In the first of five podcasts we look at the life and reign of Queen Victoria, beginning in 1817 with the death of the Prince Regent's only legitimate child, Princess Charlotte, and the race among George III's sons to produce a legitimate heir. The Duke of Kent was the winner, but he did not have long to enjoy it, leaving Victoria under the thumb of Sir John Conroy and her mother in the Kensington System, keeping her under strict control. In this episode, we follow her stand against Conroy, her early years as queen with the genial PM Lord Melbourne, and finally her marriage to Prince Albert. This is a very different Victoria from the popular memory: young, spirited, laughing and sensual - but the tragedy of 1861 would change everything.... . .
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