Fan favorites Prince Ernest, the unofficial royal marriage counselor, and Chef Francatelli, the only cook Victoria and her household enjoy, also return in the double episode premiere. It doesn’t make life easy for Harriet, who returns in the second episode for Princess Victoria’s christening, and Mrs. Skerritt, who now has a promotion to head dresser and her former romantic interest back in the palace.
The second hour introduces tension in Victoria and Albert’s marriage outside of Victoria’s role of becoming a mother (one she is not identifying with very well) with the cameo appearances of Ada Lovelace (played by Call The Midwife’s Emerald Fennell) and Richard Babbage. Albert is fascinated with the Analytical Engine they’ve created and is spending much of his time at the Royal Society, leaving Victoria to attend to motherly duties and cope with being pregnant for the second time, only months after the birth of Princess Victoria. Victoria’s humiliation is stretched even further as she embarrasses herself in front of Ada Lovelace (did anyone else cringe at the mention of pi versus pie?), causing her to further believe she is far from Albert’s intellectual and romantic equal. After a series of missed messages and the pregnancy reveal, Victoria and Albert reconcile by the end of the episode. Other happenings included a thief in the palace (how did anyone not see this kid? Buckingham Palace is large, but the household staff is numerous), Mrs. Skerritt hiring a Catholic assistant dresser (much to the chagrin of Mr. Penge), and the brief return of Rufus Sewell as Lord Melbourne. The trending posts of joy on social media were short-lived, however, as it was revealed near the end of the episode that Lord M’s days are numbered: he is clearly ill, being treated with leeches without long to live. With Sewell’s popularity on Victoria, it will be difficult to see him go.
Finally, we come to Tweet of the Week. Unfortunately, I’m sad to announce that there were no qualifying tweets for Tweet of the Week this week! Remember, we invite you to live-tweet with us every Sunday during Victoria and get a chance to win a prize when you tag us @mygpb and use the hashtag #GPBLovesVictoriaPBS . Nevertheless, we want to celebrate the return of Victoria with a giveaway, and this week we’ll be giving away a copy of Victoria & Albert: A Royal Love Affair!