The young Princess Victoria, strictly confined within the boundaries of Kensington Palace, is being moulded for her awesome future as Queen of England. Surrounded by her dolls and closely guarded by her domineering mother and faithful governess, she slowly becomes aware of the bitter conflicts that surround her. The jealous and scheming Duke of Cumberland is a constant threat to her rightful accession …her mother’s sinister friend, Sir John Conroy, makes her uneasy … and the bickering between her mother and the king seems never-ending.
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On the morning of 20 June 1837, an 18-year-old girl is called from her bed to be told that she is Queen of England. The young queen’s first few years are beset with court scandal and malicious gossip: There is the unsavoury Flora Hastings affair, a source of extreme embarrassment to the queen; the eternal conflict between Victoria and her mother; and the young queen’s hatred for Sir John Conroy, her mother’s close friend. Then there is the Prime Minster, Lord Melbourne - "Lord M" - worldly cynic and constant companion to the queen, himself a veteran of many a latter-day scandal.
Victoria and Albert have been destined for one another since birth. However, the passive Albert is well aware that marriage to a quick-tempered, demonstrative woman like Victoria could result in unnecessary scenes and stormy court feuds. And he is right. The young queen, as well as having to endure her constant pregnancies, is in perpetual revolt against anyone encroaching on her position – and Albert is doing just that. Despite attempts on her life and political crises
Albert is dead and the queen is preparing to spend the rest of her life in mourning. Yet the last years of her reign are to be momentous ones. Palmerston, then Gladstone and Disraeli, govern her empire through the high noon of its heyday. However, the court at Windsor, Balmoral, Osborne at Buckingham Palace is perpetually shocked by the actions of the queen’s son, the Prince of Wales. Forever in pursuit of horses, women and scandal, this is the heady harbinger of Edwardian years to come.