Queen Victoria's Children

9:00pm Thursday 3 January on BBC TWO

Queen Victoria’s relationships with her children were complex and tumultuous, and historians assert that behind closed doors, royal domestic life was a battlefield.

Spanning 60 years, this three-part family saga explores the reign of Victoria through her personal relationships with her husband and her nine children. It is a story of manipulation, conflict, intimidation, emotional blackmail and fevered attempts by her children to escape the clutches of their domineering and needy mother.

The series uses a wealth of written material and photos left by Victoria, Albert and her children, including letters, diaries, memoirs, and journals, to bring the subject and characters to life.

This final episode focuses on Victoria’s relationship with her sons and how, after Albert’s death, they struggled to assert themselves from beneath their father’s shadow. It explores Victoria’s difficult relationship with her eldest son Bertie, who she blamed for Albert’s death, believing his sexual indiscretions to have fatally weakened her husband. It also examines her relationship with her son Leopold, the physically weak but spirited haemophiliac who put up the most determined effort to break free from his mother’s control.

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