Coming Soon: Victoria, as in Queen

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There’s always interesting historical costume movies and TV shows in the works, but one I’m particularly looking forward to is Victoria. Starring Jenna Coleman of Doctor Who fame as the queen, it will air in the U.S. on PBS sometime in early 2017, and in the U.K. on ITV. According to IMDB, the series will cover Victoria’s early life through her marriage to Prince Albert.

There will be eight episodes (supposedly, although I’m getting used to things getting edited together differently for U.S. viewing — sigh!). So far, I haven’t been able to find out who is the costume designer.

Here’s some pics and clips of costumes to whet your appetite!

 

Queen Victoria’s Coronation Gown

It looks like the costume features a white brocade gown with very mid-1830s sleeves, round waistline, and wide lace bertha (the frill around the neckline), with red velvet and gold trimmed robes:

Victoria (2017)

Here’s Coleman as Queen Victoria in her coronation gown.

Victoria (2017)

And with her coronation robes over that dress.

Victoria (2017)

And in full crown.

And here’s a teaser trailer showing the outfit in action:

Compare it to the real deal:

Queen Victoria coronation robes

A painting documenting the queen in her coronation robes, which were clearly a bit more ornate. Portrait of Queen Victoria in her coronation robes by George Hayter, 1838, Royal Collection, via Wikimedia Commons.

 

Here’s a drawing of the real Victoria’s crown, which has since been changed. Imperial State Crown of the United Kingdom, from Hugo Gerard Ströhl: Heraldischer Atlas, Stuttgart 1899, via Wikimedia Commons.

Queen Victoria’s Privy Council Dress

I’m really excited about this reproduction of the gown Queen Victoria wore to her first Privy Council meeting. Check out the costume in what looks like black silk satin:

Victoria (2017)

Check it out in action in this extended clip:

Then compare it to the real gown:

mourning-dress-once-black-2

Here’s the real dress, which still exists but has faded from black to brown. 19th-century dyes were notoriously “fugitive,” meaning they change color over time. Mourning dress (once black, now faded) worn by Queen Victoria to her first Privy Council on 20 June 1837, the day of her accession to the throne, via Gogmsite.

Queen Victoria privy council dress

And a close-up of the really cool sleeves. Via Macleans.ca.

Queen Victoria’s Wedding Dress

You kind of have to get this one right, since it’s been done so well previously AND it’s another gown that still exists. Unfortunately the only image I have found has Coleman half covered up with a robe, but we can at least see the ivory satin, wide lace flounce, and orange blossoms in her hair:

Victoria (2017)

And again, the real thing:

Queen Victoria wedding

Apparently what it looked like on the day … I’m confused why the lace skirt flounce you’ll see below isn’t in this image, as I’ve definitely read that it was there. Note they got the hair right! Detail of The Marriage of Queen Victoria, 10 February 1840 by George Hayter, 1840-2, Royal Collection, via Wikimedia Commons.

Queen Victoria wedding gown

Again, the real dress still exists, although it is missing its lace flounce. Queen Victoria’s wedding dress, Museum of London, via lamodeillustree.livejournal.com.

Queen Victoria wedding portrait

This isn’t the same dress, but it’s a good example of what the missing lace flounce on the skirt would look like. The Young Queen Victoria by Winterhalter, 1842, via Wikimedia Commons.

 

Other Costumes in Victoria

Victoria (2017)

Coleman is wearing blue contacts to match the queen’s eye color. This dress appears to have a pleated V-shaped bit on the front.

Victoria (2017)

This is a terrible Photoshop job, whoever did this. Nonetheless, we’ve got a blue evening gown with bertha.

Victoria (2017)

And a damask evening gown.

Victoria (2017)

And a pretty blue taffeta day dress. I love all the froof in her hair! Clearly blue is going to be Victoria’s color.

Victoria (2017)

Here she’s in a royal blue (satin?) gown with a black net edging around the neckline.

Victoria (2017)

And a faaaabulous green riding habit with smashing hat and veil. Shockingly not blue!

Boys in Victoria

Prince Albert will be played by Tom Hughes of Dancing on the Edge and The Hollow Crown:

Victoria (2017)

I very much approve of the uniform and the Tight Trousers. Rowr.

And Rufus Sewell will play prime minister Lord Melbourne:

Victoria (2017)

Hopefully the man bag won’t make it into the finished film.

Will you watch Victoria when it comes to TV in early 2017?

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About the author

Kendra

Website

Kendra has been a fixture in the online costuming world since the late 1990s. Her website, Démodé Couture, is one of the most well-known online resources for historical costumers. In the summer of 2014, she published a book on 18th-century wig and hair styling. Kendra is a librarian at a university, specializing in history and fashion. She’s also an academic, with several articles on fashion history published in research journals.

14 Responses

  1. Nit-Picking Badger

    Not completely thrilled by the costumes (but I do like that riding habit). Why on earth is the Garter sash so wide (see Privy Council Dress)? It’s about twice as wide as it needs to be, and looks completely silly!
    See here http://www.gogmsite.net/_Media/1842-queen-victoria-after.jpeg
    (spot also the real Victoria wearing the Garter around her arm, first female monarch to wear it. They researched 15th c. effigies to let her know how Ladies of the Garter wore it…speaking of which, nice to see it around Albert’s knee in this upcoming series).
    What is the fashion for differences of UK/US broadcasts? Advert breaks? I remember you got War and Peace (still shudders in horror) in different sections.
    Re the post on Anne Boleyn, I’m a bit Victoria-ed out. Really hoping that rumours of film on Queen and Sarah Churchill, Duchess of Marlborough will see the light (although in the meantime, there is always the wonderful 1970s ‘The First Churchills’, which is a periwig-fangirl’s delight…)

    Reply
    • Susan Pola

      I enjoyed the First Churchills and I’m afraid the new one won’t be as good. And also how are they going to handle the Sarah/Anne possible lesbian relationship?

      Reply
    • woostersauce2014

      Actually she didn’t wear the Garter in her first Privy Council appearance. Sir David Wilkie was commissioned to do a painting of the event and she’s not wearing the insignia of the Order of the Garter (although Wilike himself took artistic liberties by depicting her dress as white rather than black).

      Reply
  2. Susan Pola

    I too am excited about series. I believe Victoria’s coronation dress exists.

    Reply
  3. Charity

    Looks good!

    That blue satin gown with the black net edging at the top… is ringing a bell somewhere, as if I’ve seen it before…

    Reply
  4. Andrew

    According to “In Royal Fashion,” Victoria was buried in her wedding lace, which is why it’s no longer with the dress.

    Reply
  5. Cheryl

    Hmm I have to agree with above… Kinda ‘over’ Victoria and Anne Boleyn, as you ladies pointed out, there are *so* many other interesting figures in so many periods to feature instead. Isn’t this the same timeline as the not-that-old young victoria? That said, will probably watch as it does look pretty.

    Side note, wtf is up with the real victoria’s hands in the 1842 portrait?! And then again in the picture from badger up there. Seriously those are almost identical, crazy looking hands.

    Reply
  6. opusanglicanum

    theres an upcoming exhibition at Buckingham palace on the current queen’s iconic gowns that I’m intending to see when next down sarth. interestingly the photos in the sunday times last week showed that both her coronation and wedding gowns have faded from brilliant white to deep ivory bordering on yellow,

    Reply
  7. Adina

    Wait, wasn’t this already done in the Young Victoria?
    Are they trying to make Victoria the next Elizabeth-in that there will be a zillion movies/TV special about her?

    Reply
    • Susan Pola

      In the last fifteen or so years, there have been three movies/TV series on Queen Victoria. The first Victoria and Albert starring Victoria Hamilton & Johnathan Firth, Colin’s baby brother. It’s worth watching for them and Diana Rigg as Baroness Lehzen. The next is the movie Young Victoria costumes by the ‘Costume Goddess’ Sandy Powell and this version.
      Only version that portrays Victoria as not pixie pretty is first.
      Three in 15 years is not a glut.

      Reply
      • Adina

        Thank for the info, I’ll definitely have to check them out!
        I think I’ve just seen a bunch of stuff recently that has Victoria in it tangentially/is set in Victorian times, so that’s mixing me up.

        Reply

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