Encounters with Victoria: Queen Victoria's Reign Through Significant Meetings
Date: March 2020
Duration: 2 hours 14 minutes
Lucy Worsley presents a ten-part BBC radio exploration of Queen Victoria’s reign via notable encounters
In this revealing series, acclaimed historian and Chief Curator at Historic Royal Palaces, Lucy Worsley, explores the reign of Queen Victoria through pivotal figures in her life. We meet ten key individuals – some well known, others less so – and find out how they influenced the Queen, what she thought of them: and what they thought of her.
Beginning with Victoria’s Prime Minister and closest advisor, Lord Melbourne, Worsley goes on to introduce us to the Queen’s lady-in-waiting, Lady Flora Hastings; the Mayor of Newport, Thomas Phillips, governess Louise Lehzen and two popular American entertainers, Tom Thumb and Buffalo Bill – as well as dresser Frieda Arnold; celebrity nurse Florence Nightingale; royal ‘favourite’ Abdul Karim and Bishop Randall Davidson.
There are also encounters of a different kind, as Lucy Worsley chronicles Victoria’s grief at the death of her husband, Prince Albert, and records Victoria’s own final days and the crowd of people who gathered as Britain’s longest-reigning monarch breathed her last.
Travelling from Kensington Palace to a luxury hotel on the Côte d’Azur, Worsley talks to eminent writers and historians and draws on letters and diaries including the Queen’s own journal to provide fascinating insight into Victoria’s world and those who helped shape it.
1 Accession Day and Kinky Lord M – 1837
With historian Philip Ziegler
2 Poor Lady Flora – 1839
With historian Kathryn Hughes
3 A Wounded Welshman – 9 December 1839
With historians Les James, Rhian E. Jones and curator Oliver Blackmore
4 The Governess – 3 September 1842
With Historic Royal Palaces curator Claudia Williams
5 American Idols – 1844 and 1887
With historian Helen Davies and V&A curator and writer Nicholas Rankin
6 The Dresser – Frieda Arnold, 1854
With Beatrice Behlen, Senior Curator at the Museum of London and Joanna Marschner, Senior Curator at Historic Royal Palaces, Kensington Palace
7 A Nightingale at Balmoral – Florence Nightingale – September 1856
With historian Mark Bostridge
8 An Encounter with Death – 13 December 1861
With historian Helen Rappaport
9 Mutiny Against an Indian – 1897
With historians Priya Atwal and Shrabani Basu
10 The Sinking of a Great Ship – Bishop Randall Davidson – 25th January 1901
With writer and historian A.N. Wilson
Extracts from Queen Victoria’s Journals by Gracious Permission of Her Majesty The Queen