THE SHOW: Victoria (2016)
WHEN: Sundays on Masterpiece Theatre
THE PAIRING: Queen Victoria (Jenna Coleman) and Prince Albert (Tom Hughes)
THE MOMENT: Victoria proposes Marriage
If you aren’t parked in front of your television screens Sunday nights, you’re missing out on a gem. ITV’s latest series is a biographical drama about Britain’s queen, Victoria, which is aptly titled, Victoria. It also follows the lovely and historical romance between Victoria and Albert.
The drama began with an eighteen-year-old Victoria learning she had inherited the throne following her uncle’s death. Through her young eyes, we watch her grapple with matters of state and how best to go about the business of wearing the crown. Among its many burdens, one of them is the pressure to find a husband. This is something Victoria’s controlling uncles and elders impress upon her, which of course only makes her more determined not to comply.
Victoria and Albert: The Lead In
For the past three weeks, the audience has watched as Victoria has spurned these attempts, and instead, the innocent Queen has settled her heart on another. The man is Lord Melbourne, her minister. Of course, such a match is highly improper for more reasons than the age gap. In an effort to sway the Queen, Victoria’s pesky uncles arrange to have Albert visit the palace.
Eventually, she softens towards Albert; even going so far as to arrange a trip to Windsor after Albert expresses an interest in the palace. During their walk through the woods, Victoria dislodges her hat which sends her hair tumbling. In an effort to correct her appearance, Albert gently urges her to leave it be. Like this, he tells her, she looks “just right.” Their closeness and near kiss is interrupted by Victoria’s dog being caught in a hunting trap. After Albert rescues her dog, as the pair so often do, an argument ensues. The subject being Victoria’s reliance on Lord Melbourne and her blindness towards the plight of her people.
Despite (or perhaps as a result of?) their arguments, it’s during Albert’s visit that Victoria opens her heart. In a brief period of time, she consequently finds herself prepared to give her heart away. Though ignorant of love’s many splendid emotions, and still growing into her role as leader, Victoria is urged to propose marriage to Albert. All as Albert prepares to leave.
She tells her uncle she doesn’t believe he’ll say yes. Her uncle believes he will, and if so, at least she’ll know if he says yes, it’ll be “with his heart.”
After they’ve both had time to think, Victoria steps forward and makes to propose. After carefully preparing herself, and with gardenias lining her hair, she requests an audience with Albert.
This brings us to today’s Romantic Moment of the Week.
Romantic Moment of the Week: Victoria and Albert
In a hall, lined with the glow of candles, Albert makes his way towards Victoria. He slows when he sees her standing near the fireplace and says, “I was told you wanted to see me.”
“I want to ask you something,” she begins. “But before I do…” She lets this thought linger for a moment, “I must be sure that you will not mind me asking.”
Without giving her an answer, he comments on the flowers and stops before her.
With the barest of a whisper, she says, “Should I ask my question now?”
His reply is intimate and immediate, “I wish you would.”
Her nerves settle as she takes a breath. “Albert,” she starts. “Would you do me the honor of…” she falters for a moment. Perhaps thoughts of her experience with Lord Melbourne dance in her mind. “No it sounds wrong,” are the next words she speaks.
Closing her eyes, she exhales again and starts anew. Looking into his eyes, she says simply, “Albert… will you marry me?”
With a smile, he waits for a beat before responding. “It depends.”
Worried what his hesitation might imply, a kind of panic falls over Victoria’s face as she asks what that is.
Teasing her he responds, “Only if you let me kiss you first.”
Timidly she asks, “If I do, will you say yes?”
Persistent, he leans closer and whispers, “I have to kiss you.”
With a breathless kind of smile, she remains still, giving Albert the lead.
Picking her up, he twirls her around to the center of the room. With arms about his neck, the two slowly pull apart.
He leans in to kiss her only to abruptly pull away. He has one more concern. Strictly serious, he tells her, “For me, this is not a marriage of convenience.”
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Matching his earnest proviso, Victoria replies, “No. I think this will be a marriage of inconvenience.” Framing his face with her hands, she finishes with, “But I have no choice.”
He replies in kind. Under the splendid glow of candles, the two come together for a sweet, honest kiss that forever connects them, and seals the promises of their hearts.
This is, for me, one of the most honest, and romantic moments on screen. It’s joyful, sensual, and flirtatious which speaks a kind of old-fashioned love language that demonstrates what love truly is. Its old-fashion charm is a feeling that culture all too often tries to convince us is out of style.
What did you think of this romantic moment? Do you like Victoria and Albert together, or were you rooting for Victoria and Lord Melbourne’s romance to further? Share your thoughts down below!
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