Sep 11 2017 1:30pm

It’s Not So Good to Be Queen: Victoria 2x03 Vicbert Heart-to-Heart

Victoria 2x03 "Warp and Weft"

Show/Episode: Victoria, Season 2, Episode 3, “Warp and Weft”
Couple(s): Vicbert

With Victoria and Albert back to being love’s young dream, and embracing the prospect of another baby, the third installment of this season sees a shift of focus for our favourite pair. The country is in a state of unrest, old friends are in ill health, and as with every trying situation, the answer to everything is to throw a party. What could possibly go wrong?

Let Them Eat Cake

Following a visit from the man who wove the silk for her wedding dress, Victoria is made aware of the hardships her people are facing.  After a failed appeal to her Prime Minister for a way to protect the livelihoods of her subjects from imported goods, she takes matters into her own hands, announcing they will throw a themed ball where attendees will wear costumes made from Spitalfields silk. Despite concerns from Peel over how it might be perceived by the people (drawing comparison to Marie Antoinette), she forges ahead with her lavish plans. 

Even as a spectator, you know it’s going to backfire on her spectacularly, which of course it does. 

The ball does signal the return of some familiar old faces who as always, leave a lasting impression on others. Lord Melbourne ventures back to London, against his physician’s wishes, while Harriett is attends, which ruffles Prince Ernest’s feathers (appropriate seeing as he’s dressed as Robin Hood).

As the evening progresses, an angry mob gathers outside the palace, causing Victoria to realise the folly of her arrogant belief in her celebration providing the solution.  In the cold light of day, the leftover food is sent to the poor, but it’s a case of too little too late, given how the press and parliament are filled with nothing but criticism for their monarch.

Trying to appease her conscience, Victoria visits the silk maker who triggered it all.  Her faith in her actions is restored a little when she sees he’s now got more work than he can cope with because of her publicity.  She leaves feeling somewhat vilified.


His Own Man or Peel’s Puppet?

After last week’s intruder, Albert is concerned over the way the palace is being run.  Voicing his concerns to Victoria, she suggests he take responsibility for reforming things, although there’s a hint she may just want to eat her breakfast in peace.

With Peel firmly against the ball, he thinks Albert should be the one to dissuade Victoria. With some not so subtle railroading from the Prime Minister, the Prince appears to agree, and promises to speak with his wife.  However, Albert gets caught up in Victoria’s exuberance when she has a crown made for his costume, and the party goes ahead, much to Peel and parliament’s disgust.

In the aftermath of the ball the men meet again, discussing the fact Albert wishes he’d been firmer with his wife over the matter. Peel panders to Albert’s ego, asking him to become patron of the project for rebuilding the Houses of Parliament. Taking his new role seriously, Albert visits Westminster Hall which survived the fire, where he meets Lord Melbourne who responsible for the saving of the building.  Lord M assures Albert he’s be a fine person to lead the project.  Lord M talks wistfully of his regrets, and Albert senses all is not well given the melancholy tone of the conversation.  Eventually Lord M admits he’s ill.


Time to Say Goodbye?

With things looking dire for Lord Melbourne, his physician advises complete rest, and getting his affairs in order.  Always one to go against the grain, Lord M ignores this and accepts Victoria’s invitation to her ball. Oblivious to his ailing condition, Victoria is delighted to see her trusted friend once more, seeking his reassurance over Peel’s belief that the event is an inappropriate extravagance. 

Knowing his time is limited, Melbourne seems to be taking his doctor’s recommendation in a more personal way, doing his best to ensure Victoria has faith in her own decisions and ability. As Victoria persuades him to join her in a waltz, he lovingly tells her she and Albert are exactly what the country needs. 

Even as Victoria expresses concern for Lord M’s health, he insists there is nothing wrong, and Lady Emma Portman provides a quick distraction allowing him to regain his breath.

Following the ball, Emma requests a leave of absence to help her sister, but as Victoria points out her sister lives next to Brockett Hall, it becomes clear Emma is planning on supporting Lord Melbourne in his final days.

Following his chat with Lord Melbourne, Albert admits the man is ill, but implores her not to break the confidence.  Victoria visits Lord M the next day under the guise of seeing him one last time before her pregnancy progresses. She gifts him a musical bird which plays Mozart, and gets emotional when explaining why she brought him the gift, whilst going to great pains to avoid him knowing she’s aware of his illness. Melbourne sees through her façade, but doesn’t let on he knows, and they share a tender goodbye, reminiscing over the good times they had, and how they both learned from each other.

When Victoria returns to the palace, she finds Dash has passed away. Bereft at losing her beloved furry companion, Albert does his best to comfort her, but as she cries in his arms, there’s a subtle hint that Victoria is also mourning her dear Lord M. We then see Lord Melbourne sitting in his armchair, listening to the bird in the cage, the chirping slows to a stop, suggesting he has also breathed his last.


Stay Tuned for Next Week….

There wasn’t a teaser at the end of this episode, but with Ernest back in Cobourg licking his wounds following a second knock back from Harriett, how long can things remain quiet around Buckingham Palace.  Will Lord Paget & Drummond finally act on their attraction, having spent the last two episodes flirting mercilessly with each other?  Who knows, but I’ll be glued to the screen as ever.


Recap: Series 2, Episode 2 Recap | See all our Victoria coverage here


Learn more about or pre-order a copy of Victoria and Albert: A Royal Love Affair by Daisy Goodwin, available November 21, 2017:

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H&H Editor Picks:

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Lou Moran is a raging bibliophile, hopeless romantic and self-confessed writing sloth. Starting out with a fanfic to test herself, eventually the chatter from an original idea bouncing around her head became too much to ignore, and A Fractured Echo was born 

When not immersed in the world of literature she can be found in the U.K. binge watching period drama & American box sets, hugging her Kitchenaid mixer, posting pictures of epic food on Twitter & Instagram, or trying to tame her two crazy children. 

Feel free to stalk her on Twitter: @LouMWrites or Wattpad: @LouMoran

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