This holiday season, make way for the Queen. Queen Victoria, that is — and not the sour, black-clad matron you think you know. In The Young Victoria, Emily Blunt plays the monarch before she took the throne — as a beautiful, sheltered teenager and then in the first flush of passion with her young husband, Prince Albert.
The actress tells NPR’s Linda Wertheimer that she got to know that younger Victoria through her diaries and her letters, and through accounts of court life that portrayed “this vibrant girl” — a budding woman who danced late into the night, and who was in all ways much in love with life.
“There were anecdotes from people at court who would say that she would laugh so hard at dinner that food would fall out of her mouth,” Blunt says. “She was a party girl — she was rebellious.”
‘He Was By Far Her Greatest Achievement’
Rebellious, because although Victoria was heir to the throne, her ambitious mother kept her isolated and largely friendless, hoping to consolidate her own influence. The princess was in many ways a prisoner of the life she was born into.
“I think it was incredibly lonely,” Blunt says. “She wasn’t allowed any privacy; she wasn’t allowed to play. She slept in the same room as her mother until she was 18. … But she was one of these very resilient girls, and I don’t really understand how she was able to be that strong in wanting what was rightly hers — which was to rule independent of anyone who had been trying to handle or control her for all those years.” [Read more…]