Nicole • March 04, 2019

HARPER’S BAZAAR UK – Just standing in Queen Victoria’s bed chamber in Kensington Palace, two centuries after she was born here, I feel swept back in time – little seems to have changed. The floor-to-ceiling windows still look out over green fields and water as far as the eye can see; the floral wallpaper, while not the original, was chosen by Queen Mary to reflect it.

Oddest of all, in this same building, a clutch of dukes, duchesses and princesses, not to mention Prince William and his young family, are co-existing more or less happily in what must surely be the world’s most aristocratic apartment block. A Jacobean mansion, originally extended by Christopher Wren for William and Mary, it is conveniently located a stone’s throw from the buses and boutiques of Kensington High Street.

This was, most famously, the home of Diana, Princess of Wales, becoming a place of pilgrimage after her fatal car crash in 1997, with mourners coming from around the globe to add their tributes to the sea of bouquets piled up before its gates. (Subsequently, her apartment was stripped of its furnishings and left as a shell for years; no wonder when Prince William decided to make his own home there, he chose Princess Margaret’s former apartments instead.)

At the moment, however, my attention is focused on the young woman who has just entered the room, escorted by a retinue of security guards, dressers and ladies-in-waiting. She’s tiny as a fairy and exquisitely dressed in full-length brocade and twinkling diamonds… Only the trace of Lancashire in Jenna Coleman’s low voice dispels the illusion that the monarch has returned in person to her childhood home.

These are difficult times for ardent republicans, with both The Crown and Victoria drawing huge audiences across the globe. In the case of Victoria, the series’ appeal is down to a combination of Coleman’s beguiling portrayal and Daisy Goodwin’s lively script, which have together comprehensively recast the Queen’s image. Rather than the dour, repressive widow whose matronly form is immortalised in municipal statuary across her former empire, we are admitted into the presence of a youthful, beautiful and deliciously impulsive creature, whose struggles to ‘have it all’ – an all-consuming job, time with her young family and a meaningful relationship with a spouse whose own ego is threatened by her status – seem utterly contemporary.

This appealing interpretation is no mere populist fantasy, though with her wide hazel eyes, dramatic brows and delicate features, Coleman is a good deal prettier than Victoria ever was. She is impressively dedicated to portraying the role as accurately as possible, goes to Kensington Palace “whenever I can”, and obsessively scours biographies and the Queen’s own diaries for clues to her personality. Queen Victoria’s own drawings are her favourite source of inspiration. “You really feel that you are seeing the world through her eyes. Everything else has been edited – even her diaries, which were cut by her daughter.”

(Read the rest of the article at the source)


Magazine Scans & Clippings > Harper’s Bazaar UK (April 2019) [+2]
Photoshoots > Sessions from 2019 > 004 – Harper’s Bazaar UK [+8]