Victoria and Albert: The Royal Wedding – BBC2

Victoria and Albert: The Royal Wedding
(Image credit: BBC)

Historian Lucy Worsley recreates the wedding of the 19th Century

Historian Lucy Worsley recreates the wedding of the 19th Century

This year has seen two royal weddings take place – and now historian Lucy Worsley is bringing us a third!

In this documentary she re-stages the wedding of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, re-creating everything from the 200-strong guest list to the 300lb tiered cake and the white dress that went on to be a must-have for all brides, even today.

To make life even harder for the team, they had to re-create each item in exactly the same way it would have been made in 1840, referring to newspapers and Queen Victoria’s diaries for details.

A fascinating look at the wedding that formed the template for all those to come.

TV Times rating: ****

Victoria and Albert: The Royal Wedding

A dramatic reconstruction of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert's wedding ceremony

Here, in an exclusive interview with TV Times, Lucy, who turns 45 on 18 December, tells us more about this epic challenge…

Why did you want to recreate Queen Victoria’s wedding?

We wanted to recreate a special day in royal history and next year is Victoria’s bicentenary. It makes you answer all sorts of questions that never normally come up, like how exactly the wedding cake was made. It’s a little snapshot of so many things – the dress, the individual characters who were involved, the changing nature of the monarchy – and, in a year when we’ve had two royal weddings, it’s very interesting to see where the royal wedding first began back in 1840.

It sounds like a huge project…

It was. The biggest challenge was trying to find people who could provide the right stuff. There was a special cake tin that had to be made; we had to find all the game on the menu – some of which it is illegal to eat now. And then there were the costumes…

How hard was it to have everything as it was in 1840?

It wasn’t possible to do absolutely everything. We’ve lost the skills and we didn’t have the ready access to cheap labour that people had in the 19th century. On their cake, Queen Victoria and Prince Albert had this amazing sugar sculpture but it would have been impossible to make that in the modern age. We had to use a 3D printer.

Mandy Cooper
TV Times Highlights Editor

As TV Times Highlights Editor I get to hear about all the latest TV shows coming soon. Here at TVT HQ we are in the privileged position of selecting the best programmes from across all the channels and streaming platforms. Our mission is to make it easier for our readers to decide what to watch - and give them lots of choice of genres - all the latest shows, plus some nostalgic choices we call hidden gems, too. My career began with a postgraduate degree in periodical journalism (ahem, yes old school!) in 1991 and I’ve worked in TV media since 2000.