“Love Rules All” – My Thoughts on ‘The Young Victoria’

RELEASED: 2009
DIRECTOR: Jean-Marc Vallée
ACTORS/ACTRESSES: Emily Blunt (Queen Victoria) + Rupert Friend (Prince Albert)

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‘The Young Victoria (2009)’ starring Emily Blunt and Rupert Friend

As soon as the clocks struck midnight, my first moments of 2018 were celebrated with Queen Victoria and Prince Albert!

Yes I know that sounds a lil’ strange… Instead of raising a glass of champagne or watching a magnificent firework display, my New Years’ celebrations were spent watching the absolutely gorgeous film: ‘The Young Victoria’.

I tell you what guys – 2017/18 was one of the best New Year celebrations that I have ever experienced by far! Is this saying a lot about my previous New Years? Has my history-obsession gone a bit too far? Oh well, how cares?! ! I highly recommend it to you all!

(Also… who knew partying with Victoria and Albert could be such a blast)?! 

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Emily Blunt as Queen Victoria and Rupert Friend as Prince Albert in ‘The Young Victoria’. 

As you may have already guessed, I am a real sucker for this film! I’m struggling to come to terms with the fact that ‘The Young Victoria’ is near to reaching its tenth birthday. It seems like only yesterday when my geeky, teenage-self settled down to watch it in the cinema. I may have been the youngest member of the audience by several decades! Yet that still didn’t stop me from falling head-over-heels in love with this light-hearted, inspiring and incredibly romantic film. As ‘The Young Victoria’ never fails to lift my spirits, how could I possibly resist watching it whilst marking the dawn of a new year?

Before ITV’s incredible series ‘Victoria’, Emily Blunt was faced with the daunting task of bringing the young, vivacious and passionate young Queen to life. Before this film, many people were unaware of Victoria’s dramatic and exciting youth. The black-and-white photographs of a drab, stern and overweight old woman are forever imprinted upon people’s minds. That is the woman whom people instantly conjure up when Queen Victoria is mentioned.

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The image of Queen Victoria everyone recognises – the Queen during her latter years: dressed in black, stern and overweight.

Victoria may have given her name to an age, reigned for many years and ruled over a vast Empire. Yet in contrast, the latter years of her life were plagued with mourning for her much-adored husband, Prince Albert. Throughout most of her widowhood, Victoria transformed into a pitiful recluse and draped her ever-expanding figure in yards of black fabric. It is difficult to imagine that this dour-looking Queen was once an attractive, spirited and feisty young girl.

Well ‘The Young Victoria’ aimed to portray just that. Viewers are greeted by a teenage girl on the verge of womanhood. Emily Blunt does an astounding job in recreating Victoria’s resilience, determination and youthful stubbornness. Viewers witness moments of tantrums, fears and frustrations, as Victoria’s surprisingly restricted childhood within the confines of Kensington Palace are brought vividly to life. It would come to a surprise to some that this stern-look elderly widow, once endured a fraught relationship with her mother and fought off the pressures for a regency, all before she was 18 years of age!

Fast-forward the film, and audiences later encounter Victoria upon her accession to the throne. It’s refreshing to watch the maturity and development a strong historical heroine on film. We follow Queen V as she confronts many trials during the early years of her reign, including a dangerous constitutional crisis and threats to her life!

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Actors Mark Strong and Miranda Richardson also star in ‘The Young Victoria’

However, alongside the twists-and-turns of Victoria’s reign, ‘The Young Victoria’ could not revive the Queen’s early life without recreating the most major and life-changing event – her love for Prince Albert. Prince Albert is played by the actor Rupert Friend, who does amazingly well in depicting a man who was level-headed, intelligent and the true soulmate to Victoria’s character. (You cannot help by fall in love with Albert yourself)! The development of the royal relationship is beautifully done in ‘The Young Victoria’, because it’s not afraid to show Victoria and Albert’s flaws and disputes. I mean, no matter how romantic it appears, no marriage is perfect right? By portraying their first argument and unveiling their differences, ‘The Young Victoria’ does an applaudable job in making the royal couple appear more human to a modern audience.

What’s more, whether you’re a history-buff or not, I’m sure there are many of you out there who cannot resist a good love story? Therefore, even though this film is based on historical events, please do not dismiss ‘The Young Victoria’ lightly!

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‘The Young Victoria’ partly filmed outside Blenheim Palace

Combined with a delightful love story and real-life historical events, ‘The Young Victoria’ flows beautifully with stunning locations, exquisite costumes (especially Victoria’s!), great acting and a sublime soundtrack. Some of you may recognise Ham House, Hampton Court Palace’s gardens and Blenheim Palace making the odd appearance. You actually feel as if you are walking through the corridors of Kensington or Buckingham Palace in the 19th century. Furthermore, other talented actors such as Miranda Richardson (Belle), Jim Broadbent (Bridget Jones) and Mark Strong (The Imitation Game) help to make ‘The Young Victoria’ an absolute dream to watch.

I know I praise this film to the skies and you may be thinking, “I don’t think that I’ll love it as much! Maybe not to the extent that I’ll watch it during New Years’ Eve!”. But I strongly encourage you all to give it a chance! ‘The Young Victoria’ is such an eye-opening, heartwarming film that I think you’ll appreciate it at least a little bit…

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The Real Queen Victoria and Prince Albert

Not only is it a love story, but it’s also a true tale about two inspirational people who helped to rule an Empire, dominated an industrious age and overcame many trials and transformations together. You will come away from ‘The Young Victoria’, feeling as if you know the old and unassuming Queen a little better. You’ll certainly be inspired to discover more about this infamous monarch, and may even be able to relate to her story on more than one level? No matter what you’re looking for in a film, I’m sure you’ll find ‘The Young Victoria’ will succeed in capturing your interest somehow. Impressive acting throughout; dazzling scenes, eye-catching costumes and an incredible true story of a young woman in love – what is there not to like?!

WANT TO WATCH ‘THE YOUNG VICTORIA’ TOO?
AMAZON (UK): https://www.amazon.co.uk/Young-Victoria-DVD-Emily-Blunt/dp/B001UQ5T4U

THE YOUNG VICTORIA’ ON IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0962736/

‘THE YOUNG VICTORIA’ TRAILER: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q-YPoBU7_aQ

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