Queen Victoria has gone down in history as a fusty prude, and ‘Victorian’ usually means ‘repressed’. As played by Emily Blunt (The Devil Wears Prada) in The Young Queen Victoria, she is not that fusty, prudish, or repressed. One doesn’t assume the throne at such an early age and then hang on to power longer than anyone before or since by clinging to outdated ideas. Her ‘arranged’ marriage to her cousin Albert (Rupert Friend, Wickham in Joe Wright’s Pride and Prejudice) turned out to be a real love match, confounding the plans of her scheming relatives.
Directed by Jean-Marc VallÃ©e and written by Julian Fellowes (Gosford Park), The Young Victoria is the story of two people raised to be obedient pawns in the power games of the monarchy who learn to think for themselves. And while it is a love match, the movie hints at the contests of will that took place between the royal couple. The movie also stars the reliable Jim Broadbent as Victoria’s dotty uncle the King of England, Miranda Richardson as her scheming mother the Duchess of Kent, Mark Strong as the man who controls her mother, Thomas Kretschmann as her calculating uncle the King of Belgium, and Paul Bettany as the Prime Minister Lord Melbourne, who tries to control the young queen. Sandy Powell did the costumes.
Q. Aren’t Emily and Rupert too good-looking to play Victoria and Albert?
A. It’s a movie.
The Young Victoria opens today at Glorietta and Greenbelt 3.