The Young Victoria is an enchanting love story that ranks a close second to my all time favorite Pride and Prejudice (the 1995 BBC miniseries version with Jennifer Ehle and Colin Firth).
What makes Young Victoria even more remarkable is that it is a true story.
Victoria (Emily Blunt) becomes queen at 18 upon the death of her uncle.
Although she loved her uncle, she is so elated at her newly acquired freedom that, when she is alone, she dances at the news. Her life till them has been quite gloomy. She was raised by her strict mother who didn’t allow her to play with other children or do anything that could pose a risk to her life. Under pressure from her lover, her mother has repeatedly pressured her to relinquish the regency to them until her 21st birthday. Victoria’s denial to do so had created an impossible tension between Mother and daughter. Now she feels she is finally free.
But Victoria, being young and not educated in the affairs of state, is expected to marry and let the ruling to her husband. Apparently, Britain in 1837, like the United States in 2008, was not ready to be ruled by a woman. Even before her ascension to the throne, she has received several proposals by suitors supported by the kings of other European countries who think that the one to marry the British queen will control Britain.
The candidate of the Belgian king, his nephew Albert (Rupert Friend), a 17 year old, amiable, educated and idealistic young man, first cousin to Victoria, came to London to make her acquaintance one year before she becomes queen.
Victoria meets him with apprehension, as he repeats what he was told to say to impress her. But when, caught in fault by the irrepressible Victoria, he stops pretending and acts as himself, their attraction for each other is palpable on the screen.
In a delightful scene, they talk over a game of chess under the watching eyes of the courtiers. Victoria complains that she feels like a pawn in a game of chess. Albert advises her she must learn to play better than them. Victoria’s 50 years reign is proof that she did.
“Do you also think I need a husband to rule for me?” she asks him at one point.
“Not for you. With you,” Albert tells her in his German accented English.
And he had me right there.
Victoria takes longer to accept him. At seventeen she feels she is too young to marry.
But marry they do eventually when they are both 21. And their love lived forever. For although Albert died of typhoid fever at age 42, Victoria who never remarried set his clothes every morning in his memory until her death forty years later.
If you are a romantic at heart and love beautiful gowns and gorgeous settings, this movie is for you.
If you have already seen it, pray tell me how you like it. You can leave your comment by clicking the COMMENTS link below.