AN OLD ROYAL RO­MANCE

The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - TV Guide - - Front Page -

WHO doesn’t love a royal wedding? As the doc­u­men­tary states, in 1840 two 20-year-olds be­came the most fa­mous cou­ple on earth. The mar­riage of Queen Vic­to­ria to Prince Al­bert of Saxe-Coburg may have been an ar­ranged af­fair but it would be­come a clas­sic love story for the ages. Their union hap­pened at a piv­otal moment in Bri­tish his­tory and the pair des­per­ately needed to win the af­fec­tions of their sub­jects as the monar­chy faced the very real pos­si­bil­ity of ex­tinc­tion. And while all of this his­tor­i­cal con­text is im­por­tant to ap­pre­ci­ate just how tough it was to keep the ro­mance alive in the face of po­lit­i­cal up­heaval, royal wedding trainspot­ters are al­ways more eager for the ex­haus­tive de­tails about dress, car­riage and flower girls, right? English his­to­rian Lucy Wors­ley and a team of ex­perts recre­ate Vic­to­ria and Al­bert’s wedding day. In metic­u­lously un­earthing ev­ery de­tail about the big day – a 19th cen­tury pub­lic re­la­tions coup – Wors­ley and her col­lab­o­ra­tors are able to demon­strate just how mi­cro-man­aged this oc­ca­sion was and its re­sult­ing in­flu­ence on royal tra­di­tions and pro­to­cols. In the first of this two-part doc­u­men­tary, we dis­cover that it was hardly love at first sight for Queen Vic­to­ria who re­garded her future husband as a bit plump and awk­ward when she first set eyes on him. But she soon de­vel­oped feel­ings for Al­bert and pro­posed to him – he couldn’t ask the monarch for her hand.

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