Victoria (2016) s02e08 Episode Script

The Luxury of Conscience

1 I did my best to be a friend to your mother Leopold told me that he believes that he is my father.
Behaving like Ernest will not help.
I appreciate your strength of purpose.
- About last night - I'm sorry for how I spoke to you.
You cannot torment yourself forever.
I must repeal the laws protecting the price of wheat.
- Vicky's looking rather thin.
- These midsummer evenings are enchanting.
And now the other way.
Please don't let me interrupt the recital.
Uncle Leopold.
- What a surprise.
- I know I should have written, but I'm afraid I acted on impulse.
I wanted to see my family.
I missed your birthday, Albert.
I wanted you to have something to remember me by.
How thoughtful.
Please excuse me.
Albert does not seem in a very receptive mood.
Are you surprised? Everything I do is for the family, Victoria.
Really? I don't see how your revelation has helped Albert.
A real father wouldn't have been so selfish.
What you are suggesting will be the death of British agriculture.
There are more people living in our towns now than countryside.
Free trade is the only way to make food affordable to everyone.
We have a responsibility to those less fortunate than ourselves.
- I take care of my people.
- I'm talking about members of the labouring classes not lucky enough to work for you.
I won't do it.
I gave my word as a gentleman to uphold the Corn Laws and I'm not in the habit of breaking my word.
Duke? 20 years ago, when I became prime minister, I thought I could never support Catholic emancipation, but when I took office I realised that a leader must put the good of his country before his own inclinations.
Or even the will of his party.
You have my support, Prime Minister.
'And the King destroyed all the spinning wheels.
' I can remember this story, Lehzen.
You used to read it to me when I was little.
Why's it so cold in here? Baroness, how many times do I have to ask you? Please do not leave the windows open whilst Vicky is in the nursery.
She has such a delicate constitution.
I've asked you many times before.
Cannot allow her to catch a chill.
What an old nanny goat you, Albert.
I had the windows open all the time when I was in Kensington, didn't I? Yes, Majesty.
The benefits of fresh air are considerable in my view.
- More story.
- Yes, darling, but first Mama is just going to open up this window, for some fresh air.
Very well.
I shall leave you to your fairy tales.
You look like Narcissus, wondering who the beautiful creature gazing back at him from the pool - could possibly be.
- Narcissus was a man.
This woman was just thinking how haggard she looks.
That's exactly what I was thinking, too.
Forgive me for interrupting your tete-a-tete, but I wonder if I might steal my nephew from you, Duchess? We have some Coburg matters to discuss.
Certainly.
Have you heard of the English saying, 'a bull in the china shop'? But I am famous throughout the courts of Europe for my tact, Ernest.
Hm.
It is time for this House to decide the fate of England.
- Will we advance into the future - Hear, hear! .
.
or recede into the past? Is this a country that can only flourish - in the sickly atmosphere of prohibition and tariffs? - No! Let trade be free between nations.
Choose the future, not the past! The Honourable Member for Lincoln.
Mr Speaker, is the Tory party really going to stand by while our prime minister renders us dependent on foreigners for food, because he has listened to the clamour of the mob? I call upon all like-minded Tories to join me in resisting with every parliamentary means this heinous betrayal of every virtue that our great party stands for! Peel may be a friend to the working man, but he's a traitor to his party.
The Corn Laws, Mr Penge? He's caving in to the demands of the Anti-Corn-Law League.
But people are starving, Mr Penge.
Sometimes, a man must do what he believes to be right.
Sooner or later.
The opposition to repeal is all from my own party.
- You're the only man who can pass this bill.
- You may be right, ma'am, but even if I am successful, it will be the end of my career.
- They will never forgive me.
- Don't say that.
Your country needs you.
So do I.
Not to mention Albert would be - Albert will be what? - Astonished if the Repeal Bill did not pass.
Oh, of course it will pass.
- I hope you are right, sir.
- Do you know what I think, Sir Robert? Five years from now, when the Parliament building is completed, I believe you will be the prime minister that opens it.
Is that the Bible, Miss Coke? On a Wednesday? I was just reading about David and Jonathan.
When Jonathan dies, David says he loves him with a love surpassing women.
I never knew that the Bible could be so tender.
- You look smart.
Are you going out for dinner? - Yes, I am.
- I hope you enjoy yourself.
- Thank you, Miss Coke.
My apologies.
The Corn Laws debate will go on for days.
The sleeping beauties on our back benches have woken and aren't happy.
My father and his friends think repeal will be the end of civilisation as we know it.
With respect, the days when men like your father will rule the country are coming to an end.
Well.
Poor Papa.
- But let's not talk about politics.
- No.
Oysters and champagne.
Yes, sir.
There's something I must tell you.
You've set a date, haven't you, for your wedding? I've decided to break off the engagement.
Why? She seems a perfectly admirable wife for a man with prospects.
I think you, of all people, must understand why it cannot be.
Cannot be! How dramatic you are, Drummond.
After Scotland I feel it's only right.
A successful politician needs to have a wife.
Now, you are going to be a successful politician, Drummond, I know it.
You're going to make a difference in the world.
You can't throw that away for some indiscretion.
An indiscretion? I can't let you jeopardise your career.
Surely that is for me to decide.
You are not thinking clearly, Drummond.
Gentlemen, your oysters.
I find I am not hungry.
- One, two - What do you think, Lehzen? Shall I send for Sir James? Sir James! He'll just pull a long face and prescribe calves' foot jelly.
What the Princess needs is some amusement in the fresh air.
Yes, yes, I'm sure you're right.
Why don't we take her for a drive in the park, hm? Would you like that, darling? I am just on my way to a meeting.
Then I will accompany you.
A private meeting.
In Coburg, perhaps I should not have spoken as I did.
Oh, Penge, could you tell the kitchens the Princess will have bread and milk for supper? Doesn't the Princess care for pickled herring and sauerkraut? The Prince has some outlandish ideas about diet.
Hm.
But in my experience, he doesn't like to be challenged.
The Queen and I are in full agreement.
No doubt, but it's never a good idea to come between husband and wife.
Come in.
- Your Royal Highness.
- I wanted to enquire as to how the Repeal Bill was progressing.
I have opened up a chasm in my own party, sir.
- They accuse me of breaking my word.
- Oh.
You and I are the same, I think.
- Thin-skinned.
- Hm.
After 30 years in the House, I should be used to it.
But I am no kind of host, sir.
Would you care for a brandy? Thank you.
Well, a toast, therefore, to the thin-skinned.
May we always be stout-hearted.
Do you know, Sir Robert, when I first came to this country I was so disappointed.
I could not understand how in such a powerful nation, the politicians were so determined to keep still, to deny the march of progress.
- Hm.
- Then I met you and I realised my judgment had been hasty.
You must persevere, for this country's sake, and also, I must say, for my own.
I wish I had you beside me on the front bench, sir.
Those damned rotten potatoes are the cause of it all.
I think Sir Robert is doing the right thing.
But, with respect, even your support won't keep that bounder George Bentinck and his cronies off Peel's back.
They would rather be out of power for a generation than support the best leader the Tory party's ever had.
As Queen, I can do nothing, but you, Duke, you could talk to them.
If they were my soldiers, I would have them flogged for insubordination, but the party has no discipline.
I'm afraid they will bring Peel down.
You are too pessimistic, Duke.
You don't win as many battles as I have, ma'am, by underestimating the enemy.
~ Victoria, she does look rather flushed.
I do think perhaps she has a fever.
It is a healthy glow, sir.
From the fresh air.
Victoria, feel her head.
She does feel a little warm, but only a little.
I'm sure she'll cool down when she's had her bath.
Well, I hope you are right.
- Where are you going? - I'm going to Parliament.
- To see Sir Robert? - Well, I'm going to witness the debate.
- I'd like to lend him my support.
- Albert, is that wise? As you have so often reminded me, the Crown must seem to be above party politics.
Of course, but I am not the monarch.
I believe it my duty to stand behind the man to whom I owe so much.
- If you go, they will assume you are doing so at my request.
- I disagree.
Just as I disagree with you and the Baroness over our daughter's health.
- It is not the same.
- Yes, Victoria, it is.
You think you are right in both instances.
- How can he be so objectionable? - I believe he knows you are right but he does not care to admit it.
- He's making a terrible mistake.
- I agree, Majesty.
I should forbid him to go.
Do you think you would succeed, Majesty? The Prince does not always respect your authority.
Most satisfactory.
The mercury vapour is unpleasant, I know, but it is effective.
Yes, this is a very pleasing result.
I hope that we do not meet again.
I am thinking of getting married.
So long as you remain symptom-free, you may propose with a clear conscience.
Oh, Mr Drummond, just the man I need.
I wonder, could you direct me to the Strangers' Gallery? - You are going to listen to the debate, sir? - Evidently.
I ask you to remember the terrible winters earlier in this decade when there was hardship and suffering throughout the land.
Are those winters effaced from your memory? From mine they can never be.
We must be ready for the season when famine comes again, by abolishing the Corn Laws! Then at least we can be sure that when a black day comes it will not have been aggravated by the laws of man.
The Honourable Member for Lincoln.
Mr Speaker, is the Prime Minister so frightened of the opposition within his own party that he feels the need to summon a royal nursemaid to keep the ogres at bay? I am sure it is just a cold, Majesty.
No need to worry.
I hope you are right.
At last! Where have you been? - Have you sent for Sir James? - I couldn't find you anywhere.
- She most definitely has a fever.
- Lehzen thinks it is just a cold, and you weren't here.
If you do not send for Sir James immediately I cannot answer for the consequences.
The Princess needs medical attention.
Please send for Sir James at once.
Now, will you tell me, where have you been? You know, that woman, she has bewitched you! - Did you go to the House? - She's not fit to look after - our children.
- She was always most attentive to me.
She's never denied you anything.
That's why you enjoy her company.
- That is a hateful thing to say.
Take it back.
- No.
Baroness Lehzen has indulged you all your life.
She never checked your wilfulness.
- My wilfulness! - There is a stubbornness a responsible guardian would've eradicated.
My stubbornness?! Did you go to the house tonight Albert or not? Baroness Lehzen was the only thing that kept me from despair when growing up.
You exaggerate, as usual.
She tried to come between you and your mother and she is trying to come between you and I.
- That is a ridiculous suggestion.
- No, Victoria, it is not, so either she leaves or I do.
But you are my husband.
Exactly.
I thought you left hours ago, sir.
Lady Peel is in the country and I don't fancy bumping into Bentinck and his cronies at the Carlton and hear them call the Prince my nursemaid.
You will take care, won't you, Sir Robert? Remember Spencer Percival.
No-one will shoot me in the House of Commons, Drummond.
Bentinck wants his moment of glory, not to swing from Albion's fatal tree.
Very good.
- Good day.
- Good morning, sir.
I hear there was no vote last night.
No, sir.
The mood in the house after you left was rather ugly, but I believe the the division bell will ring tonight.
Lord Melbourne once told me the House of Commons would not take kindly to a German prince.
We members of Parliament are jealous of our independence, sir.
I apologise if I have made things more difficult for you.
- That was not my intention.
- I know, sir.
- I was coming to find you.
- That's a coincidence, I was looking for you.
- The Queen would like beef tea sent to the nursery.
- Of course.
I want to show you something.
It's not the royal yacht, I know, but at least you won't get seasick on the Serpentine.
An afternoon away from all of this.
What do you say, Nancy? I say, yes, please.
Congestion in the lungs? Is that dangerous? As I said to the Prince earlier this morning, such a complication is a concern in a child of such a tender age.
You have spoken to the Prince? Yes, ma'am, only this morning.
He asked me if the Princess's condition - could have been caused by a draught.
- I see.
- And what did you say? - Very difficult to say one way or the other, but for now our concern must be for the Princess.
We must hope this fever breaks soon.
And if it doesn't? Harriet.
Try not to worry, ma'am.
These childhood fevers can seem much worse than they really are.
But it's my fault.
I took her for a walk in the park because Lehzen thought she needed fresh air.
Now Albert blames Lehzen and he says that she's coming between us.
It can be very difficult to hold two people in your heart at once, ma'am.
'Drummond I have been thinking about our interrupted dinner.
' - Mr Drummond, a message for you.
- 'Whether it could be revived.
I understand I have no right to determine your future, but it would be a shame if you never tasted the oysters at Ciros.
I will be there this evening.
Yours, Alfred.
' It must be said, Mr Speaker, That the Prime Minister is a man who has never failed to change his mind when he found it expedient, a man without honour or indeed any ideas of his own, a man who rejects his own party to bask in the glory of royal favour, and a man who is now turning his back on the very landowners that have made this nation great! (Sir, a moment.
) - I sent out the whips.
- Bentinck is a total blackguard.
- I ought to call him out! - A dual wouldn't be wise.
He has insulted my honour.
I may be a prime minister, but I'm also a gentleman.
No-one could doubt that, sir.
But such an action would do nothing to advance your cause.
Hmph.
You sound like my wife.
Lady Peel always tells me I'm too hasty.
I trust Florence will keep you in order.
This is my Calvary, Drummond.
I hope I can bear it with grace.
I know you will, sir.
Harriet, there is something I need to Erm, I must go back to the nursery.
- I couldn't wait any longer.
- Oh.
Such a vulgar tune, I cannot understand why it as become so popular.
Oh, I thought you liked weddings.
Only between the right people, Ernest.
I will be delighted when you marry Princess Gertrude - ~ - Then I'm afraid you will be disappointed.
How's Vicky? I will go to the nursery to see if I can help at all.
I think your brother is about to make a terrible mistake.
At least he is honest about his desires.
Even you must see the difference between a private encounter and a public mesalliance.
I can see the difference between hypocrisy and truth.
Oh, Albert, perhaps when you are older you will understand that it is not always necessary to be right.
I trust you are returning to the nursery? My love.
My love, my love.
She is so strong.
Like her mother, she will not be beaten.
- Your hand? - That is what happens when I do not listen to you.
We have both been stubborn.
It doesn't matter now.
I speak for the workers of this country, who may not have votes but who deserve, nonetheless, to buy untaxed food.
Mr Speaker, I commend this bill to the House.
Hear, hear! I move the Bill of Repeal onto the table.
Those in favour to the right and those not in favour to the left.
Lock the doors! Ayes -- 327.
Noes -- 229.
The ayes have it.
Unlock! Oh.
The fever has broken.
- God bless Sir Robert Peel! - Hurrah! Thank you.
Thank you.
- Hurrah! - Thank you very much.
Thank you.
- Hurrah! - Thank you.
Are you sure I can't take you home? Thank you, sir, but, er, I have an engagement.
Thank you for stopping me making a fool of myself over Bentinck.
Thank you.
Sir Robert Peel, prepare to meet your maker.
Drummond! Oh, God, talk to me! Drummond! Drummond, talk to me! Drummond! My apologies for keeping you waiting.
Vicky's fever has broken, and, erm, Sir James thinks she will make a full recovery.
I am relieved to hear it, ma'am.
Why the grave faces, gentlemen? - What is it, the bill? - The bill passed last night by 98 votes.
Oh, this is a great day, Sir Robert.
It is the beginning of a new era of enlightenment.
Some lunatic took a shot at Peel last night as he left the house.
Drummond was with him and, er, he stopped the bullet.
Dead? Why would anybody want to kill you? The gunman was a farmer, who thought the Repeal Bill would ruin him.
Will you excuse me, Ma'am? I will go to Drummond's mother and fiancee.
It must be me that tells them.
Yes.
Yes, of course.
Oh, that poor girl.
Letter for you, ma'am.
Lord Alfred, would you accompany me to the amber drawing room? - I'm finding the stairs rather tricky.
- I can help, Aunt.
No, I want Lord Alfred.
I hope you're feeling strong, Lord Alfred.
Why, Duchess? Would you like me to carry you? I'm afraid you will find this very hard to bear.
Take a deep breath.
Now another one.
Here, have some of this.
I may be old but I'm not blind.
I know what he meant to you.
Now, I suggest you go to your room and compose yourself.
And remember .
.
at the funeral the chief mourners will be his mother .
.
and his fiancee.
We are going with the Queen to visit poor Mr Drummond's fiancee.
The Queen is waiting.
Would it be very wrong of me to want to talk about happier things? There is something that I'd like to ask you.
After dinner? The usual place.
This is nice.
Nothing to do except sit back and watch you do all the work.
That's the way it should always be.
Are you offering to keep me in the lap of luxury? A woman like you should be lying on a sofa eating strawberry tarts.
You do make very good tarts.
I do make very good tarts.
I think I need some shade.
Would you like to come under my parasol? Your Majesty.
I came to advise you that my government will be defeated tonight on the Irish Bill, and when that happens I have decided to resign.
Sir Robert, are you sure? Now that the Repeal Bill is passed, ma'am, I feel my work is done.
And .
.
after Drummond, well, You have been a great prime minister.
Thank you, ma'am.
Serving you has been a privilege.
Even if it wasn't always very easy.
- But always illuminating.
- I shall miss your counsel very much.
You flatter me, ma'am.
I think we both know that no-one is indispensable.
Sir Robert, you are leaving? For the last time, sir.
"To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven.
" Well, I I wish it was not time.
Goodbye, sir.
Goodbye.
~ What's the matter, Master Brodie? Have you seen the mark of Cain? Actually it's more like a rash, sir, coppery in colour.
- Would you like a hand mirror, so you can get a better look? - No.
No, I have seen quite enough.
The Prince says to tell you he is sorry, but he is indisposed, Your Grace.
'And Cinderella married Prince Charming and they lived happily ever after.
' She looks like herself again, thank goodness.
- I was so worried.
- I did not doubt that she would recover, Majesty.
There is so much of you in her.
But she looks like Albert.
Lehzen.
Majesty.
I've been thinking.
It's selfish of me, keeping you here in England.
Your family in Hanover must miss you terribly.
They have managed without me for 20 years.
I hardly remember them.
Then think how happy they'll be to see you again.
I doubt they will recognise me.
- Lehzen - I have never wanted you to choose between the Prince and me.
When you got married, I wondered if it was time for me to go, but somehow I could not find the moment to leave.
I thought you still needed me, you see.
My loyalty has always been to you, and only to you, not to Cornwall, not to your mother.
I have dedicated my life to protecting you.
Lehzen, you don't need to protect me from the Prince.
He loves me, just as you do.
My belief is that he would like to control you, Majesty.
Because you have never been married you think of marriage as a battle where one side must achieve victory over the other.
The Prince and I, we have our differences, - but we're on the same side.
- I'm glad to hear that, Majesty.
In that case, I will make the necessary arrangements.
The only thing that I've ever wanted is your happiness, Majesty.
You must know, Lehzen, for many years you were everything to me.
Do you remember how you held my hand when we walked down the stairs at Kensington? I never wanted you to fall.
I never did.
Oh, Lehzen.
I will miss you so much.
~ Cut down in the flower of his youth, we come here today to mourn the passing of Edward Drummond, a man who had already achieved so much, a devoted son, a man who only next month was to be married .
.
in this very church.
Florence, this is Lord Alfred.
Lord Alfred.
Edward spoke about you so often.
You both liked those awful cheroots.
Well, we, we shared some bad habits.
He, he will I trust the carriage is to your satisfaction, Baroness? Yes, Mr Penge.
I have brought you something for the journey.
I will miss you, Mr Penge.
~ - Good boy.
That's right.
- Mama, Mama, Look what Uncle Leopold brought! Oh! Uncle Leopold is - very kind.
- I would do anything for my family.
I know.
A ride, a ride! Oh, come on, Vicky, this is Herbert.
- This is Herbert.
- Say hello to Herbert.
- Hello, Herbert.
- Good, good.
Bertie! Hello, Herbert.