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Tara Ariano

S01.E06: The Queen's Husband

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10 hours ago, taurusrose said:

Wow.  I think that's unfair. I haven't seen any evidence that Albert thinks of Victoria as a "brood mare," and plenty of evidence that he desires her.   As for Ernest's motivation being spiteful, again, I disagree.  Lohlein appears to be an efficient and loyal valet.  Ernest is aware of Albert's difficulty fitting in and feeling at home in his new wife's kingdom.  I think Ernest is thinking more of Albert and giving him some sense of familiarity and comfort.  And honestly, given the time and place, why wouldn't he?  Albert is his beloved brother.  At any rate, I don't think Ernest was trying to be spiteful.  Also, not that it would have changed anything, but Lohlein didn't mention his girl until after Ernest told him he was staying.

I also think Albert loves Victoria very much.  He's just very quiet about it, and I think that's intentional.  He knows that Victoria is a monarch and must have a very public life full of royal obligations, but she is also his wife, and he does love her.  So, in their rare, truly private moments, I think he savors them in a quiet, smoldering sort of way.  I actually think it's quite romantic, and I don't get the sense that he sees her as a brood mare at all.  In fact, when he told her that abstinence was the only way that they could realistically postpone having children, he asked her if that's what she wanted.  If she had said yes, I think he would have honored that request and gone along with any potential ruse they might have had to develop in order to give her the year that she wanted.  I think that question represented a genuine gift that he would have given her to make her happy.

As far as Ernest goes, I do think there was an element of spite in making Lohlein remain in England. Albert had just seen Ernest in the presence of a married woman, and Albert is not dumb.  He knows that Ernest could easily get into trouble in this situation, so Albert nicely told his brother to leave.  Albert did it in a gentlemanly way, but there was no doubt in my mind that he was placing his weight as "The Queen's Husband" behind the request, and Ernest knew that.  The audience knows that Ernest has been happy in England, so I think he wanted someone else to feel a similar level of unhappiness.  Lohlein was a readily-available subordinate that fulfilled that purpose for Ernest.

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10 hours ago, blackwing said:

If that's what is going on, then Goodwin is doing an extremely poor job of making that point come across.  I still submit that she tells us all about these people because she thinks "the public" needs and wants that downstairs element.  I will acknowledge that there was a tie between those uprisers, one of whom was the nephew of the housekeeper, leading the housekeeper crying and moping, leading to Victoria pardoning the death sentence of the uprisers.  But that's about it.

Chiefly, there has been absolutely no explanation or reason for all the focus on the lady's maid prostitute.  Victoria isn't friends with her.  She's not a confidante.  She does Victoria's hair every so often, steals her used gloves, spends a lot of time with her friend's baby, and seems to constantly be talking to the Italian Cook.  That's it.  Why so much focus on her?

It's almost like the theme of this show is to have two point-of-view characters.  One is Queen Victoria.  A privileged young woman who dealt a fantastic station in life.  She is naive and innocent and is trying to learn her role.  The other is Lady's Maid Prostitute.  A former prostitute who is dealt an unfortunate station in life.  She is doing all she can to make her life better.  She sells gloves to make money because why shouldn't she take the opportunity.  She has a good position in the Queen's household and wants to help her poor prostitute friend who is saddled with a sick baby.  And she is innocent and trying to fend off the advances of this aggressive Italian Cook.  

Queen Victoria and Lady's Maid Prostitute (apologies, I still don't know her name).  Opposite ends of life.  But both are WOMEN, and women can overcome all challenges!

To that, I say, if that is the theme of this show... then EPIC FAILURE.   Epic of the most epic proportions.  Nothing will ever make me care about Lady's Maid Prostitute.

Now you've given me an idea for a show to pitch to ITV - Lady's Maid Prostitute.

She combs her lady's hair by day, and combs the streets by night

or

She works as the maid by day, and plays the maid by night.

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Ironically, the most realistic part of this episode had to do with Albert's secretary Anson giving him good advice on the Anti-Slavery speech. Yes, he'd originally been foisted on Albert against Albert's will but he DID early on prove to be a good ally (and a true friend) to Albert and it was good to see this depicted.

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ETA: Effective birth control wasn't introduced until 1960, before that it was a crapshoot with a whole lot of misinformation.  

Well, there was birth control for men. Reusable condoms made of sheep's bladders were used by Samuel Pepys (23 February 1633 – 26 May 1703). And aren't women sometimes told to use gravity in their favor when wanting to conceive?

It isn't necessarily that Victoria does not want children yet -- she mentioned fear of dying in child birth (though this apparently was a greater risk for poor women than rich http://www.victorian-era.org/victorian-era-pregnancy-childbirth.html).

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2 hours ago, smartymarty said:

Well, there was birth control for men. Reusable condoms made of sheep's bladders were used by Samuel Pepys (23 February 1633 – 26 May 1703). And aren't women sometimes told to use gravity in their favor when wanting to conceive?

It isn't necessarily that Victoria does not want children yet -- she mentioned fear of dying in child birth (though this apparently was a greater risk for poor women than rich 

That is true, but reusable condoms?  Ewwwwwwwwwwww!  Talk about unsanitary.  Sure, you might not get pregnant, but you could get some nasty, potentially life threatening (if not fertility threatening) infection.  And!  Don't forget, there was no penicillin.  Okay, I'm done now.  I was speaking from a woman's standpoint.  I have always taken "family planning" seriously and kept control in my hands since I would be the one stuck with an unwanted pregnancy, if the condom failed or the idiot forgot one.  And to your last point...well, tell that to all the rich women who died in childbirth.

Edited by taurusrose
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Victoria is still a young newlywed who is still in the honeymoon phase, has hardly even known her husband, wants to get to be with just him for awhile, and still has to worry about ruling a country.

It's hard to know her true motives, but as smartymarty points out, Victoria referenced the Princess Charlotte, who was the only daughter of George IV, and was married to Victoria's uncle, Leopold. She died in childbirth - otherwise she would have become Queen. Whether the danger of dying of childbirth is Victoria's main concern or whether she simply would prefer to spend more time with Albert before popping out kids is unclear.

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But now it seems like Victoria is merely just another courtesan, engaged in mindless silly feminine stuff all day long. 

That's . . . pretty much true. Victoria's "duties" are primarily signing things that Parliament has already put into effect, just to technically make them "official." Hence the documents that were brought to her, which she asked Albert to blot after signing them.

Modern royals devote most of their time to charitable causes but that trend was not yet adopted by royals in Victoria's time. So, much like other aristocratic women of her time, Victoria spent most of her day changing clothes and doing needlework or reading. She probably met with the prime minister once a week, if that.

Edited by iMonrey

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On 2/13/2017 at 2:56 PM, blackwing said:

I blame all of this on Daisy Goodwin.  If it were up to me, she should give 80% of her profits from her book and this show to Julian Fellowes.  She has clearly ripped off "Downton Abbey", as evidenced by her thoroughly disastrous misconception that there has to be a "downstairs" element to this show.  And I would have her give 15% of her profits to the makers of "The Crown".  The only reason why I deigned to watch this show in the first place was because of missing "Downton Abbey" and then having my interest in post-Tudor monarchy piqued by "The Crown".  Maybe Goodwin's work comes across better in her fictional novel than translated on the screen.  I could see the downstairs stuff reading better on paper.

I read "The American Heiress" ( www.amazon.com/American-Heiress-Novel-Daisy-Goodwin-ebook/dp/B004RCNS9C ) and I could barely get through it. Didn't even realize it was the same person doing the writing until now.

Edited by Atlanta

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BTW, that's Daisy Goodwin playing the Duchess of Inverness.  I was listening to a Masterpiece podcast interview of her and she mentioned playing that part.

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17 hours ago, iMonrey said:

Modern royals devote most of their time to charitable causes but that trend was not yet adopted by royals in Victoria's time.

Albert, due to his growing up in a very poor area, was well aware of the hardship of the working class. He introduced a lot of the charitable works of the royal family. You'll notice one of the first scenes we see him, he's out and about and notices the little poor girl on the street. I love Albert and I think the actor playing him captures the real one. They did truly love each other.

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On 2/13/2017 at 8:10 AM, scenicbyway said:

She knew they'd have to have kids eventually

That is her biggest job -- to ensure the succession of the throne. After you have the heirs lined up, then you can think about yourself. 

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On 2/15/2017 at 9:06 PM, ennui said:

That is her biggest job -- to ensure the succession of the throne. After you have the heirs lined up, then you can think about yourself. 

Exactly and especially after how many people had to die childless for Victoria to become queen her to have a heir was extremely important.  I also feel like her whole wanting to wait to have children is a very modern idea.  Obviously she had reasons to wish for the delay including the very valid fear of childbirth but it was important for the continuation of the monarchy that she not delay.  

I hope if this show continues to the point where her children are young adults that they become more of the secondary focus instead of the downstairs staff.

Edited by Nire
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On 2/13/2017 at 0:55 PM, taurusrose said:

In the series, they are indeed giving short shrift to the Duchess of Sutherland, shoving her into the background as merely a married lady-in-waiting to the queen who apparently doesn't mind spending little time with her husband and children.  You can read about the real person here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harriet_Sutherland-Leveson-Gower,_Duchess_of_Sutherland 

Interesting link, thanks for sharing!  I would watch a mini series about her life.

This was a note at the bottom of the article:  2. The surname Leveson-Gower is pronounced Leeson-Gore.

I laughed out loud at this.  Poor Prince Albert really had a hurdle with the unique, oft mind boggling pronunciation in English.  We do have four ways to pronounce ough, after all.

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On 2/13/2017 at 7:35 PM, gingerella said:

While I appreciate the gown and décor porn, I find it odd and perplexing that a show about Queen Victoria is so devoid of actual, you know, monarch work. I mean we saw at least two scenes where Victoria is painting or drawing, gossiping with her ladies in waiting. Doesn't she have actual ruling to be doing? Where is her current Prime Minister? Is Lord M still PM, and why would the PM stay away simply because the Queen is now married? Being married doesn't preclude doing her job as ruler of the British Monarchy, does it? It just all feels so fluffy, when so much happened under Victoria's rule. I enjoyed the mentions of international documents and issues that required her attending when she was working with Lord M. But now it seems like Victoria is merely just another courtesan, engaged in mindless silly feminine stuff all day long. It's a bizarre way to look at one of the greatest British monarchs to ever reign, unless there's something I'm just not getting here.

Other posters have addressed the ceremonial/paperwork aspect of her job description.  I'll add that we must remember there's no television, there's no radio... if you're lucky enough to actually have leisure time you do crafty stuff, you write letters, you take walks, you play music, you play cards... even if you work a 10 hour day, there's still plenty of time to fill.  

I like the way the relationship is unfolding.  Their relationship was a prime example of opposites attracting.  Victoria is known as deeply prudish figure (and Albert sanctimoniously straightlaced)... but they were famously ardent lovers.  She even put a plaque on their bed marking the first night they spent together in it (and the date he died in it).  He might have had a sullen resting face, but the man was obviously putting it down in bed.

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On ‎2‎/‎19‎/‎2017 at 1:42 AM, Nire said:

Exactly and especially after how many people had to die childless for Victoria to become queen her to have a heir was extremely important.  I also feel like her whole wanting to wait to have children is a very modern idea.  Obviously she had reasons to wish for the delay including the very valid fear of childbirth but it was important for the continuation of the monarchy that she not delay.

Yes, I was surprised that this episode threw in "I want to wait to have children" -- because her main job was to assure the line of succession by having more than one child.  Plus, as you note, this is a modern idea.  Especially in this century (and earlier), marriage equaled starting a family.  And multiple children were produced in all kinds of families (royal and commoner) because it was a fact of life than infant and child mortality was so very high.  One poster above noted that Diana had to endure pressure:  but not really, because she was pregnant in less than eight weeks after the wedding. 

What is amazing about these gorgeous gowns is that they seem to be in one scene, then gone.  The designer really has done a wonderful job choosing fabrics, colours, and styles for these dresses. 

I have many images from the second series filming, but will find a better thread to post the link. 

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Totes enjoying the reruns tonight, and as I sniffle at Ernest walking away from his Great Love, it occurs to me that there's probably a fanfic (or 20) about these two somewhere, so what the hell am I doing here, talking to an empty thread?

*hustles off to search engine the shit out of " Ernest & Harriet"*

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On 2/26/2017 at 9:44 PM, voiceover said:

Totes enjoying the reruns tonight, and as I sniffle at Ernest walking away from his Great Love, it occurs to me that there's probably a fanfic (or 20) about these two somewhere, so what the hell am I doing here, talking to an empty thread?

I had thought I heard there would be a little marathon but I couldn't find it on my PBS station. I'm bummed. I would have watched!

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3 hours ago, ennui said:

I had thought I heard there would be a little marathon but I couldn't find it on my PBS station. I'm bummed. I would have watched!

Oh no!! That sucks.  It was broadcast this past Sunday.  I'd've invited you over. ?

Check your local PBS on demand, maybe?

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Yes, I am traveling this week and the local PBS did a marathon of everything - the idea being they have one more ep to show, but with the Oscars on Sunday night they chose to hold the ep until next week.

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On 3/1/2017 at 5:17 PM, voiceover said:

Oh no!! That sucks.  It was broadcast this past Sunday.  I'd've invited you over. ?

Check your local PBS on demand, maybe?

They didn't show the marathon in the Bay Area. We got pledge programming all day Sunday. 

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On ‎13‎.‎2‎.‎2017 at 6:27 AM, taurusrose said:

ETA: Effective birth control wasn't introduced until 1960, before that it was a crapshoot with a whole lot of misinformation.  

That's true, but still there were methods and even if they might fail, the size of the family became generally smaller. In France it happened already after Napoleon's war as he introduced a new heritage law and the peasant didn't want to divide their farm. Also, the soldiers had learned those methods when they were single during the campaigns and used them at home. 

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On ‎13‎.‎2‎.‎2017 at 6:10 PM, scenicbyway said:

The constant "I want to be a father" nonsense was silly, you've been married literally 5 minutes, give it a few weeks for pete's sake.  I like that it showed Victoria just wanted him to herself for a while.  She knew they'd have to have kids eventually, but Albert was finally someone just for her on her side.  

 

On ‎16‎.‎2‎.‎2017 at 4:06 AM, ennui said:

That is her biggest job -- to ensure the succession of the throne. After you have the heirs lined up, then you can think about yourself. 

 

On ‎19‎.‎2‎.‎2017 at 11:42 AM, Nire said:

Exactly and especially after how many people had to die childless for Victoria to become queen her to have a heir was extremely important.  I also feel like her whole wanting to wait to have children is a very modern idea.  Obviously she had reasons to wish for the delay including the very valid fear of childbirth but it was important for the continuation of the monarchy that she not delay.  

 

On ‎27‎.‎2‎.‎2017 at 2:08 AM, jjj said:

Yes, I was surprised that this episode threw in "I want to wait to have children" -- because her main job was to assure the line of succession by having more than one child.  Plus, as you note, this is a modern idea.  Especially in this century (and earlier), marriage equaled starting a family.  And multiple children were produced in all kinds of families (royal and commoner) because it was a fact of life than infant and child mortality was so very high.  One poster above noted that Diana had to endure pressure:  but not really, because she was pregnant in less than eight weeks after the wedding. 

I agree Ennui, Nire and JJJ. Victoria's first duty as a soverereign was to birth a legitimate heir and preferably a spare. That's why the royals and arictocrats married for.

Evidently she didn't understand at all that if she didn't become pregnant during the first year, there would be first suspicions if something were amiss and then pressure under which it's more difficult to become pregnant.  

I admit only that the fear of dying in childbirth was real enough, but as for having Albert for herself, she didn't have to take care of their babies herself.

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8 hours ago, Roseanna said:

 

I admit only that the fear of dying in childbirth was real enough, but as for having Albert for herself, she didn't have to take care of their babies herself.

Exactly.  Amongst the aristocracy at that time, children were handed off to nannies and wet nurses almost immediately and saw their parents for no more than a few minutes each day, usually for a kiss goodnight and then off to the nursery.  In addition, once they reached school age, it was off to boarding school anyway with the child only home at the holidays and summer.  Neither Victoria nor Albert should have ever been thinking that they would be spending any appreciable time with their kids.  If anything, royal kids spent LESS time than most with their parents.

Even into the 20th century, this was the case, Queen Elizabeth went on months' long tours of the empire while Charles and Anne were very young.  There's a famous photo of young Charles shaking her hand in greeting when she returned.  Then, Charles was shipped off to boarding school as a preteen. 

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On ‎13‎.‎2‎.‎2017 at 6:10 PM, scenicbyway said:

The constant "I want to be a father" nonsense was silly, you've been married literally 5 minutes, give it a few weeks for pete's sake.  

As Albert was abandoned as a child by his mother, I think it was natural that he wanted to get his own family, especially as until then he would be lonely as a foreigner. 

 Also, Albert knew that his position wasn't secure until he had made Victoria pregnant. If they didn't succeed soon, there would talk and the blame would be put on Albert, a foreigner.

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Didn't Victoria's mother sleep in the same room/bed with her until Victoria married?

Albert understood as did Victoria their marriage was to producer heirs...bonus points for being in love with each other but definitely not a requirement.

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5 hours ago, humbleopinion said:

Didn't Victoria's mother sleep in the same room/bed with her until Victoria married?

No.  Victoria booted her ass and the Kensington rules as soon as she became queen.

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I had to chuckle when Victoria wanted to go see Albert's speech.  "I'm incognito".  Was nice that she let him have his victory on his own.  And loved how she solved the problem of getting Albert to walk her into dinner, by getting her uncle's wife a title so she could attend and be walked in by the uncle.

While the jumping up and down may have been urban legend, I was told when trying to get pregnant, to elevate my legs/butt above my body to let gravity help.  so I can see where the jumping up and down to try and avoid pregnancy could make sense.  Obviously Albert has very fast swimmers.

A bit surprised that the palace has such lousy cleaners.

So the chef we've been shown is just for desserts?  Again, plot we really don't need.

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Yes, of all the pre-Sanger birth control methods, I did not expect "jump on the sofa". I predicted the copper-coin method, which had some effectiveness. But I'm American and didn't learn royal lineage in school, otherwise I would have known that nothing useful would be suggested, since the first child was born ten months after the wedding.

And add me to the list of those who could do without all the Upstairs Downton nonsense.

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