Who’s the Best Queen Victoria on Screen?

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With Victoria premiering on PBS Masterpiece, Jenna Coleman becomes the umpteenth woman to portray England’s long-reigning Queen Victoria on screen. How will she stack up against all the others? You’ll get to decide that later.

First, we have to rank those who came before, and oh yeah, she has plenty of competition. Here we go, it’s your chance to vote for the best portrayal of Queen Victorian in a historical costume movie or TV show!

 

 

Who’s the best Queen Victoria on screen? At least until Jenna Coleman?

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Three historical costumers who decided the world needed a podcast and blog dedicated to historical costume movies and everything right and wrong with them.

28 Responses

  1. Susan Pola

    You forgot Annette Crosbie in Edward VII. Did I mention how much I love Annette Crosbie? ? My favourite older Queen Victorias are Annette Crosbie and Dame Judi. Younger is probably Victoria Hamilton and Jenna Coleman. Ms Hamilton, though attractive, isn’t a raving beauty and neither was Queen Victoria. Emily Blunt was okay but movie had gross historical inaccuracies – like Albert at Coronation.

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  2. Broughps

    Hard to pick with such a wide age range. I’m kind of partial to Jenna Coleman at this point.

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  3. Katie

    I’d have to say Annette Crosbie in the 1975 “Edward VII” as well. Robert Hardy as Albert is also just fantastic. Granted, with over eleven hours of running time, that production had the advantage of being able to really spend time with the characters in a way that a two hour movie would not.

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  4. MoHub

    I’d also nominate Miriam Margolyes in Blackadder’s Chirstmas Carol, with Jim Broadbent as Albert.

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    • Susan Pola

      That’s right. If I remember, the movie was really not very accurate.

      But when I think of Ms Schneider, I think of Elizabeth ‘Sisi’ of Austria in that trilogy and Viscont’s (I’m fuzzy on director) Ludwig.

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      • tournurefan1

        Yeah, that Victoria movie is simply awful, and follows the same ower-romantic scheme of the Sissi movies, also RS looks so unfamiliar as QV (basically because their figure is different), RS will always be Sisi!

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  5. Susan Pola

    What I remember about the Sisi movies were that despite the over romantic overtones and comedic scenes, they basically were accurate in telling of her freedom of spirit, her horrid mother-in-law, her championing Hungarian rights which led to the Dual Austro-Hungarian Empire in something like 1867 and her clothes.
    Ludwig was on her cousin, the builder of Neuschwanstein, patron of Wagner and King of Bavaria. It showed a much more jaded Sisi.

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  6. Andrew Schroeder

    Annette Crosbie came the closest to portraying Victoria’s virulent narcissism, I think. Of course the flip side is that show turned Bertie into a virtual saint.

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  7. Sonya Heaney

    I just saw Anna Neagle’s portrayal a couple of days ago, and while she might not be the best *Victoria*, I really enjoyed a film about her life that didn’t involve inventing a ridiculous, creepy romance with Lord Melbourne (*cough*Jenna Coleman*cough*), or turn her relationship with Albert into a perfect, fairy tale romance.

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  8. Juliette

    The issue with Queen Victoria is that there is such a wide age span … that the competition needs to be subdivided between old and young and even middle aged Queen Victoria. The old Queen Victoria is an absolute gift for character actresses and for actresses to dominate the screen without conforming to any modern day sexist beauty myths .. and many of those you have listed have risen effectively to the challenge. Annette Crosbie was too old to nail the young Victoria, but did better in the later years. Queen Alexandra was played by two women, the older one was absolutely stunning and really looked like Alexandra. The Edward VII miniseries made him into a sort of bed hopping James Bond swinger in a waistcoat. I believe that some original period dresses were worn by major female characters. Blunt and Hamilton looked lovely … although I think Albert was a bit sinister and controlling than the SNAG of Young Victoria.
    May I also enter a new contender : Romy Schneider in a 1954 German language production, she was a delightful young Queen Victoria which already prefigured the qualities that would make her a global star to this day around the world (except in the Anglozone) in the Sissi films. The plot of the film seemed to be taken from an old operetta – and it also resembles the 18th century play The Game of Love and Chance – and many of the elements … the lovers falling for each other when incognito appear in the first Sissi film

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  9. Daphne

    I still think The Young Victoria is one of the best historical movies out there. Yes, it has its faults (Albert being shot, Albert being present at Victoria’s coronation, Lord Melbourne being too young and handsome and well, not really a father-figure, but at least there’s no romance so hurray!) but these are so few and so minor that I really don’t mind them. And the beautiful costumes (no back-lacing here, and chemises are worn under their corsets), beautiful music, fantastic hair, stunning cinematography, and brilliant acting by pretty much everyone make up for it. (And Rupert Friend’s Albert is just heart-warming). It’s got everything that ITV Victoria lacks. It’s a shame it’s so underrated.

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