It stars Emily Blunt as the young queen - self-possessed, obstinate and true; Rupert Friend as her sensitive and loyal lover and husband. The movie was released in Pretoria in July and I am so pleased that I managed to find the time to see it on the big screen. The interiors of palaces are sumptuous backdrops to scenes of political and emotional manipulation as Victoria's scheming mother and her ambitious sidekick, John Conroy endeavour to intimidate the young Victoria. The beautifully laid out formal gardens make a wonderful backdrop for Queen Vic's chats with the charming Lord Melbourne (Paul Bettany) and her self-controlled trysts with Albert.
The match between the young Queen Victoria and Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg was a happy and fruitful one in all respects. They had nine children - four more than pictured in the portait above.
Albert died at just 42 leaving Victoria to carry on alone commanding her family and her Empire without her beloved husband. How refreshing that at least one British royal marriage was authentic. By the way it is not entirely a 'chick-flick'. Every man I've met who has viewed it has given it the thumbs up too.
Incidentally I am also reading Niall Ferguson's thought-provoking and meticulously researched history, entitled Empire, first published in 2003. Whether you live in the US, Australia, New Zealand, India or South Africa it makes for fascinating reading as he attempts to answer the question: How did an archipelago of rainy islands off the north-west coast of Europe come to rule the world? Now that can lead to endless discussion at a dinner table.