1-I thank you for your good wishes on my birthday.
It has been a long life… and an interesting one.
But I shall be content with only a short while more.
Just enough… to dispense with any thought of a Regency,…
.. so that I may pass the Royal Authority directly to that young lady.
And not… to the hands… of a person now near me…
.. who is surrounded by evil advisers
and who cannot act with propriety in the station in which she’s been placed!
I have been insulted!
Grossly and continually insulted!
She has kept her daughter, my brother’s child, from my Court!
But from now on, I’d have her know that I am King!
And I will not be flouted or disobeyed by her
or by that jackanapes she keeps about her!
Are you alright?
Families, who’d be without them?
Are you listening?
– Well? – Ma’am, you do have a letter,
but it’s not from Germany, it’s from the King.
So it is. Thank you, Watson.
– Don’t you see what he wants? – He increases my income
once I’m 18 and he asks to see me at Court, what is wrong with that?
The King wants to separate you from your mother. He wants to control you,
to take you from those whose sole aim is trying to protect you!
No need to shout. The people will find out our business soon enough
without hearing it from your lips.
Tell her. Make her understand.
What Sir John means is that you’re unprepared for the task ahead of you.
And if I am, whose fault is that?
You’re too young! You’ve no experience!
You’re like a china doll walking over a precipice!
Well, then, I must smash! For it’s too late to mend my ways now!
– So if you’ll excuse me… – But I will not excuse you!
Now this is what you will do!
First, you will refuse the money and demand that it be given to your mother.
Next, you will appoint me your private secretary from today.
Finally, you will agree to be co-regent with the Duchess
until your 25th birthday. Neither she nor I will accept less!
You may do what you like with the money.
Now, get out of my way!
And if you think that I will ever forget
that you just stood by silent and you watched him treat me thus,
you are dreaming!
Is there no limit to this disobedience?
Mark my words! The reign of King Conroy is coming!
My poor sister-in-law. What is the hold that wicked man has over her?
What about her uncle in Brussels? Could he not be of assistance?
King Leopold is as slippery as a barrel full of eels.
If he did dislodge Conroy, it’d only be to tighten his own grip on the girl.
Mightn’t there be some benefit if I pay Princess Victoria a visit
before Conroy has a chance to usurp her?
Lord, in your mercy, get me past May!
That way she’ll be of age and we’ll have killed off the Regency at least.
I tell you, Lord Melbourne, his behaviour to me
makes it impossible to keep him in any post near my person.
Any post whatever.
You don’t think it more dangerous to cut him loose?
I know things that mean I could never have confidence in him.
Now, I see I must endure Lady Flora.
Mama cannot appear at Court without a lady-in-waiting,
but I draw the line at Conroy.
And once I’m Queen, I do not wish to look upon his face again.
Well, we can’t prevent the Duchess
from keeping him in charge of her own affairs.
That will be her mistake, not mine.
My dear Victoria, when I think…
Dearest Victoria, if ever you should need…
What? Like a vulture? T o hover at the edge until the King is dead?
And, ma’am, you needn’t worry.
I’ll be your private secretary. For now, at least.
Thank you, Lord Melbourne. That is a great comfort to me.
– Wenn er tot ist, dann gibt es mehr… – Ernst! English, please!
When he is dead, there’ll be more than one vulture to contend with.
We should consider the new appointments.
Your ladies-in-waiting and so forth.
Perhaps the Duchess of Sutherland for Mistress of the Robes?
Oh, I don’t really know her.
Ma’am, she’s a dear friend of mine. You’ll enjoy her enormously.
I should be lost without your guidance.
– I hope you know how grateful I am. – I’ll draw up a list.
What is it? Don’t you like her?
Yes, I like her.
More than I dared hope.
But it’s not up to me, is it. What do you call a man
who waits for a rich woman to decide whether or not she wants him?
Then, why not tell her how you feel?
My dear Victoria,
these days will be full of sadness since I know the King is dear to you.
Will you allow me to offer my support, albeit at a distance?
If I cannot be with you,
then I pray you will hear my voice in the music that I send.
You know my love of Schubert.
This is his “Swan Song”. And I play it with you in my heart.
– Is he ready? – Well, he may be, but she isn’t.
Let her enjoy succession and the freedom it’ll bring.
We must wait for disillusion, and the loneliness that follows.
You must come now.
Long live the Queen.
I’m going back to bed.
I imagine Lord Melbourne will be here quite early.
Make sure he has everything he needs if I am not ready to receive him.
Of course, Your Royal…
Victoria, wait. I will hold your hand.
No. Thank you, Mama.
And, Lehzen, in the morning, arrange for my bed to be moved
into a room of my own?
– Surely there’s no need… – As soon as possible, Lehzen.
The Council is assembled, Your Majesty.
Her Majesty the Queen!
It is with a sense of reverence and honour
that I address you, my Privy Councillors,
as your Sovereign and Queen.
I mourn sincerely the death of my dear uncle, the King,
but I know I may count on you to serve me as loyally as you served him.
I am young, but I am willing to learn.
And I mean to devote my life to the service of my country
and my people.
I look for your help in this.
I know I shall not be disappointed.
She starts on your watch, Lord Melbourne.
Guard her well and keep her safe from harm.
As a matter of interest, will a time come when I read them first?
You’ll enjoy this. She has a real flair for description.
Dearest Albert, on Tuesday, I went to inspect Buckingham Palace.
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