Much-loved drama Victoria, which stars Jenna Coleman and Tom Hughes as the Queen and Prince Albert, is back for a third series - and there are some new faces this time too. Georgia Humphreys finds out more from some of the stellar cast...

The year is 1848 - a turbulent and uncertain time for both Europe and the monarchy.

And there lies the dramatic backdrop for the third series of ITV hit show, Victoria, which sees Jenna Coleman reprise her role as the young Queen, alongside Tom Hughes as Prince Albert.

Not only is Queen Victoria under pressure from the government to leave London for her own safety, but her relationship with her husband is at breaking point, as they clash over the role of the monarchy.

Here, Coleman, Hughes, and new cast member Laurence Fox elaborate on what fans can expect from the new episodes.


Victoria is one of ITV's most successful dramas - the first series was the highest rating drama of 2016 on the channel.

And both Coleman and Hughes, whose romance extends off screen, were delighted to return to their roles.

"I love her lack of filter, her frankness and honesty," enthuses Blackpool-born Coleman, 32, also known for Emmerdale and Doctor Who.

"I love the fact that if she likes someone she is incredibly loyal and if she doesn't, she will let that person know.

"In terms of playing her, when she is in a bad mood or is tired, she is very reactionary and temperate so she has always been known and written about as having tempers."

Yep, we can probably expect some emotional outbursts from the monarch in the new episodes...

"As she gets older, she becomes even less controlled," adds Coleman, "so it is fun to age with her.

For Hughes, who's also 32, there is a continued fascination about how unique Albert's story is.

"There are only a small amount of people in the history of mankind who have held his position," suggests the Chester-born actor, who has also starred in BBC Two thriller Paula.

"In terms of history, this era was one of shifting sands and the world won't ever return from this point, so the human impact of that fascinates me, especially when you take these two young people at the heart of it all."


Adding to the fans' excitement over Victoria's return to our screens is the fact that Laurence Fox, 40, has joined the cast as the Foreign Secretary Lord Palmerston.

"He's a bit of an old rogue," the Lewis star offers up as a description of the role. "He's a little bit Boris Johnson-y."

The actor, who was born in Yorkshire, continues with a smile: "He's a maverick, doesn't do what he's told, very rude to everybody, but quite diplomatic."

There are similarities between his character and President Donald Trump too, Fox notes.

"What they do cleverly in the show is parallel it up with modern life, so there is a slight Trump-iness to him in terms of the fact that he is a populist and nationalist and a troublemaker. And slightly randy as well, which is always good."

So what is Palmerston's relationship with Victoria like?

"Bit fractious. He thinks, 'What are these Germans doing in charge of England?' So, he sort of gently winds them up.

"She's very patient; we do develop a begrudging respect for each other, because I give her some good advice. And she appreciates the fact that I [Palmerston] am strong willed and single minded and that I act in what I perceive to be the nation's' best interest.

"Albert on the other hand, to me, is just some German dude."


Another new development this series is the arrival of Victoria's mysterious sister Feodora, who makes an unexpected return into the Queen's life.

Played by Harlots star Kate Fleetwood, viewers will quickly realise that the siblings have a tricky relationship.

"There is a lot of unspoken resentment and history between these two - Victoria resents Feodora for leaving her when she went off and got married, Feodora resents Victoria for having the attention and focus because she was the heir," explains Coleman.

"They also have a shared experience at Kensington which bonds them so there is a constant push and pull of love and resentment between them. They haven't seen each other for years and instinctively Victoria doesn't trust Feodora."

Feodora also has an impact on Albert, says Hughes, as she "plays him brilliantly, preying on a weakness she may not even realise he has".

He continues: "She becomes everything Albert is lacking. Victoria and him are distant and when the invisible string between them is fraying, he needs that female figure in his life as there is a void and Feodora sweeps in and fills that."


When the series starts, Victoria is pregnant with her and Albert's sixth child. So, as you would expect, there are a lot of children running around in between takes.

"It is a form of utterly amazing and completely chaotic mayhem," quips Coleman.

"You just have to call action and see what happens. Kids really do say the funniest things and it is the unpredictability on set which is hilarious, especially when you throw in a few dogs, horses and a couple of politicians. I can't imagine the palace now not inhabited by hoards of children."

Another challenge for Coleman this series was filming a scene in which Victoria takes what was meant to be a leisurely dip.

She had to wear a bathing suit which "is a lot like pyjamas that are made from hemp" and there were some treacherous waves that day.

"It was absolutely freezing and unfortunately we had to film this twice because the weather was so awful," she recalls.

The shoot for Victoria sounds intense, what with long days of filming and some uncomfortable period costumes.

But even with the early starts on set, Fox says Palmerston has been the most "fun character ever" to play. And, as with all the roles he delves into, he never struggled to switch off after filming.

"I'm only ever really concentrating when they say 'action' anyway. I don't really like to concentrate at other times, otherwise it's all a bit serious. When you work with people who are very serious, it can be very draining."

Of the acting process, he continues: "The longer you do it, the more forgiving you are towards everyone's process and at the end of the day you've got to respect how everybody gets to their place.

"But not for me; it's like you've got to play and feel quite playful, and then you can go and do what you need to do."

Victoria returns to ITV on Sunday, March 24