Uncle Leopold is again! Is he still Uncle Leopold now we all know he’s Albert’s father/Victoria’s father-in-law? Appears that entire brouhaha has been forgotten within the identify of some household unity forward of the baptism of little Prince Arthur.
However household unity is not to be discovered here. Although we start with some charming scenes of Victoria and Albert sketching each other doing sweet issues, like bathing the infant and cuddling the canine, things shortly descend into full and utter chaos.
First, those charming sketches make their solution to the broadsheets, so now simply anybody can see a picture of the queen lifting her baby out of a bathtub. Quelle horreur! Victoria and Albert freak out over this invasion of their privacy, nevertheless it seems there’s not a lot they will do, in need of suing the printer who bought the sketches. Which Albert decides to do, with out consulting Victoria, who’s mad when she hears.
Insanity is a spectre that looms giant over this episode, with the sad considered poor George III at the forefront of everybody’s minds. Feo plans a ball to have fun the brand new prince’s christening, and decides everybody ought to are available Georgian costume (don’t attempt to inform me she didn’t do this on function). And then there’s the “expert”, Mr Coombe, who’s referred to as in to take a look at Bertie.
Bertie’s been appearing out slightly. And by appearing I, I imply, behaving the best way you’d anticipate an Eight-year-old to behave if he have been healthy and lively but in addition being informed always how worthless he is. He’s annoyed as hell, in fact, and uttering really heartbreaking strains like, ‘Papa doesn’t love me anymore as a result of I’m silly,’ and ‘Papa won’t love me because I’ve obtained a naughty bump’. That’s on his head, which brings us back to Coombe.
Coombe is a phrenologist, brought in on the suggestion of Feo, in fact. My husband’s a psychologist, so I reserve an extra special eyeroll for quack brain science like this.
Predictably, the guy measures Bertie’s head, in front of Vicky and all the adults, and proclaims that his mind is principally nonexistent, but all the dangerous stuff (together with the dreaded vanity) are really outstanding. The guy even namedrops George III, and the way Victoria doesn’t just kick him out proper then and there’s a mystery to me, as a result of this man’s being pretty horrible and smug.
Everybody who’s not Victoria are all like, ‘Yeah, Vicky’s totally a Coburg, however Bertie is clearly a Hanovarian. So now it’s not just that Bertie’s a nasty egg, however that Victoria made him that method by way of her own tainted lineage. Apparently no one cares concerning the different 5 youngsters and how their brains are formed.
Victoria’s feeling fairly attacked, and defensive. Completely understandable! She thinks the nation is laughing at her over the photographs, so-called specialists maintain banging on about how broken her son and inheritor is, Albert’s now calling her mentally feeble, and Feo’s slithering round, being creepy, setting Albert towards his spouse, and promoting invitations to the christening ball to infamous swindlers.
Feo’s being actually stupid about that last bit too, buying very apparent, expensive things like a brand new horse and a tiara with what she’s taking in. And she or he’s not the only one appearing very clearly stupidly, however we’ll get to that.
To cap things off, a new coin is being struck with Victoria’s likeness on it. Albert needs to have a hand in the design of it, which everybody grants. Stung by the entire affair of the drawings, Victoria (at Leopold’s suggestion), provides a crown to her likeness on the coin, to seem more regal. However the crown addition means there’s no room for the standard Latin inscription that claims she’s queen by the grace of God. Albert removes it, because it’s not as if anybody however a very small minority know what the inscription says anyway, nevertheless it causes a scandal. Victoria flies off the deal with, leading to an enormous struggle between husband and wife by which he yells at her for being illogical and she or he responds by smashing that phrenology cranium on the ground. Not the most effective response to somebody calling you illogical, however once more, I understand her frustration.
They pause the battle lengthy enough to see their youngest christened, and then go right again to it. Victoria insists that issues have been going sideways ever since Feo arrived, and when Albert defends her things escalate. They get worse when he goes back to this nonsense about Victoria solely wanting the monarchy to be a showpiece, and the way that’s such a nasty factor. This characterisation of him bugs me as a result of, in actuality, Albert very consciously set out to domesticate a picture of the royal household as being identical to your common well-to-do Victorian family. The newspapers have been filled with etchings of himself and Victoria and the youngsters enjoying and gathering across the Christmas tree and whatever. All the things that a nice, middle-class household did. It was complete PR, and it did an immense amount of excellent, helping to erase the image of the monarch as a bloated, gross, wasteful, rich, ineffective jerk that had grown up around the later Georgians.
However as an alternative of Albert being the one to level out the usefulness of the drawings, it’s Abigail and Palmerston. Albert keeps banging on concerning the monarchy having to be all dignified and aloof. Which isn’t correct. Not that I’m expecting accuracy on this present, however let’s give Albert credit the place it’s due!
Issues are in a really, very dangerous place with the royal marriage. Victoria needs Feo to go house, but Albert gained’t hear of it. Technically, these houses are all Victoria’s, so she might completely send Feo away every time she needed, but I assume she doesn’t need to push it too arduous simply now.
And she or he’s onto Feo as nicely: on the ball, she calls her out for inviting inappropriate individuals, making Victoria look ridiculous, and stirring up a lot hassle. Victoria can’t fathom what she’s achieved to make her sister turn towards her so strongly, so Feo fills her in: years and years ago, she performed Bach for George IV and he stated she had a stunning profile and was going to see about marrying her.
Victoria scoffs at the concept of Feo marrying fat, gouty George but Feo screeches that she would’ve been queen and would subsequently have had all the riches Victoria now enjoys, as an alternative of dwelling in a leaky schloss with a drunken husband. However her mom and Uncle Leopold didn’t need to danger an heir getting in the best way of Victoria’s ascension, in order that they married Feo off as quick as they might.
None of this, in fact, is Victoria’s fault. And truthfully, it feels just a little strange that they’ve introduced again Leopold however not Feo’s and Victoria’s mom, who was nonetheless very much alive and will have undoubtedly added more drama to this entire thing. And she or he would have been a a lot better goal for Feo’s rage. As would Leopold, however she doesn’t appear to carry anything towards him, which is strange. As an alternative, she simply needs to make Victoria miserable, and it appears she’s doing an admirable job.
And it’s all for nothing anyway: Victoria asks Leopold if this story is true, and he sighs and says that George was an asshole who enjoyed messing together with his brothers by suggesting sometimes that he may remarry and father an inheritor. He never really meant it, although. Feo was only one piece in that notably insidious recreation. And now Victoria’s paying the worth.
On to the opposite troubled marriage right here: Sophie’s. Her husband suggests she attend the ball dressed as his grandmother, the 9th Duchess of Monmouth, as painted by Gainsborough.
(As a nitpicky apart, I realise that there was no Duke of Monmouth after the primary one, and that this duke is, subsequently, fictional, however all the same, they might at the very least have tried to make his history fit actual history. The first Duke of Monmouth lived from 1649 to 1685. Gainsborough was portray the aristocracy from the 1760s. There’s no method they might have gone by means of 9 duchesses in that time period, until each duke was getting married at the age of 10. Sorry, historic nerding completed.)
Sophie’s like, ‘yeah, ok, sure, whatever.’ However then when Joseph overhears her costume plans, he warns her that the 9th duchess was tragically infamous for having escaped her depressing marriage by way of an affair. When the duke came upon, he took her youngsters away and she or he wound up taking her own life. The present duke is clearly sending a very unsubtle message.
So, as an alternative, Sophie goes to the ball dressed as her personal grandmother, who was a maid. It is, in fact, a very “super-rich-person-dresses-as-peasant” costume, however nonetheless the duke is furious when he sees it.
On the precise ball, she slips away for a tryst with Joseph, which seems so unbelievably silly I’m wondering if she’s just self-destructing here. I mean, sure, it’s a ball and there are many individuals and you will get lost in a crowd, however nonetheless–her husband is there, she is aware of he suspects something and is on the warpath. Joseph is on obligation, and Penge is already gunning for them. So, I’m not exactly shocked when both Penge and the duke notice the pair of them lacking (though the duke nonetheless thinks his wife is having a fling with Palmerston). They each circle the ballroom, in search of the lacking lovers.
After they finish up, Sophie and Joseph cut up. Sophie’s fellow lady-in-waiting finds her and warns her the duke is on the search. Joseph lies to Penge that he was off on a toilet break.
It seems they’ve managed to slide the web this time, however the two of them can’t cease making eyes at one another through the christening, and it’s so blatant the duke notices. So, that must be both tragic and fascinating.
So, here’s the place issues stand:
Albert is Staff Feo, whereas Victoria needs her sister gone.
Victoria and Albert are in a very critical marital disaster.
Albert is in a critical crisis together with his eldest son, whom he demeans so badly that even Leopold is like, ‘You could, you know, interact with the kid who wants so badly to interact with you.’ But Albert dismisses the notion that he might probably play chess with Bertie as he does with Vicky, as a result of Bertie is clearly too silly to know the principles and Albert is simply defending him from frustration. He’s doing it FOR BERTIE, you guys! You realize, I don’t really get why Albert was saying last episode that he was relieved there wouldn’t be extra youngsters for him to screw up, however he doesn’t seem to be in any respect thinking about not additional screwing up the youngsters he already has. Has he simply decided it’s a lost trigger, so full steam forward? Speak about not having much logic.
The duke totally is aware of about his wife and Joseph, which is not going to go nicely for anyone.
Palmerston is certainly my favorite character this season. Catching Bertie’s runaway pet mouse and preserving it on his shoulder through the christening so the child wouldn’t get into hassle? So cute!