Jenna Coleman Discusses Playing a Real Life Queen in 'Victoria'

Jenna Coleman as Victoria (Photo: Courtesy of ITV Plc)

Victoria On MASTERPIECE on PBS *SPECIAL TWO-HOUR PREMIERE* SUNDAY, JANUARY 15, 2017 AT 9PM ET Continues Sundays, January 22 – February 19, 2017 at 9pm ET Season Finale on Sunday, March 5 at 9pm ET Episode One – "Doll 123" Sunday, January 15 at 9pm ET As a new queen, the young Victoria struggles to take charge amid plots to manipulate her. Victoria’s friendship with the prime minister leads to a crisis in Parliament. Shown: Jenna Coleman as Queen Victoria (C) ITV Plc

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Period drama Victoria is finally coming to America this January, to fill the hole that Downton Abbey has left in our hearts. Or, try to anyway. Even though it’s a much more straightforward historical drama that’s based on a real person, Victoria has a similar feel. The show’s Downton-esque vibe can no doubt be attributed to its many sumptuous costumes, its rather attractive cast, and the swoony love story at its center. (Watch the trailer if you don't believe me.)

The story of Victoria, though, centers on the early years of the young queen’s rule. She came to he r throne at just 18 years of age, and went on to rule for a (at the time, record-breaking) 63 years. Over the course of her life she had nine children and 42 grandchildren, survived at least seven assassination attempts, buried her husband, and eventually ruled over the largest empire the world had ever seen. 

Yet many people don’t know that she initially struggled to find her feet as a monarch.     

In a new behind-the-scenes interview released by PBS, Jenna Coleman, who plays the young queen, talks about the clash between the historical Victoria, and the queen that history remembers. “People see Victoria as the iconic image – a lot older, in black very often and quite stern,” she says. Victoria, the actress claims, is meant to present a different side of the queen, and to remind us all that she was once an impulsive, lively young woman. 


Coleman’s infatuation with the human side of the young queen is rather charming. And her enthusiasm is contagious.

The former Doctor Who actress drew inspiration from the queen’s own diaries for her performance. Victoria kept a daily journal from the age of twelve until just ten days before her death. And though some of her later diaries were posthumously edited by her youngest daughter to remove anything scandalous, but copies remain of some of the earliest originals. (So, long story short, we have a pretty accurate, first person view of her life during her youth.)

Victoria premieres on January 15, 2017. It has already been renewed for a second season, so there should be plenty of royal drama to come in future. Are you excited to give this show a try? Let us know. 

Lacy Baugher

Lacy's love of British TV is embarrassingly extensive, but primarily centers around evangelizing all things Doctor Who, and watching as many period dramas as possible.

Digital media type by day, she also has a fairly useless degree in British medieval literature, and dearly loves to talk about dream poetry, liminality and the medieval religious vision. (Sadly, that opportunity presents itself very infrequently.) York apologist, Ninth Doctor enthusiast and unabashed Ravenclaw. Say hi on Twitter at @LacyMB

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