REVOLUTION I N THE AIR
WE’VE jumped to 1848 in this third instalment of the lavish drama. It’s a turbulent and uncertain time for both Europe and the monarchy. This first episode opens in France with the royals beating a hasty retreat, grabbing what silverware they can, as revolution comes knocking once again at the palace doors. King Louis Philippe must disguise himself to escape. And the disguise is very good (he looks nothing like he did last season – and that’s because a new actor is playing him). Before he escapes through a tunnel beneath the palace, he dispatches his courier to England with a letter for the Queen – a request for refuge. Back on the home front, Victoria (the magnificent Jenna Coleman) and Albert (Tom Hughes) have added another two children to their royal brood, and a sixth is on its way. Now the oldest ones, Victoria and Bertie, can speak, they’ve certainly got a lot to say. Sibling rivalry is already brewing. Vicky sees mum’s crown sitting on her dressing table and asks to try it on. The Queen encourages Bertie to try it on too, but he protests, “crowns are for girls!” At least these days, first-born Vicky would have indeed inherited the throne before him. (Fun fact: Victoria and Albert had nine children in all, but did you know there are now 1167 direct descendants of that line?) There’s also a long-lost sister and a new Foreign Secretary in the womanising and rather nefarious Lord Palmerston (Laurence Fox).