AN OLD ROYAL ROMANCE
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.