Useful Notes: Queen Victoria

aka: Queen Vicky

Captain Darling: I'm as British as Queen Victoria!
Captain Blackadder: So your father's German, you're half-German, and you married a German?

Queen Victoria (1819-1901) reigned over the largest empire the world has ever seen. She was a hugely important figure, causing sweeping changes in the history of many parts of the world, and inspiring her people. She was not simply a prudish old woman with no sense of humour, and in fact probably never said, "We are not amused".

Her reign was equally momentous, occupying nearly the entire period of the Industrial Revolution, from 1837 to 1901, and being the longest in British history to date.

She married her cousin Francis Albert Augustus Charles Emmanuel in 1840. Albert died of typhoid fever in 1861, still young(ish) and handsome, leaving Victoria stricken with grief. She never remarried, and indeed she spent the rest of her reign wearing only mourning colours and only rarely making public appearances and even more rarely living at Buckingham; this earned her the not-entirely-complimentary nickname "the Widow of Windsor." As a result, republican sentiment in Britain was at its height, to the extent that some felt the monarchy was going to be abolished sooner or later; fortunately (for the monarchy at any rate), the Prince of Wales Albert Edward had a better understanding of public relations and charmed the socks off the whole country, and partied the socks off the whole upper crust.

Many, many books have been written about her and her era. These tend to be set when they were written, either in Victorian London or in the colonies. Also the default timeframe for Steampunk works.

The Queen has been seen in the following works:

  • The film The Young Victoria, which is based on, well... a young Victoria.
  • The 1950 film The Mudlark is about a street urchin who finds a medallion of Vicki while scavenging. A friend tells him she's "the mother of all England", so he sets out to meet her. She's a Hero's Muse in this, and played by an almost unrecognizable Irene Dunne.
  • One of The Royal Diaries books is "written" by Queen Victoria when she is in her late preteens/early teens, around the time of William IV's accession. (In fact, the wham entry for her is when she realizes she's his successor.)
    • Incidentally, in real life Victoria really was an obsessive journal writer, even by the standards of the times. Her daily journals cover a 69 year period and totals 121 volumes (that would mean that Victoria wrote about two thousand words a day—i.e. roughly the daily output of a professional author).
  • Mrs. Brown starring Dame Judi Dench as the Queen mourning the death of Prince Albert and her friendship/romance with her unconventional Scottish servant John Brown.
  • In Black Butler, main character Ciel Phantomhive directly serves as her "watchdog" as part of his family's role and does what she wants to protect the country, essentially serving as England's black-ops.
  • The Doctor Who episode "Tooth and Claw". A running subplot in the episode is a bet between the Doctor and his companion Rose whether or not they could get the Queen to say "I am not amused". In direct response to the events of the episode, she founded the Torchwood Institute.
  • Vicki and Albert begin to appear in episode 3 of the 1978 ITN miniseries Disraeli: Portrait of a Romantic, played by Rosemary Leach and Jeremy Longhurst. Disraeli is telling his wife that facing the royal couple is like — cutting to our first view of them as Dizzy continues in voiceover — "looking into a double-barreled shotgun."
  • Victoria and Albert naturally appear in the 1975 ATV miniseries Edward the Seventh (also called Edward the King). Victoria, played by Annette Crosbie in a BAFTA-winning role, appears in 10 of 13 episodes and the first focuses largely on her (the title character being unborn, a baby, or small child for most of it).
  • A child Victoria makes an appearance in the Gaslamp Fantasy The Missing Magician. Also it turns out that as she is of Royal Blood, no one can cast spells on her because England's ley lines protect her.
  • The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists has Queen Victoria as a katana-wielding Caligula and Cruella to Animals.
  • Appears in two Jackie Chan movies - played by Kathy Bates in Around the World in 80 Days, and Gemma Jones in Shanghai Knights.
  • The Queen has appeared in the Horrible Histories franchise.
    • She gets a musical number with her butler called "British Things" in the TV series and finds out that most of the things from her empire don't originate from the British Isles.
    • She appears on "This Is Your Life" in the audio-book series and reunites with her royal subjects, her dead husband from a video call and the Grim Reaper. Throughout, she is portrayed as the grumpy stereotype that everyone associates her with, and her catchphrase being "We are not amused".
  • From Hell by Alan Moore gives her a rare Historical Villain Upgrade, as the Bigger Bad who ordered the Jack the Ripper murders as a cover-up for a dalliance with the Crown Prince.
  • Blackadder's Christmas Carol has a short, chubby, highly-sexed, Victoria and a doofus Albert (played by Miriam Margoles and Jim Broadbent, respectively) singing Christmas carols and exchanging gifts.
  • Victoria featured twice in Hark! A Vagrant, first in a parody of The Graduate (with Albert as Mrs. Robinson) and then here, mainly concentrating on her love for Albert.
    Memoirs Chapter One: Albert is a Babe and We Do It Constantly
  • Makes the occasional appearance in The Parasol Protectorate.
  • The 1939 movie adaptation of A Little Princess
  • The 1966 movie The Wrong Box begins showing members of a tontine dying off one by one over the decades - one by the hand of Queen Victoria, who is knighting him and uses the sword a bit too forcefully. "Oh! ...We are dreadfully sorry."
  • Monty Python's Flying Circus
    • The "Wacky Queen" sketch features Queen Victoria acting out silly hijinks from a turn-of-the-century silent film comedy, like squirting Gladstone with a garden hose.
    • Another sketch, the "Queen Victoria Handicap", is a horse-racing spoof in which all eight participants are named, and are, Queen Victoria.
  • The play Victoria Regina (1934) with Helen Hayes as Victoria and 24-year-old Vincent Price making his acting (and Broadway) debut as Albert.
  • Appears in The Simpsons episode Last Exit to Springfield during Lisa's dream sequence, where a large photo cut-out of her makes the The Beatles' airship crash.
  • Queen Mousetoria in The Great Mouse Detective is the mouse counterpart of her.
  • The animated sequences of The Charge Of The Light Brigade feature satirical representations of her and Prince Albert. Notably, they appear as angels dancing in Heaven to celebrate the British capture of Sevastopol and eat a cake shaped like the Kremlin. It's a strange film.
  • In Australian and Kiwi cinema, Victoria is usually the unseen Big Bad in whose name the Evil Brit colonialist officials oppress the poor Irish settlers and natives. Examples: Mad Dog Morgan, Ned Kelly, Utu, and Captain Thunderbolt. There's also Picnic at Hanging Rock where one scene contrasts Mrs. Appleyard's breakdown and a portrait of Queen Victoria glowering stoically from the wall.
  • She was the #18 "Greatest Briton" on One Hundred Greatest Britons.
  • A recurring character in the Flashman series, where she's portrayed as an amiable ditz.

Alternative Title(s):

Queen Vicky