an heir might garner more respect, Victoria is determined to outmanoeuvre Sussex and give Albert the esteem he deserves. Below stairs, the servants gossip over when to expect the first Royal baby and Skerrett faces a dilemma when the only person who can save her cousin and small child from imminent death is the person she trusts the least – Francatelli. Albert has his own ideas about how to make himself valuable—he decides to open the anti-slavery convention and nervously prepares his speech.
Season 01, Episode 07 – “The Engine of Change” Victoria’s pregnancy raises the sticky topic of a Regency. When Victoria names Albert as the head of state in case of her death, the Tories are outraged by prospect of being ruled by a German prince. Albert however is still desperate to have more influence in the present. He proposes a trip to the rapidly industrialising North in an attempt to engage with the country at large. Far from the thrilling journey he anticipated, Albert is humiliated by his Tory hosts and confused by Victoria’s insensitivity. In this hostile environment Albert finds a kindred spirit in Sir Robert Peel and to his delight he invites Albert to visit his railway. Below stairs, Lohlein is subject to similar antagonism for being foreign and back at the palace, Francatelli and Skerrett are starting to fall in love.
Season 01, Episode 08 – “Young England” A heavily pregnant Victoria is frustrated by both Albert and her mother’s attempts to confine her to the Palace. Cumberland arrives in London, hoping that Victoria may die in childbirth, as he is still the heir Presumptive. Determined to show herself in public, Victoria goes for a drive and is accosted by an unhinged admirer, desperate to free her from her ‘German tyrant’. Whilst Victoria is taken aback, she is resolute that it will not frighten her and despite Albert’s misgiving, goes out again.