Jenna Coleman

Jenna Coleman Not Leaving 'Victoria' Any Time Soon

Jenna Coleman on the throne she apparently plans to keep for a while. (Photo: Photo: Courtesy of ITV Plc)

The big period drama news of the moment is that Claire Foy is planning to hang up her crown. Yes, the actress who won all sorts of critical and fan acclaim playing Queen Elizabeth II in Netflix original series The Crown will depart the series following its second season. Apparently the show’s going to jump forward in time during Season 3, and will require the use of older actors to play Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh. (Sniff.)

Understandably, this news has left some fans full of worry that the other big period drama telling the story of a queen’s reign might follow suit in the near future. But fans of Victoria can rest easy – star Jenna Coleman, who plays the titular queen has no plans to go anywhere just yet. (And it sounds like the show itself really doesn’t want her to.) 

'Victoria' Season 1: 'Young England' Recap

Victoria's carriage ride look is too cute. (Photo: Courtesy of ITV Plc)

Previously on Victoria: The queen discovers – to absolutely no one’s surprise – that she’s pregnant. Everyone’s thrilled, although Victoria’s less than thrilled with the fact that everyone thinks her pregnancy should incapacitate her. She must name a regent, in case she should die herself, but a battle with Parliament looms when she picks Albert. Or at least it does until Sir Robert Peel – who’s now basically BFFs with Albert – decides to back the queen’s choice. Meanwhile, Albert very much wants the crown to embrace technology, particularly locomotives. (No, seriously, Albert is obsessed with trains.)  Victoria, for her part, finally allows Albert to have some input in governing, and puts him in charge of her “industry-related” stack of government paperwork.

This week is the Season 1 finale of Victoria. As with all good period dramas, it feels as though the season has positively flown by. (In case you were worried, the series will return for second season, and production is already under way.) And as finales go, it’s a pretty great one. This episode has a little bit of everything – romance, intrigue, childbirth, tension, and a happy ending. Even the squabbling servants end up making up. It’s a nice note to wrap the season up on. 

Dame Diana Rigg Joins 'Victoria' for Season 2

Dame Diana Rigg as Olenna Tyrell on "Game of Thrones" (Photo: HBO)

Big news for Victoria fans! Acting legend Dame Diana Rigg is officially joining the cast for the period drama’s second season, making an already buzzy series even more exciting.

Rigg is probably best known these days for playing the sharp-tongued Lady Olenna Tyrell on HBO megahit Game of Thrones. (Think a more medieval, weaponized sort of Dowager Countess from Downton Abbey, if you’re not familiar with the show.) But her acting resume is massive – and extremely impressive – including everything from Bleak House to The Mrs. Bradley Mysteries to her starring role as the original Emma Peel in The Avengers. In short: Dame Diana is incredible. 

But who will she be playing? 

'Victoria' Season 1: 'The Engine of Change' Recap

Victoria and Albert on tour, so to speak. (Photo: Courtesy of ITV Plc)

Previously on Victoria: The queen and her new husband return from their honeymoon, where they’ve discovered they quite enjoy being married. So much so, that Victoria would also like to discover how to not get pregnant just yet. (She wants children, of course – just, not right now.) Unfortunately, Lehzen gives her completely ridiculous advice on the subject.  Albert struggles to find something to give his new life in England purpose, while Victoria does her best to get him the respect her deserves from her court.  

This week’s episode is quiet, but generally charming, and for all that Victoria and Albert may not exactly be a sweeping romance, they’re becoming a pretty great partnership. And that may be a better thing, in the end. 

'Victoria' Season 1: The Queen's Husband' Recap

Victoria and Albert out on a stroll. (Photo: Courtesy of ITV Plc)

Previously, on Victoria: Victoria and Albert tell everyone about their engagement. The queen faces off with her ministers and Parliament itself about what Albert’s title might be, and how much of an allowance he’ll be allowed. The amount ends up being less than he wants, and Albert frets that he’ll be dependent on Victoria for everything. Despite several setbacks, including everyone in the queen’s life explaining to her that aristocratic men tend to have mistresses after they’re married, Victoria and Albert’s wedding takes place. Victoria and Lord Melbourne say a rather heartfelt and heartbreaking goodbye, as he decides to go run the government from Brocket Hall. We’ll miss you, Lord M!

This week’s episode is much slower than last week’s, which is probably natural, after all that romantic excitement. 

'Victoria' Season 1: 'An Ordinary Woman' Recap

Victoria and Albert's wedding is lovely. (Photo: Courtesy of ITV Plc)

Previously, on Victoria: Prince Albert arrives in England and virtually overnight everyone Victoria knows is pushing the two of them to get married. Except for Lord Melbourne, obviously, who is busy being sad because he is basically doomed to love the queen from afar.  After a lot of that kind of flirting where two people are repeatedly rude to each other to indicate their interest and that’s declared romantic, Victoria proposes to Albert. Lord M decides its time to hang it up as a politician. And the queen’s hairdresser Skerett has a stolen identity and some kind of secret life going on.

This week, we’re barreling toward Victoria and Albert’s wedding. Since we know these crazy kids are going to get there in the end, what can we expect along the way? 

'Victoria' Season 1: 'The Clockwork Prince' Recap

Queen Victoria and Lord Melbourne in less angsty times. (Photo: Courtesy of ITV Plc)

Previously on Victoria: The queen’s Uncle Leopold, the King of Belgium, comes to visit. He and Victoria’s mother immediately start campaigning for Victoria to get married. As for the queen, she’s not terribly interested in any of her current suitors, largely because she’s pretty much head over heels for Lord Melbourne. But, when she confesses her feelings for him, he does the noble thing and rejects her, putting his duty to England first. Though Lord M later backhandedly confirms that he shares Victoria’s romantic attachment, the young queen remains convinced that she will never be happy. But King Leopold has surreptitiously invited his nephew Albert to come to England for a visit, against the queen’s wishes. 

This week, we finally meet Prince Albert. But the show may have waited just a bit too long to introduce the famous love of Victoria’s life. Not only have we all already developed crushes on Lord Melbourne (and the swoon-worthy Rufus Sewell) in the meantime, but his initial arrival kind of said “rude jerk” more than “perfect prince”. 

Will Albert acquit himself a little better this week? 

'Victoria' Season 1: 'Brocket Hall' Recap

Victoria's very fateful piano recital (Photo: Courtesy of ITV Plc)

Previously on Victoria: Alexandrina Victoria becomes Queen of England at the age of eighteen. As the young monarch struggles to find her feet, we meet her manipulative family (terrible), Lord Melbourne (dreamy), her Prime Minister, and a (pointless) cast of servants who live downstairs. Victoria and “Lord M” immediately become inseparable, forming a close friendship and developing something of a (historically inaccurate) crush on each other, which causes some scandalous gossip.  The young queen also ends up involved in several embarrassing public incidents, including refusing to form a government unless her particular choice can lead it, and accusing one of her mother’s ladies in waiting of an affair. By the end of the day, though, Victoria has established herself, grown up a little bit, and reinstalled Lord M as Prime Minister.

Where do we go from here? Let’s find out this week. 

'Victoria' Season 1: 'Doll 123' Recap

Long live the queen! (Photo: Courtesy of ITV Plc)

After several months of anticipation and hype, as well as a bunch of trailers made up almost solely of gorgeous costumes, Victoria has arrived in the U.S. The period drama was wildly successful across the pond, and ranks as U.K. network ITV’s most successful show of the year. So to say that there are high expectations for its performance here in America is…something of an understatement.

Happily, if the first episode is anything to go by, it’s probably going to do quite well here, because it’s loads of fun. So let’s talk about it. 

Five Reasons You Should Watch ‘Victoria’

Long live Victoria and this iconic blue dress. (Photo: Courtesy of ITV Plc/MASTERPIECE)

Period drama Victoria finally comes to America this January, telling the story of the early years in the reign of one of England’s greatest queens. The eight-hour drama will follow Victoria from her ascension at just 18 years of age through her courtship and marriage to Prince Albert. She went on to have nine children and 42 grandchildren, as well as to rule over a rather large portion of the world. But she wasn’t always the stodgy older woman dressed all in black that we all know from history. She was once a flirtatious, impetuous young woman at the head of a court filled with scandal and drama.

In short: This is the kind of history that makes for pretty great TV. Here are some reasons that you should give it a try.

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