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S03.E08: The White Elephant

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6 minutes ago, Zella said:

One thing tracking down the script got me to thinking about too--because the time lapse isn't always very clear--is at this point Sophie has apparently been separated from her son for long stretches for going on three years after he was initially shipped off to boarding school. I hadn't realized it had been that long since the Duke made that decision. 

It would not be unreasonable to assume her son would be spending the rest of his education at boarding school, regardless of whether his dad is a jerk, simply because that was what was expected of young men of his class. 

So, though I still find it unbelievable as written and acted that she'd be so willing to abandon her son, I could see how theoretically she might think he is lost to her anyway simply because of the amount of time he'd been gone and the fact that wouldn't be changing any time soon. I don't really see that swaying her, but I can now see how she might try to talk herself into seeing it that way. 

I really hate that about the show, you have to Google whatever historical event that is happening in the background of the episode. The Great Exhibition was 1851. 

Yes for sure, I thought about that too, boarding school was standard regardless of how happy the family were. Sophie may not be seeing much of him regardless. 

I suppose another possibility is they run off together but given her links with the Queen she remains in contact with her son or keeps tabs on him. They can always re-unite later. I am not sure what the Queen or Sophie have in mind if I were Sophie I would keep living at the palace!

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2 minutes ago, Morlock said:

I am not sure what the Queen or Sophie have in mind if I were Sophie I would keep living at the palace!

Yes, the way the show is written with Victoria giving her an out, she actually has an attractive (albeit historically improbable) exit plan that doesn't involve Joseph. It's an option most women of her time and place would never have had. 

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1 hour ago, Zella said:

Yes, the way the show is written with Victoria giving her an out, she actually has an attractive (albeit historically improbable) exit plan that doesn't involve Joseph. It's an option most women of her time and place would never have had. 

That would be a good question that I don't think the show really answered. Did she fall in love with Joseph? Really fall in love? Or is because he's nice to her compared to the Duke. Sophie never really comes off as she wants to leave Court or her new life. If not for her husband being so horrible would she still have fallen in love with Joseph? Probably not. Victoria's offer basically solves her problem it gets her away from her husband. She won't have to fear being locked up from him again and she doesn't lose her son. 

Another thing that I wish they had brought up with Skerrett when it was clear she didn't want to leave that could also tie into Sophie. Neither Joseph nor Francatelli seem to realize is how much freedom being a Lady in Waiting to the Queen gives Nancy and Sophie. To both men their jobs are just a job. A stepping stone to somewhere else or something for now. Its different for the ladies because its an opportunity most women don't have. Nancy would have to find another way to stay employed in an era when there aren't a lot of jobs for women. Sophie would probably be left at home as many wives were. But they get to work for the Queen, be in the world more, attending balls, watching things going on at the top, to talk to politicians and foreign kings and spend every day with the Queen talking to her and talking to her and giving their opinions. They get to go along with her to France, Scotland and Ireland. These are things that most women in their time don't have and they know it. Especially Skerrett. Their love interests don't because they do have other options. Skerrett tried to explain but Francatelli didn't really understand. It could have added another depth to Sophie and Joseph like when he's talking about gold rushes. Does she really want to leave everything behind to pan for gold? Here she's a Lady in Waiting to the Queen she seems to enjoy. She gets to stay in the palace, talk to the Queen, be a part of that world. Does she really want to give it up? 

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7 hours ago, Morlock said:

Surely Sophie's lineage doesn't just get negated that easily?

Sophie didn't have any lineage.  She was the daughter of a wealthy merchant who was married off to gain a title.  The duke married her for the money.

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7 hours ago, Morlock said:

I really hate that about the show, you have to Google whatever historical event that is happening in the background of the episode. The Great Exhibition was in 1851.

 

what was an obscure historical lie, was the mention of the American Vice President being angry about how that steam thresher machine was being displayed.  In 1851, the Vice presidency was vacant. President Taylor had died under mysterious circumstances and Millard Filmore had taken over.

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Looking back on this season it seems to me that Ms. Goodwin is just using Victoria as an excuse to write about the men in Victoria's life. I don't recall that really being the case as much in the second season as compared to this and the first season. The first season seemed to me as an excuse to write about Melbourne and what a wonderful guy he is and of course Victoria would be half in love with him (age disparancy be dammed. Second season was very much about Ernst and Albert and their personal dramas with Francatelli and his romance. This season it was all about Palmerston and the idiot footman/duchess romance. With the unneeded drama of sister Feo's villainy. I tune in to this show to watch Victoria. I haven't watch Downton Abby and have no desire to so I didn't find much about the servant class to be interested in. if Ms Goodwin wants to write about the men in Victoria's life, say so, don't say its all about her and make her a side character in her own story. It would also be nice if Ms. Goodwin made even an attempt at being semi historically accurate instead of inventing characters and silly drama (the previously mentioned idiot footman story and the Feo drama).

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Kinda wished a little that Albert got to express his thoughts on the Sophie running off and Sophie’s abusive husband, as it seemed similar to Albert’s childhood story. Seems apparent to me that real life Albert blamed his father for driving his mother away, as shown by Albert naming his daughter Louisa, Victoria writing in her diary about how Albert expressed to her how sad he was about losing his mother, and giving Victoria his mother’s pin before he traveled back to Coburg before their wedding. But, the way this show has gone out of its way to make Albert look like an asshole in regard to women and children, probably better the show didn’t go there.

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11 minutes ago, Nolefan said:

Kinda wished a little that Albert got to express his thoughts on the Sophie running off and Sophie’s abusive husband, as it seemed similar to Albert’s childhood story. Seems apparent to me that real life Albert blamed his father for driving his mother away, as shown by Albert naming his daughter Louisa, Victoria writing in her diary about how Albert expressed to her how sad he was about losing his mother, and giving Victoria his mother’s pin before he traveled back to Coburg before their wedding. But, the way this show has gone out of its way to make Albert look like an asshole in regard to women and children, probably better the show didn’t go there.

That would also be an interesting take (though yeah this show isn't the one to do it since they seem to have a real ax to grind with Albert.) 

Really, based on what you've mentioned and the conversation Morlock and I were having last night on here, I think there could be a rather interesting, nuanced tale to unpack in this seemingly stereotypical story of the Duchess and the footman if it were in the hands of a better writer who was interested in telling that story rather than one who seems more invested in bland, superficial rehashings of this trope. 

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12 hours ago, Zella said:

Yes, the way the show is written with Victoria giving her an out, she actually has an attractive (albeit historically improbable) exit plan that doesn't involve Joseph. It's an option most women of her time and place would never have had. 

9 hours ago, andromeda331 said:

That would be a good question that I don't think the show really answered. Did she fall in love with Joseph? Really fall in love? Or is because he's nice to her compared to the Duke. Sophie never really comes off as she wants to leave Court or her new life. If not for her husband being so horrible would she still have fallen in love with Joseph? Probably not. Victoria's offer basically solves her problem it gets her away from her husband. She won't have to fear being locked up from him again and she doesn't lose her son. 

Another thing that I wish they had brought up with Skerrett when it was clear she didn't want to leave that could also tie into Sophie. Neither Joseph nor Francatelli seem to realize is how much freedom being a Lady in Waiting to the Queen gives Nancy and Sophie. To both men their jobs are just a job. A stepping stone to somewhere else or something for now. Its different for the ladies because its an opportunity most women don't have. Nancy would have to find another way to stay employed in an era when there aren't a lot of jobs for women. Sophie would probably be left at home as many wives were. But they get to work for the Queen, be in the world more, attending balls, watching things going on at the top, to talk to politicians and foreign kings and spend every day with the Queen talking to her and talking to her and giving their opinions. They get to go along with her to France, Scotland and Ireland. These are things that most women in their time don't have and they know it. Especially Skerrett. Their love interests don't because they do have other options. Skerrett tried to explain but Francatelli didn't really understand. It could have added another depth to Sophie and Joseph like when he's talking about gold rushes. Does she really want to leave everything behind to pan for gold? Here she's a Lady in Waiting to the Queen she seems to enjoy. She gets to stay in the palace, talk to the Queen, be a part of that world. Does she really want to give it up? 

I think Joseph is an escape for her more then anything and she enjoys his passion and attention. Perhaps If he goes to America and strikes it rich he could come back and win her over but I still doubt it. 

I can't see her living rough at the mercy of the climates and without any guarantee of success. Right now she can live in the palace under the queens protection and be very comfortable. She is very lucky that she was only locked in a room in the mental asylum and that they didn't start doing crazy tests and procedures on her! 

The he ladies in waiting do have great jobs for working class women of the time. I still wonder if Skeritt would have lived if she stayed working at the palace. I think Francatelli was mad for giving up his job there too. Chef for the queen is hard to beat.

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2 minutes ago, Morlock said:

The he ladies in waiting do have great jobs for working class women of the time. I still wonder if Skeritt would have lived if she stayed working at the palace. I think Francatelli was mad for giving up his job there too. Chef for the queen is hard to beat.

I feel like the male servants on the show have anachronistic 21st century attitudes about their positions. Because, yeah, being a servant of the queen was a pretty prestigious position for the time and really would have been the pinnacle of any sort of career in their fields, but they sort of act like it's the equivalent of a teenager working at Wal-Mart or McDonalds. 

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1 hour ago, Linderhill said:

Looking back on this season it seems to me that Ms. Goodwin is just using Victoria as an excuse to write about the men in Victoria's life. I don't recall that really being the case as much in the second season as compared to this and the first season. The first season seemed to me as an excuse to write about Melbourne and what a wonderful guy he is and of course Victoria would be half in love with him (age disparancy be dammed. Second season was very much about Ernst and Albert and their personal dramas with Francatelli and his romance. This season it was all about Palmerston and the idiot footman/duchess romance. With the unneeded drama of sister Feo's villainy. I tune in to this show to watch Victoria. I haven't watch Downton Abby and have no desire to so I didn't find much about the servant class to be interested in. if Ms Goodwin wants to write about the men in Victoria's life, say so, don't say its all about her and make her a side character in her own story. It would also be nice if Ms. Goodwin made even an attempt at being semi historically accurate instead of inventing characters and silly drama (the previously mentioned idiot footman story and the Feo drama).

I thought Lord M was interesting and crucial to the story. Victoria was new to it all and Lord M guided her. There was a romantic type element to it, they had an affection for each other. A bit of trivia there is a state in Australia called Victoria and the capital of that state is Melbourne. I have always found that interesting, you would think they would have named the capital Albert. It is a little like they cuckolded him really. 

The other men though I don't have an interest in. Lord P might be interesting enough if the show wasn't supposed to be about Victoria but even then I can just read about him on the internet. 

I think the way they portray Albert is quite harsh. From what I have read he really did want to do well for the English people. 

34 minutes ago, Zella said:

I feel like the male servants on the show have anachronistic 21st century attitudes about their positions. Because, yeah, being a servant of the queen was a pretty prestigious position for the time and really would have been the pinnacle of any sort of career in their fields, but they sort of act like it's the equivalent of a teenager working at Wal-Mart or McDonalds. 

In a time where most working class men did very physical jobs they might see it as an affront to their masculinity. Not sure how their pay compared to other harder jobs but they might feel a little silly and like they are playing nurse maid to grown adults. Which basically they are. 

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1 hour ago, Morlock said:

Not sure how their pay compared to other harder jobs but they might feel a little silly and like they are playing nurse maid to grown adults. Which basically they are. 

Reminds me of one of my favorite lines in the novel Lonesome Dove. 19th century former Texas Ranger Woodrow Call is very disturbed by a formerly upper class woman who used to have a servant to dress her. I dont remember his exact words but something along the line of there being something obviously wrong for someone to be a grown up who couldn't put on her own shoes. 😄

As always, I think it's a great point you have made. I'm sure a lot of working class men would have viewed it that way, but I dont know that they would have entered service either for that reason. 

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Yes, I think Sophie would be in for a rude awakening if she returned years later, expecting her son to be relieved to see her and she instead realized he despised her and actually looked on his father as "the good parent."

I'd also like to know what kind of life Sophie and Joseph thought they would have without being married. The Duke would never have given her a divorce, and in fact it was very difficult for women to get divorced in those days. So she'd basically still be the Duke's wife even if she ran off and she could never marry Joseph without becoming a bigamist. Did they not care? Even in the wild west of the 1800s they would have been given the side-eye living together without being married. 

These days we're so used to divorce on demand I'm not sure it occurred to anyone this couple could never legally be together, or what a stigma that would have been, even in the States. They could lie to everyone and pretend they were married but her precious son would certainly know better.

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Is anyone else disappointed that so little time was spent on the exhibition? 

The entire season was spent on the exhibition. If you mean more time spent actually seeing it, then no. What we did see looked pretty cheap. I know the show doesn't have a huge budget like an HBO show and we have to overlook a lot of sub-par CGI, but I'm not looking for the show to be more ambitious in that regard. 

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I don't know if we're supposed to believe that Joseph and Sophie are deeply in love, but if so, they've done a poor job of showing it.  Seemed more like a dangerous liaison than anything else, and poorly thought-out, just like his plan.  Not sure how he expects a Duchess to react on a punishing 6 month wagon-train across the country.  Sickness, heat, and Indian attacks might not be the adventure they'd hoped for. 

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3 hours ago, Linderhill said:

Looking back on this season it seems to me that Ms. Goodwin is just using Victoria as an excuse to write about the men in Victoria's life. I don't recall that really being the case as much in the second season as compared to this and the first season. The first season seemed to me as an excuse to write about Melbourne and what a wonderful guy he is and of course Victoria would be half in love with him (age disparancy be dammed. Second season was very much about Ernst and Albert and their personal dramas with Francatelli and his romance. This season it was all about Palmerston and the idiot footman/duchess romance. With the unneeded drama of sister Feo's villainy. I tune in to this show to watch Victoria. I haven't watch Downton Abby and have no desire to so I didn't find much about the servant class to be interested in. if Ms Goodwin wants to write about the men in Victoria's life, say so, don't say its all about her and make her a side character in her own story. It would also be nice if Ms. Goodwin made even an attempt at being semi historically accurate instead of inventing characters and silly drama (the previously mentioned idiot footman story and the Feo drama).

And if you read Ms. Goodwin novel “Victoria” it is even more evident, as the book seems to delve more into Lord Melbourne’s feelings than it does Victoria’s. I am 95 percent sure after reading the novel that Ms. Goodwin’s original plan was to “reveal” the unknown love affair between Victoria and Lord M — her version of Mrs. Brown — but when ITV and Masterpiece agreed to green light the series, they told Ms. Goodwin the show would have to be about the early life of Victoria. Then Ms. Goodwin got “stuck” writing about Albert instead of Lord M, her dream man.

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10 minutes ago, Razzberry said:

I don't know if we're supposed to believe that Joseph and Sophie are deeply in love, but if so, they've done a poor job of showing it.  Seemed more like a dangerous liaison than anything else, and poorly thought-out, just like his plan.  Not sure how he expects a Duchess to react on a punishing 6 month wagon-train across the country.  Sickness, heat, and Indian attacks might not be the adventure they'd hoped for. 

I was wondering what Joseph did with all the money that he shook down the prior Duke for? He mentioned something about owning a horse? Is that what he spent his money on? The guy seems more and more like an idiot the more I think about it.

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On 3/5/2019 at 1:00 AM, LittleIggy said:

If there is another season, they should have Lord Melbourne return as a ghost who advises Victoria. Anything to get Rufus Sewell back! 😏

Holding a seance was very Victoria-era thing to do 🙂 Read somewhere that Victoria participated in seances to speak to Albert and that John Brown got into Victoria’s good graces because he acted like Albert was speaking through him (and that John Brown knew a lot about Albert because he was Albert’s hunting guide for 13 years). And that Victoria’s diary was scrubbed of the John Brown stuff because the Royal Family did not want the public to know that Victoria was conned by John Brown this way.

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Isn't Sophie's position as Mistress of the Robes dependent upon which political party is leading Parliament at the time?  The Queen's Court changes if a new PM is named.  I'm wondering if the Queen's offer of an apartment for Sophie and her child will supercede the political aspect.

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2 hours ago, Zella said:

Reminds me of one of my favorite lines in the novel Lonesome Dove. 19th century former Texas Ranger Woodrow Call is very disturbed by a formerly upper class woman who used to have a servant to dress her. I dont remember his exact words but something along the line of there being something obviously wrong for someone to be a grown up who couldn't put on her own shoes. 😄

As always, I think it's a great point you have made. I'm sure a lot of working class men would have viewed it that way, but I dont know that they would have entered service either for that reason. 

The amount of scrutiny that the upper classes were under was quite amazing really. There was always someone around somewhere and although I understand the dresses they wore were complex, the men also had dressers. I wonder sometimes if it was just about being pompous and also keeping the riff raff employed. 

I do wonder how they became employed in the service roles, if they just lacked skills in anything else or it was some kind of hereditary thing where because your father was a footman you become a footman?

2 hours ago, iMonrey said:

I'd also like to know what kind of life Sophie and Joseph thought they would have without being married. The Duke would never have given her a divorce, and in fact it was very difficult for women to get divorced in those days. So she'd basically still be the Duke's wife even if she ran off and she could never marry Joseph without becoming a bigamist. Did they not care? Even in the wild west of the 1800s they would have been given the side-eye living together without being married. 

These days we're so used to divorce on demand I'm not sure it occurred to anyone this couple could never legally be together, or what a stigma that would have been, even in the States. They could lie to everyone and pretend they were married but her precious son would certainly know better.

The entire season was spent on the exhibition. If you mean more time spent actually seeing it, then no. What we did see looked pretty cheap. I know the show doesn't have a huge budget like an HBO show and we have to overlook a lot of sub-par CGI, but I'm not looking for the show to be more ambitious in that regard. 

I can see the Duke being paid off by the Queen basically. Maybe it didn't work like that in reality but in the show it would be perfect. He gets paid off and divorces Sophie, some kind of bullshit to save him face and that is it. 

Maybe I am very wrong but I am guessing that back then records were sketchy and once in America they could just say they are married or get married once over there. People changed their names frequently back then. I think it would be pretty easy. 

Not more time seeing it as in the exhibitions but there were some interesting people who attended it. Given the build up and amount of focus on setting it all up it seemed once it was shown it was over. A let down really. 

2 hours ago, Razzberry said:

I don't know if we're supposed to believe that Joseph and Sophie are deeply in love, but if so, they've done a poor job of showing it.  Seemed more like a dangerous liaison than anything else, and poorly thought-out, just like his plan.  Not sure how he expects a Duchess to react on a punishing 6 month wagon-train across the country.  Sickness, heat, and Indian attacks might not be the adventure they'd hoped for. 

I agree. Until she was locked up he didn't seem like he cared about her beyond sex and a mild crush. Even then, perhaps due to his poor acting he sounded more like he was faking his emotions for the sake of appearances. Very poorly thought out!

It would be hilarious to see but I doubt she would cope or see it as an adventure. I think the cruise over there in pauper class would be enough to make her jump overboard!

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The amount of scrutiny that the upper classes were under was quite amazing really. There was always someone around somewhere and although I understand the dresses they wore were complex, the men also had dressers. I wonder sometimes if it was just about being pompous and also keeping the riff raff employed. 

The kind of clothes they wore required someone to help lace things up in the back, especially with the women's garments. It took a long time to get dressed in those days.

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Maybe I am very wrong but I am guessing that back then records were sketchy and once in America they could just say they are married or get married once over there. People changed their names frequently back then. I think it would be pretty easy. 

Things weren't altogether primitive in the 1850s in the Americas. They had regular post mail from the continent and while it took longer there were ways of checking someone's references. 

Like I said - sure, they could assume false names and identities (although they'd have to pay to get onto a ship that way) but at some point Sophie is going to want to see her son again. I don't know how he's going to feel about his mother committing bigamy under an assumed identity.

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14 minutes ago, iMonrey said:

Like I said - sure, they could assume false names and identities (although they'd have to pay to get onto a ship that way) but at some point Sophie is going to want to see her son again. I don't know how he's going to feel about his mother committing bigamy under an assumed identity.

I wonder if the son even cares about mother or what the son has been told about her by his father. I can see the Duke poisoning his mind against her. I think bigamy would be the least of his concerns in the end. I think with the Queen on side if they wanted to she would arrange son and all to sail to America even with some funds to help set them up. It would be a convenient side story for the writers anyway. 

I think the Queen could also just pay the Duke off in exchange for him granting Sophie a divorce. The Duke seems terrified of Victoria anyway. 

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3 hours ago, Nolefan said:

I was wondering what Joseph did with all the money that he shook down the prior Duke for? He mentioned something about owning a horse? Is that what he spent his money on? The guy seems more and more like an idiot the more I think about it.

This guy really belongs on the 19th century British version of the Dumbest Criminals list. He blackmails a duke but still ends up having to go back into a life of service that he hates. . . . 

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2 hours ago, Morlock said:

I do wonder how they became employed in the service roles, if they just lacked skills in anything else or it was some kind of hereditary thing where because your father was a footman you become a footman?

I think "lacked skills in anything else" is inaccurate. There's nothing wrong with being in a service role if that's what you want to do. A lot of people felt serving the aristocracy/monarch was a high achievement. And the head housekeepers and chefs and those roles called for a lot of skills: management of money, people, equipment; logistics, etc.

As for hereditary, I think it as on an informal basis, in that your family member could find you a job through his/her network. Nepotism can work anywhere.

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34 minutes ago, dubbel zout said:

I think "lacked skills in anything else" is inaccurate. There's nothing wrong with being in a service role if that's what you want to do. A lot of people felt serving the aristocracy/monarch was a high achievement. And the head housekeepers and chefs and those roles called for a lot of skills: management of money, people, equipment; logistics, etc.

As for hereditary, I think it as on an informal basis, in that your family member could find you a job through his/her network. Nepotism can work anywhere.

At a time when there were men who could make things from iron and steel and all kinds of other items were made by hand I would say standing around until something was required of you would be on the lower end of things. 

I wasn't counting Chefs in the service role as that required skills. I am thinking more the people who seemed to be on standby quite a bit. Still would have been a comfy job by the standards of the era though. 

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9 hours ago, Razzberry said:

I don't know if we're supposed to believe that Joseph and Sophie are deeply in love, but if so, they've done a poor job of showing it.  Seemed more like a dangerous liaison than anything else, and poorly thought-out, just like his plan.  Not sure how he expects a Duchess to react on a punishing 6 month wagon-train across the country.  Sickness, heat, and Indian attacks might not be the adventure they'd hoped for. 

I really don't know either. The whole storyline is poorly planned out. If their in love its hard to tell. Sophie has never said anything about wanting to leave or hate her life just her horrible husband. We've never seen laying around talking about dreams or really anything. Joseph seems to think its no problem for her to leave her son. Ah, if he really knew her and was in love with her wouldn't he understand that? Joseph did the same thing before with a Duchess but got paid for it. But now is completely different. Why? So much of it is looks and both being stupid which makes it even harder to root for. Sleeping together at ball that her husband is at? She somehow doesn't know that she could lose her son until someone tells her. Really Sophie? What about your husband made you think that wasn't a possibility? She somehow never heard any stories of that despite it being very common? It makes no sense.

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12 hours ago, Nolefan said:

Kinda wished a little that Albert got to express his thoughts on the Sophie running off and Sophie’s abusive husband, as it seemed similar to Albert’s childhood story. Seems apparent to me that real life Albert blamed his father for driving his mother away, as shown by Albert naming his daughter Louisa, Victoria writing in her diary about how Albert expressed to her how sad he was about losing his mother, and giving Victoria his mother’s pin before he traveled back to Coburg before their wedding. But, the way this show has gone out of its way to make Albert look like an asshole in regard to women and children, probably better the show didn’t go there.

I really wish they had too. It would have tied into his own background since he was the child in a similar situation. His mother having an affair but it was only after years of her husband's affairs, neglect and crappy treatment of her. She got caught and was forced to leave. He's been sympathetic to Sophie. It could have interesting if it had been brought up. 

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9 hours ago, Nolefan said:

I was wondering what Joseph did with all the money that he shook down the prior Duke for? He mentioned something about owning a horse? Is that what he spent his money on? The guy seems more and more like an idiot the more I think about it.

That's a good question. He had all that money and decided to blow it on a horse? And remain a servant? Instead of doing something with it? Like starting a business, buying land, leaving town, leaving the country, living it up, etc? He just goes onto be a footman? How stupid is he?  

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I have watched all of these and had no idea Joseph came into money by blackmail. Shows you how much I paid attention to that storyline. 

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At a time when there were men who could make things from iron and steel and all kinds of other items were made by hand I would say standing around until something was required of you would be on the lower end of things. 

Prior to the industrial revolution, any job in service was considered a very good job. You had room and board and three square meals a day, and that was a lot more than most people had in those days. It wasn't until after the industrial revolution that a job in service became less desirable. Factories and shops offered vacation time and better working hours.

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I have watched all of these and had no idea Joseph came into money by blackmail. Shows you how much I paid attention to that storyline. 

He never explicitly said he blackmailed anyone. He said a Duke had paid him off to leave his wife alone. So he had been in a similar situation before this and that's what happened. He took the money and left. It's possible the Duke simply found out about the affair and approached him with an offer - no blackmail involved. The fact that Joseph was in a very similar situation before this, though, does make him look hella sketchy.

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On 3/4/2019 at 11:00 PM, LittleIggy said:

If there is another season, they should have Lord Melbourne return as a ghost who advises Victoria. Anything to get Rufus Sewell back! 😏

And have Ernst move to England and be in most scenes so we can enjoy David Oakes.  Hey, that's as believable as the Feo storyline.

On 3/5/2019 at 12:53 AM, CousinAmy said:

I don't mind so much that Queen Vic kept her girlish figure, but didn't she have internal damage from having given birth so many times? Or did that happen after the last two? 

Her doctor apparently told her to stop having babies and she protested because she didn't want to stop having fun in bed.  When she died, it was discovered that she had a prolapsed uterus, but who knows when that happened because, unbelievably, she'd never had an "intimate" physical examination because she was the Queen and it wasn't allowed .

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On 3/5/2019 at 8:19 AM, Notwisconsin said:

Princess Heidi didn't marry the Duke the show said she would but someone else. (Not a spoiler as she' out of the picture, so to speak, although Napoleon III did indeed seek her hand),

Who did Heidi end up marrying?  Just curious.  (Spoiler tag if thought necessary although we probably won't hear of her again.)

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1 hour ago, Notwisconsin said:

The Duke of Schleswig-Holstein, who later lost a war with Prussia.

Fun fact: Their daughter married Vicky’s son Wilhelm II. 

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If, in fact there is a 4th season,  I hope DG continues the storylines of Lord and Lady Palmerston--really the most interesting characters of this season IMO. 

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On 3/6/2019 at 5:21 PM, ProudMary said:

Isn't Sophie's position as Mistress of the Robes dependent upon which political party is leading Parliament at the time?  The Queen's Court changes if a new PM is named.  I'm wondering if the Queen's offer of an apartment for Sophie and her child will supercede the political aspect.

Yes it is, which is why Dianna Rigg’s character left Court.  But when has reality meant anything on this show?  Lord Alfred’s job was also political at that time, but he’s been there the whole series.  

I don’t know if the whole court changes though, or just the ratio of Whigs v. Tory/Conservative.  

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Quote

Fun fact: Their daughter married Vicky’s son Wilhelm II. 

Good Lord, the royal families in Europe are so horribly inbred it's a wonder they haven't mutated into some other species.  

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1 hour ago, iMonrey said:
Quote

Fun fact: Their daughter married Vicky’s son Wilhelm II. 

Good Lord, the royal families in Europe are so horribly inbred it's a wonder they haven't mutated into some other species.  

I would like to introduce you to the Hapsburgs.

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European royalty: proving for centuries that incest isn't just for hillbillies

Edited by Zella
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On 3/4/2019 at 8:33 PM, Notwisconsin said:

Now if you're talking about high-class soaps, the war between George the Fourth and the "Queen" would have been totally fun!!!! She was the only royal to ever be IMPEACHED and put on trial before the House of Lords since the Charles 1st. At George's coronation, she literally had the doors of Westminster Abby slammed in her face!!!!! Of course, her boyfriend at the time wasn't anywhere near there...

As I said,  it would have been far more fun than this dreck.

There was a terrrific one-episode show in the '90s on PBS called "A Royal Scandal" that was precisely about George IV and Caroline of Brunswick. I don't know if it is available anywhere. I remember it being notable because people were making comparisons to the relationship between Prince Charles and Princess Diana. It was quite a good production, complete with Caroline getting the doors of Westminster Abbey slammed in her face at George IV's coronation.

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On 3/6/2019 at 8:53 AM, Notwisconsin said:

what was an obscure historical lie, was the mention of the American Vice President being angry about how that steam thresher machine was being displayed.  In 1851, the Vice presidency was vacant. President Taylor had died under mysterious circumstances and Millard Filmore had taken over.

More Daisy fantasy...to heck with history!

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On 3/7/2019 at 2:44 AM, andromeda331 said:

I really don't know either. The whole storyline is poorly planned out. If their in love its hard to tell. Sophie has never said anything about wanting to leave or hate her life just her horrible husband. We've never seen laying around talking about dreams or really anything. Joseph seems to think its no problem for her to leave her son. Ah, if he really knew her and was in love with her wouldn't he understand that? Joseph did the same thing before with a Duchess but got paid for it. But now is completely different. Why? So much of it is looks and both being stupid which makes it even harder to root for. Sleeping together at ball that her husband is at? She somehow doesn't know that she could lose her son until someone tells her. Really Sophie? What about your husband made you think that wasn't a possibility? She somehow never heard any stories of that despite it being very common? It makes no sense.

Yes a woman of Sophie’s class would have known the consequences and would not have had sex in the palace kitchen/storeroom.   And she would not have been locked up at home, hubby would have had her carted off to the asylum. 

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Sophie would have known the consequences.  Even if power in parliament changes, Victoria could still keep Sophie around if she wanted to.

The servants who served the royals were actually in a good position considering the times. 

Lots of women would rather have been a maid to the queen than married to a poor man who treated them like crap, and expected them to have a dozen children.

Joseph might have been able to make his fortune in America, but if Joseph abandoned Sophie, which happened regularly to women, Sophie's options would have been very limited, and not so pleasant.

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14 hours ago, AnnaBaptist said:

There was a terrrific one-episode show in the '90s on PBS called "A Royal Scandal" that was precisely about George IV and Caroline of Brunswick. I don't know if it is available anywhere. I remember it being notable because people were making comparisons to the relationship between Prince Charles and Princess Diana.

It's on Amazon Prime, or it was a month or so ago. Richard E. Grant plays George.

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I am kind of disappointed that there is no new episode this evening -- only because every week, I kept hoping that it would get better!  Thank goodness this season is over, and I don't need to waste time waiting for something that is not going to happen:  a reasonable, moderately historical, and entertaining episode!

I think it is not only Sophie who would not like the boat trip across the Atlantic and the horrible conditions of traveling across America in the 1850s -- Joseph also would not have lasted long.  

And I agree that there is a very anachronistic sensibility about the role of servants -- while their duties were demanding and there was no free time, that was true of most jobs in the era.  But being a servant in an established household, to say nothing of the royal household, was a position of prestige in servant-world and also a position of stability if the job was done well.  

On 3/6/2019 at 3:49 PM, Morlock said:

I agree. Until she was locked up he didn't seem like he cared about her beyond sex and a mild crush. Even then, perhaps due to his poor acting he sounded more like he was faking his emotions for the sake of appearances. Very poorly thought out!

It would be hilarious to see but I doubt she would cope or see it as an adventure. I think the cruise over there in pauper class would be enough to make her jump overboard!

On 3/6/2019 at 6:21 PM, dubbel zout said:

I think "lacked skills in anything else" is inaccurate. There's nothing wrong with being in a service role if that's what you want to do. A lot of people felt serving the aristocracy/monarch was a high achievement. And the head housekeepers and chefs and those roles called for a lot of skills: management of money, people, equipment; logistics, etc.

As for hereditary, I think it as on an informal basis, in that your family member could find you a job through his/her network. Nepotism can work anywhere.

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2 hours ago, freddi said:

I am kind of disappointed that there is no new episode this evening -- only because every week, I kept hoping that it would get better!  Thank goodness this season is over, and I don't need to waste time waiting for something that is not going to happen:  a reasonable, moderately historical, and entertaining episode!

I think it is not only Sophie who would not like the boat trip across the Atlantic and the horrible conditions of traveling across America in the 1850s -- Joseph also would not have lasted long.  

And I agree that there is a very anachronistic sensibility about the role of servants -- while their duties were demanding and there was no free time, that was true of most jobs in the era.  But being a servant in an established household, to say nothing of the royal household, was a position of prestige in servant-world and also a position of stability if the job was done well.  

One thing I like about English TV series is they don't run a show into the ground like America does. They have a set amount of seasons and the episodes tend to be pretty tight without resorting to filler eps which have nothing to do with the main storyline. 

That said this season has been pretty empty. Kind of jumping around to different events almost every week except keeping that terrible Duchess and Footman story. Some key things happened this season but they were done in a way that was forgettable really. You have the revolutions in France, the death of Skerrit due to cholera and the cholera outbreak, the Queen meeting Nurse Nightingale, the exhibition. Key events of the time period and yet glossed over really. 

And for what? So we can see a footman seduce a naive Duchess? So we can see more about the servants and everyone else but the person the show is named after. I thought this was going to be in the vein of The Crown which balances human drama with historical events quite well. At this rate the Crimean war which is just a few years away will be reduced to a couple of minutes of story line. 

I don't think Joseph would like the ruggedness either. Just going on his body which I know is the actors body but anyway he is quite soft and a dreamer. I can't see him fighting off Indians or outlaws etc. Or ploughing a field. 

I think it is just human nature to complain about ones job though! Not to mention these people are kind of teased in a way. They are so close to the lap of luxury and yet all they get to do is serve and watch. 

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On 3/6/2019 at 2:01 PM, Nolefan said:

Kinda wished a little that Albert got to express his thoughts on the Sophie running off and Sophie’s abusive husband

Do Victoria and Albert actually know that Sophie was unfaithful, or do they just think that her husband is a jealous nut?  Remember their reactions to the Palmerston's lifestyle? I don't think that either of them would look kindly on Sophie for committing adultery, no matter how cruel her husband.  They would understand her living apart, though, I believe.

The one true loss that Sophie will experience by not running away with Joseph is the possibility of future children. (Although any children with Joseph would not be legitimate; I assume they would have pretended to be married in America.)  However, I don't agree with abandoning the child you have for potential children, so unless the Duke drops dead and she risks marrying someone else, she's done.

9 hours ago, ItCouldBeWorse said:
Edited by ItCouldBeWorse
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