1–Guards! Royal salute! Present arms!
Some people are born more fortunate than others.
Such was the case with me.
But as a child, I was convinced of quite the opposite.
What little girl does not dream of growing up as a princess?
But some palaces are not at all what you’d think.
Even a palace… can be a prison.
Mama never explained why she would have someone taste my food.
Why I couldn’t attend school with other children or read popular books.
When my father died,
Mama and her adviser, Sir John Conroy, created rules.
He said they were for my protection,
and he called it the Kensington System.
I could not sleep in a room without Mama
or even walk downstairs without holding the hand of an adult.
I learned the reason for all this when I was 11.
My uncle William was the King of England.
Yet he and his three brothers could boast only one living child.
And that was me.
Sir John’s dream was that the King would die
and there would be a Regency,
where my mother would rule England and he would rule my mother.
So I began to dream of the day when my life would change…
.. and I might be free.
And I prayed for the strength to meet my destiny.
I will be good.
God save the Queen!
God save the Queen! God save the Queen!
Are you sure that we’re doing the right thing?
We’ve waited long enough.
Now, for the last time, you will sign this order.
I will not sign it.
I say you will!
– I say I will not. – How dare you, you…!
We were just…
It’s time for the Princess’s medicine.
– Shall I? – I’ll do it.
Well, if you’re sure.
– Good night, mein liebling. – Good night, Mama.
How are you?
I’ve received a letter from England.
My sister says Victoria won’t sign the order for her Regency.
And why would she sign it?
The Princess is nearly 18. Why would she sign away her own powers?
Because she is an ignorant baby.
Because she needs guidance and time to prepare for her role as Queen.
Until then, my sister will take her place as Regent.
Sir John Conroy would be Regent.
Unfortunately, the Duchess is controlled by her controller.
It may be in Your Majesty’s interests to abandon Conroy and your sister,
before it’s too late, and support the future Queen instead.
Of course, the Duchess won’t like it.
Baron, I was born the younger son of a penniless duke.
Now I’m King of the Belgians.
Such journeys are not managed without hard decisions.
Besides, who controls a young girl most?
Now go to Germany and finish my nephew’s training.
I suppose you want to walk with me this afternoon.
Really? Just the two of us alone? What would Mama say?
Hold still or I’ll never get your nose right.
Oh, I give up!
I give up. You are impossible. You are impossible. You are impossible.
Victoria, your mother’s waiting.
– Where is the Duchess? – In the drawing room, Your Highness.
It will take them three days to arrive by coach from Coburg. Dashy!
– How did you come downstairs? – I walked.
– Not alone? – No, not alone.
– Lehzen was with me. – She held your hand?
She did. Though why she still has to…
Because not everyone in England wishes you well.
Put the book down, please.
England is the key to peace in Europe.
Your uncle’s throne is six years old and born of civil war.
He only took the crown of Belgium because England pledged her support.
And if he’s to survive, he must have English force at his disposal.
– Sie hat nicht viele Romane gelesen. – English. Always English.
She has not read many novels. They were forbidden until last year.
– But she did like…? – The Bride of Lammermoor.
– By? – Sir Walter Scott.
– Other recreations? – Drawing. The famous dolls, of course.
Piano. Music, generally. It’s hard to believe she knows so little Schubert.
Never mind Schubert. She likes modern composers.
– Is she permitted the theatre? – Only the opera and ballet.
Which opera does she like best?
In order to maintain control over Princess Victoria,
Sir John and the Duchess keep her away from King William’s court.
Thus when she does make a public appearance,
her mere presence causes quite a stir.
You must win her favour before anyone else has the chance.
You still don’t look well. Maybe we should go away for August.
– No, Mama. – What do you mean, no?
We missed the Queen’s birthday. We will not miss the King’s.
We’ve accepted. We’re going.
Really, Victoria, don’t issue orders to me. I’m not a servant.
Well, you’ve already disobeyed about the extra rooms. That’s enough.
Are we to live like rabbits, crammed in a hutch?
We live in a palace, Mama. We’re a lot better off than most people.
The rooms which I took were empty.
Keeping us out of them was… almost immoral.
– That’s what John says. – I knew he’d have a part in it.
My dearest child, he only wants what’s best for you.
I wish you could believe that.
I’ve invited the Coburg brothers to come and stay.
– You ought to know them better. – Why?
Because you should.
Uncle Leopold thinks it’s a good idea.
You stick one more pin in me, I swear I will call the guard.
Your first visit is the most important. We can not have any mistakes.
And always remember, you’re first a Coburg.
The King of the Belgians is a Coburg. The King of Portugal is a Coburg,
so is the Queen of England’s mother. And you are the next piece in the game!
Now go to England and make her smile.
Is this all the luggage?
– What if she wants to dance? – It’s your first visit. She won’t.
– Your Serene Highnesses, welcome. – Thank you.
I’m Sir John Conroy, controller of the Duchess’s household. This way, please.
The Duchess is in the drawing room.
– Ah! May I present her Royal… – Hello.
I’m Ernst, ma’am. This is my brother, Albert.
– We haven’t interrupt your studies? – No, not at all.
– How was your journey? – Long, but not too bad.
We had books to keep us busy.
As matter of fact, I passed the time reading The Bride of Lammermoor.
By Sir Walter… Scott.
Do you want to come and meet Mama?
Of the modern composers, I suppose Vincenzo Bellini is my favourite.
What a coincidence! So is mine. Which of his operas do you enjoy most?
(Visited 21 times, 1 visits today)