As her death approaches, Queen Victoria writes her last diary entry before entrusting their many volumes to Beatrice's care. Her surviving children arrive to say their last farewell.
Beatrice begins reading the diaries, recalling the mother she knew from her childhood. As Beatrice remembers, the past unfolds.
A widowed Victoria lives in seclusion with her servant John Brown and young daughter Beatrice. Observed by Benjamin Disraeli, Victoria refuses to be drawn back into public life by her children but eventually she is persuaded by Brown.
In Parliament, Disraeli, William Gladstone and their ministers debate legislation to create Victoria Empress of India. Later, Victoria and Disraeli celebrate the Queen’s imperial status.
Victoria takes John Brown to Albert's mausoleum where they share an intimate moment. Distressed by Victoria's apparent betrayal of Albert’s memory, Beatrice tears pages from the diary and hastens the conclusion of Brown's story.
Now older, Beatrice bears the burden of her mother’s grief once more. They are visited by Victoria’s children and their growing families, but she forbids any suggestion of marriage for Beatrice.
Beatrice meets Liko and the pair fall secretly in love. A furious Victoria refuses to give permission for their marriage but eventually comes round on the condition that the pair remain living with her. She offers Beatrice her wedding veil in an act of reconciliation.
The newlyweds' happiness is soon diluted by Victoria’s demands however and Liko becomes dissatisfied. Leaving for military service, he soon dies and his belongings are returned to a devastated Beatrice who becomes a widow, the reflection of her mother.
In the present, Beatrice gives in to anger as she realises how much she has colluded in being moulded into her mother's image.
Beatrice opens an early volume of Victoria’s diaries and a younger version of Victoria is revealed.
A lonely young Princess Victoria writes in her diary as Victoire and Conroy burst in and demand to see her notebook.
Early the next morning Victoria is woken to receive a visit from Lord Melbourne and Uncle Leopold who inform her that she is now Queen. Later, Victoria impresses the gathered ministers with her composure.
Lord Melbourne educates Victoria on her responsibilities as sovereign and shields her from the dirty politics of the opium trade before a party ensues where Victoria is presented with potential suitors. Amongst them is Albert, but Victoria evades the issue of marriage.
Victoria prepares for her coronation, shunning her mother who has come to assist.
Later, Victoria is surprised by the change in Albert since their first meeting and is intensely attracted to him. The couple fall in love, marry and celebrate their wedding night.
As Victoria returns to the business of ruling, Albert becomes frustrated by his own lack of authority. He sets about gaining influence and tension erupts between him and Victoria before he eventually gets her to submit to the role of mother to their children.
Albert masterminds the Great Exhibition and a pregnant Victoria is amazed and proud. Albert juggles his growing workload with an expanding family and, burned out by the pressure of his responsibilities, he dies.
Devastated, Victoria snatches up her youngest child Beatrice, retreating with her into widowhood.
In the present, Beatrice makes peace with the memory of her mother, her task now completed.
Final photo features The Young Victoria Tiara, an exact replica of the one worn by Queen Victoria. Queen Victoria was Swarovski’s first customer via couturier George Frederick Worth, who embroidered her gowns with Swarovski Crystals.
Photos on this page by Justin Slee.
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