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S02.E01: A Soldier's Daughter

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Episode Synopsis:

Picking up a month after the birth of her first child, the new series sees Queen Victoria surprise the court when she insists on returning to her duties as soon as possible. Having taken charge in her absence, adoring new father Albert decides not to trouble his wife with worrying news regarding the British soldiers in Afghanistan. However, as the reports worsen, Victoria grows increasingly suspicious that he and Prime Minister, Robert Peel, are hiding something from her. Determined to reclaim her place with characteristic impulsiveness, Victoria brings in the formidable Duchess of Buccleuch as her new Mistress of the Robes and demands that former chef, Francatelli, return to the palace kitchens. Meanwhile, Albert's family descend on the palace for the Christening of baby Vicky and their dynastic plotting only intensifies Victoria's sense of frustration. Convinced that the truth is being kept from her, Victoria seeks answers from the Duke of Wellington.

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I wish! It doesn't start out here in January but glad you are enjoying it. I keep rewatching season one to get my fix.

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O Ernst my Ernst!

You are more perfect than ever, which fills me with delight, and dread.  I open my parasol, and hold it over me & meine kind, waiting for the other shoe to drop on my favorite character.

So: the over/under on how long it takes Francatelli to figure out Nancy isn't a real "Mrs"?  Soon, please.  He's even worse as a grouch.

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The post-delivery “purification” was just so demeaning (so what was the “dirtier” part ,the delivery or the sex?).  When did the church stop doing that?

Edited by PRgal
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Can someone please refresh my memory of 19th century kitchens? I had the impression that Francatelli was the pastry chef. If so, he would not be responsible for soup.

How cold were those rooms? The episode was in the winter, but ladies were wearing low cut dresses without shawls. Could a fireplace really keep a room warm enough? Or was the cold just something a lady learned to endure, like the corset?

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How could anyone possibly choose Albert over Lord M??????  I fear if I were Victoria, I would simply have to command Lord M to marry me--even if he was old enough to be my father.  He was gorgeous, smart, charming, and sexy, and he respected her intelligence.  What a man!

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38 minutes ago, PRgal said:

The post-delivery “purification” was just so demeaning (so what was the “dirtier” part ,the delivery or the sex?).  When did the church stop doing that?

I’m not sure when the Anglican Church stopped doing that.  As I am Anglican, I can tell you that I’ve  never heard of this custom.  Never heard any of my Catholic friends mention that they had to do this.  The New Testament mentions that Mary had her purification after the birth of Jesus.  As an observant Jewish woman, she was required to immerse herself in a mikvah after each menstrual period was over and there was also a prescribed time after birth to perform this ritual. That would be the origin of it.

Lord M was so dreamy.  I think Rufus Sewell should keep wearing his Lord M gear!

Edited by Arwen Evenstar
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Wait when did Skeritt become a "Mrs?" 

I know that people are gaga over Lord M but I prefer Albert. Besides Tom Hughes looking extra yummy this season, him and Victoria are perfect for eachother. Albert's dad is such a douchebag.

That soldier's story was so sad. And the Dutchess is absolutely cringeworthy. I wonder why Victoria picked her without meeting her beforehand- I'm guessing to piss Peel off?

Edited by twoods
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Thank you! I was wondering when she got married and why her name hadn't changed. All these formalities, which the worst being Victoria needing to go to church to get rid of demons before she can be seen in public.

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? I Love little Dash.  He was like, “Oh! We’re riding? Wait for me!”

Yes, that churching ritual was demeaning and antiquated. I don’t blame Victoria for being resentful. Everyone was being so sickening. 

Still, I love Victoria and Albert together.  I love their passion for each other and I love them butting heads as they find their groove.

Still not interested in the kitchen people, so why are they dragging in some riff-raff off the street?

Edited by taurusrose
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Are they intending to keep on with this show for the entire reign of Victoria?

I was glad to see all my favorite characters again.  Like Francotelli who I had thought to be gone for good - I know his real life counterpart never returned.  But I am rooting for him and "Mrs" Skerritt.

And Ernst.  They had a funny and charming behind the scenes look after the episode and they showed how they did the piano playing scenes. David Oakes is not exactly a piano virtuoso in real life, ha!

Lord M. being leached and feeling weak does not bode well, does it?

As for Victoria and Albert, 

Spoiler

sadly it's always in the back of my mind that Victoria lost him far too young and really never got over his loss.

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6 hours ago, twoods said:

Wait when did Skeritt become a "Mrs?" 

I know that people are gaga over Lord M but I prefer Albert. Besides Tom Hughes looking extra yummy this season, him and Victoria are perfect for eachother. Albert's dad is such a douchebag.

That soldier's story was so sad. And the Dutchess is absolutely cringeworthy. I wonder why Victoria picked her without meeting her beforehand- I'm guessing to piss Peel off?

The Duchess was on the list of Ladies approved by the Conservative Party, which was then in power, and why Peel was the PM.  The household ladies are female relatives of the ministers of the party in power.  Which is why the Bedchamber Crisis, a few years earlier, was such a big deal.

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I love the scene where're Victoria goes off to pay an unexpected visit to Lord M. The horses and the uniforms are wonderfully depicted. That first shot of the two black steeds trotting in unison pulling the carriage was stunning. 

I was surprised to see that Lord M had a Venus Fly Trap in his Greenhouse. They are rare and usually only found in South Eastern NC. It was neat he "fed" it a fly so that Victoria could see how it worked. 

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I'm going to have to watch again because I swear the channel I watched did not show a scene with Lord M and I certainly would not have forgotten seeing yummy Rufus Sewell.  (I was excited to see his name in the opening credits.)  Oh bother.  (The scene wasn't in the second hour, was it?  I haven't watched that yet.)

I learned from Downton Abbey that women in management household positions are referred to as Mrs, whether they are married or not.  Francatelli knows this and was sneering at her choosing career advancement over him.  

Speaking of antiquated sexist ideas, the purifying scene was appalling.  Men are so squeamish.

I keep waiting for David Oakes to do something cruel or underhanded.  I'm not used to seeing him as a nice guy.  Same worries about Olenna Tyrell the Duchess.

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Speaking of antiquated sexist ideas, the purifying scene was appalling.  Men are so squeamish.

For those interested in the whole churching thing, I found this.  I had no idea this ever went on and, according to this, was practiced in the Catholic church until the 1960's!  

8 hours ago, CarpeDiem54 said:

Not to mention being told she should stay in bed for a month or two, and when she refused, hauling her around the Palace in a wheelchair.  How revolting!

Postpartum care has changed radically in just the past 50 years.  When I was born in the 50's, mothers spent a full week in the hospital, mostly on bedrest.  When I was in nursing school in the 70's, they were still in for at least 3 days and learned all kinds of child care (we taught bathing, diapering, etc.) and the babies were in the nursery at night so the moms could sleep. 

Fast forward to today where they pop out the kid and head for home.

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3 minutes ago, PRgal said:

Though people now complain that 24-36 (sometimes fewer than 24) hours isn't long enough. 

It's not!  Childbirth is really tough work and hard on the body.  I know young moms are enamored of their new babies but the don't realize that in the next several months they are not going to get a full night's sleep.  They really ought to take advantage of what little time they have in the hospital to nap a bit.

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1 hour ago, Kohola3 said:

For those interested in the whole churching thing, I found this.  I had no idea this ever went on and, according to this, was practiced in the Catholic church until the 1960's!  

Postpartum care has changed radically in just the past 50 years.  When I was born in the 50's, mothers spent a full week in the hospital, mostly on bedrest.  When I was in nursing school in the 70's, they were still in for at least 3 days and learned all kinds of child care (we taught bathing, diapering, etc.) and the babies were in the nursery at night so the moms could sleep. 

Fast forward to today where they pop out the kid and head for home.

Thanks for that churching link.

I, too, was born in the 50's and my mother was given ether and was deathly ill from it and didn't get to see me for three days.  She said "never again" and had my brother (in the late 50's) and sister (in the late 60's) without any anesthesia or painkillers.  She loved being in the hospital for a week, although she was ambulatory, to rest up before going home to 24/7 baby care and homemaking.

Sending mothers home within 24 hours is just wrong.  Geez!  Your body's just been through a traumatic experience, not to mention the emotional aspect.  There's got to be a happy medium.  Unfortunately, the insurance companies probably don't care.

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18 minutes ago, CarpeDiem54 said:

 

Sending mothers home within 24 hours is just wrong.  Geez!  Your body's just been through a traumatic experience, not to mention the emotional aspect.  There's got to be a happy medium.  Unfortunately, the insurance companies probably don't care.

No, the insurance companies won't care but a bit of rest and recuperation would help a Mother recover and may even stave off post partum depression.  When women go home so quickly they don't have time to get well rested and everyone wants to come visit and see the new baby. So there's pressure to care for the infant, get gussied up for company, get the house and nursery in order and goodness help her if she has other children at home to care for. I think that it is just a bit mean to put all this on a new mother especially if it's her first. 

Victoria was lucky to have all the help imaginable. 

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3 hours ago, Haleth said:

I keep waiting for David Oakes to do something cruel or underhanded.  I'm not used to seeing him as a nice guy.

Has nobody wondered why Ernst isn't married yet?

Spoiler

If I remember right the real life Ernst suffered from Syphilis. This is the tragic shoe I am waiting for to drop.  

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I was born in 1946.  I don't  know how long my mother was in the hospital but I seem to remember her mentioning a leg-dangling day - maybe even as late as a week after birth.  On another note - still childbirth related - when Charles was born, Philip was playing - I think squash - bad husband and father.  In that era fathers were not at the birth - they paced around waiting.  According to an interview I saw years ago with one of Philip's friends - there was a squash court at Buckingham Palace and that's where he was - instead of pacing the corridor,

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I still say that Jenna Coleman and Rufus Sewell should do some romantic historical drama together as lovers. Their chemistry is off the charts. 

It's great to see Lord M but I fear he isn't long for the world.  I still don't care about the downstairs characters. 

I liked the realistic conflict between Victoria and Albert. And I'm glad (so far) they are sticking to history because the heir (Albert Edward) was born not quite a year after his sister Victoria (baby Vicky---) Irish twins dontchaknow?

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Oh yeah, my mother was in the hospital for over a week with me, and they gave her this drug called twilight sleep while she was delivering me, she didn't remember any pain whatsoever. (In fact, she didn't even remember the delivery). I never heard the end of the wonderful stuff twilight sleep, because they didn't give it to her when she had my brother and sister, I think they just gave her a pain shot. My mom smoked and had cocktails throughout her pregnancies, hey, it was a little before the Mad Men Era.  My Dad just waited in the waiting room with his cigars to give to other men, anybody remember that tradition?

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3 hours ago, CarpeDiem54 said:

Thanks for that churching link.

I, too, was born in the 50's and my mother was given ether and was deathly ill from it and didn't get to see me for three days.  She said "never again" and had my brother (in the late 50's) and sister (in the late 60's) without any anesthesia or painkillers.  She loved being in the hospital for a week, although she was ambulatory, to rest up before going home to 24/7 baby care and homemaking.

Sending mothers home within 24 hours is just wrong.  Geez!  Your body's just been through a traumatic experience, not to mention the emotional aspect.  There's got to be a happy medium.  Unfortunately, the insurance companies probably don't care.

Taking this to the Small Talk thread so we all don't derail the episode thread with our childbirth stories!

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The thing with the "churching" of women who've given birth says more about the church's attitude towards women more than a particular era IMO. And I find it hard to believe Victoria would have had to have been told about this or would have been surprised by it. 

After their conversation about arranging a suitable marriage for little Vicky I had to go look it up and, sure enough, she was in fact married off to the King of Prussia. She became the mother of German Emperor Wilhelm II.

Edited by iMonrey
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12 hours ago, Mindthinkr said:

I love the scene where're Victoria goes off to pay an unexpected visit to Lord M. The horses and the uniforms are wonderfully depicted. That first shot of the two black steeds trotting in unison pulling the carriage was stunning. 

It was stunning, wasn't it?   I called my daughter into the room to see them.  I also love Victoria's white riding horse.  I commented that the horses are the best part of this show!

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1 minute ago, elle said:

It was stunning, wasn't it?   I called my daughter into the room to see them.  I also love Victoria's white riding horse.  I commented that the horses are the best part of this show!

Great minds think alike. Even on the Crown and other shows that depict the nobility I live to see the horses, pomp and pageantry. 

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10 hours ago, babs j. said:

I was born in 1946.  I don't  know how long my mother was in the hospital but I seem to remember her mentioning a leg-dangling day - maybe even as late as a week after birth.  On another note - still childbirth related - when Charles was born, Philip was playing - I think squash - bad husband and father.  In that era fathers were not at the birth - they paced around waiting.  According to an interview I saw years ago with one of Philip's friends - there was a squash court at Buckingham Palace and that's where he was - instead of pacing the corridor,

They show Phillip playing squash while Elizabeth delivers on the Crown.   

Speaking of leg dangling, not that long ago, maybe as late as the 80s, people were not allowed out of bed right away after surgery.  I'm surprised more women didn't have pulmonary blood clots what with the prolonged bedrest and smoking while pregnant.

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1 minute ago, howiveaddict said:

I'm surprised more women didn't have pulmonary blood clots what with the prolonged bedrest and smoking while pregnant.

Actually a lot of them did.  But they attributed it to some sort of "complication of childbirth".

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On 1/14/2018 at 11:15 PM, PRgal said:

The post-delivery “purification” was just so demeaning (so what was the “dirtier” part ,the delivery or the sex?).  When did the church stop doing that?

That was revolting! A woman had to be cleansed of her sin? What sin? ? 

So glad to see hottie Ernst again. And Dash!

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7 hours ago, LittleIggy said:

A woman had to be cleansed of her sin? What sin?

Throughout the ages (even today in third world countries) anything having to do with women bleeding vaginally is considered unclean.  Obviously a male freak out thing....

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11 minutes ago, Kohola3 said:

Throughout the ages (even today in third world countries) anything having to do with women bleeding vaginally is considered unclean.  Obviously a male freak out thing....

This is true.  I was at a museum back in the fall, looking at Indigenous (Native Canadian) art.  There was at least one piece which could not be moved/touched by a woman who was on her period according to the artist's custom/culture.  And staff/curators had to be respectful of that.  

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Oddly enough African violets don't like to be touched by a woman on her period. This came from my grandmother many years ago. I never tested this theory, nor did I mess with the plants during that time of month. 

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Really enjoyed this first episode and very glad that this series is back.  I like the cast and the story a great deal and the sets are fantastic.  Liked the HMS Trafalgar a lot too.

It looks like they've upgraded the FX budget too from five cents to six cents...

Edited by benteen
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19 minutes ago, benteen said:

Really enjoyed this first episode and very glad that this series is back.  I like the cast and the story a great deal and the sets are fantastic.  Liked the HMS Trafalgar a lot too.

It looks like they've upgraded the FX budget too from five cents to six cents...

The costumes are wonderful as well. 

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So both The Crown and Victoria have a similar plotline: the man married to the Queen wants to be King. Though Albert is a lot more sweet and earnest than Philip and his smackable face. And both had problematic German-ish fathers, and an uncle/godfather type interested in them getting a leg up. 

And being interested in things like sanitation and upgrading the Army's uniforms is a pretty useful thing. I really do care less and less about the blow-stairs issues. I didn't watch a repeat of the first series, and with a couple of people it was: wait...who was that? Why do I care about them?

But all in all, an excellent return, and frankly, the series feels more sure of itself this time out (as does Victoria.)

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So both The Crown and Victoria have a similar plotline: the man married to the Queen wants to be King.

I really don't get the impression that either Albert or Philip want to be king. I do think both were more or less pushed into the marriages by their families and knew it would be somewhat emasculating being married to the Queen, but I think Albert saw opportunity to do good, so he was maybe a bit more ambitious in his role than Philip. Philip, on the other hand, did not except his wife to become Queen so soon, so when his military career was unexpectedly cut short he was at a loss for what to do with himself. Unlike Albert we don't really see him trying to accomplish anything in his position. All he seems to want is to run off with friends and have a good time. 

Also - and I don't know how realistic this is - but in Victoria's day, especially early on, I get the impression that the monarch still had a modicum of power. We see her consulting with her advisors and Lords on the regular and making decisions with them - like deciding to christen the Trafalgar. By Elizabeth's time the monarchy had become largely ceremonial. I believe Victoria was the last actual monarch with any vestige of real power left - which she eventually signed over to parliament later in her reign. So Albert maybe has more opportunity to ride some of that power than Philip ever did. 

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Albert wanted to useful and was very earnest in continuing to learn. He was an accomplished musician and was also artistic as well as academically gifted for a man of his time and social class.

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I agree with the posters of Albert vs Philip. "The Crown" writers show him as a bit useless with no ambition, but "Victoria" writers portray Albert and not just a loving husband father, but a smart and accomplished man who used his position to help causes like when he spoke to parliament. 

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I've never seen Albert as wanting to be king, even if that is how some of the other characters see him. He strikes me as an intelligent, accomplished, energetic person who is restless and frustrated with nothing to do and that the things he tries to do for Victoria are his well-meaning efforts to either reduce her stress/workload or because they are causes near and dear to his heart. I can understand why Victoria finds that frustrating at times, particularly his efforts to help her that leave her out of touch with what is going on, but I've never gotten a usurper vibe from him. 

Edited by Zella
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47 minutes ago, Zella said:

I've never seen Albert as wanting to be king, even if that is how some of the other characters see him. He strikes me as an intelligent, accomplished, energetic person who is restless and frustrated with nothing to do and that the things he tries to do for Victoria are his well-meaning efforts to either reduce her stress/workload or because they are causes near and dear to his heart. I can understand why Victoria finds that frustrating at times, particularly his efforts to help her that leave her out of touch with what is going on, but I've never gotten a usurper vibe from him. 

Albert seems to have less of an attitude than Philip!

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I haven't seen The Crown yet--am currently on what seems like the waitlist of infinity at my local library--but everything I've heard about Philip is that he and Albert are very different men! Truthfully, I'm not even the world's biggest Albert fan (I'm much more of a Lord Melbourne and Ernest girl), but I think the show has done a great job of making it clear that he is a good consort and husband. 

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On 1/15/2018 at 6:51 AM, Kohola3 said:

For those interested in the whole churching thing, I found this.  I had no idea this ever went on and, according to this, was practiced in the Catholic church until the 1960's!  

Thanks for link!  From what I could gather from the article, the purpose of churching was to bless the mother and give thanksgiving for the woman's survival of childbirth,  to purify her after her "Sin" to be allowed back into the church.  So, the show got this wrong? 

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 "The Crown" writers show him as a bit useless with no ambition, but "Victoria" writers portray Albert and not just a loving husband father, but a smart and accomplished man who used his position to help causes like when he spoke to parliament. 

To be fair to Philip, I'd say he did have ambition but it was all geared toward his naval career. I'm not sure what he could have done to better the lives of ordinary citizens the way Albert did. I'm not sure royalty today have much opportunity to do anything but put their name on things and sponsor charities. 

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