Why did an actress who is pretty play the young Queen Victoria in the ITV production? Wasn’t the real Victoria quite plain and unattractive?


Janet S

She was pretty in youth.


Because it is made for TV, for entertainment. How many ugly people do you see on TV unless the character is intentionally ugly as required in the script?


Er, sorry, ladies and gentlemen, but Victoria was never "attractive," not even by the standards of the time and despite the efforts of such artists as Winterhalter to pretty her up in early portraits. She was always quite plain. However, television and film audiences don't want to see historical series in which everyone looks as they really did. They want to see history in a rosy, fantasized glow. When I show portraits of kings and queens reputed to be good-looking to my students, they are always quite disappointed. Reality is no fun. Producers, directors, and casting directors know that audiences want to imagine historical figures according to modern standards of beauty, and they cater to that desire. It's a good strategy from the standpoint of ratings.


Queen Victoria, when she was younger, was a very attractive woman.. It was only after the death of her husband Prince Albert, her Prince Consort, in 1861 when Victoria was 42 and she was overcome with grief, that she began to become what you call "quite plain and unattractive". She dressed only in black in mourning for him for the rest of her life and she rarely appeared in public . Victoria lived and reigned for almost another 40 years and died in 1901 when she was 81 years old.


Basically, because the entertainment biz has very little space for women who aren't pretty. Even with a character like Eileen Wuornos, they'd rather stick some prosthetics on Charlize Theron than hire a less pretty actress.

Clo G.-B.

Entertainment casts attractive people to play real-life subjects who weren't as pretty or handsome as the actors playing them. Writers, directors, and producers often take artistic license in their treatment of history--striving to be entertaining rather than factual.

Louise C

She was not considered plain as a girl. Not a great beauty, but pretty enough to satisfy her subjects. Charles Dickens for instance was infatuated with her when she was a young woman. "I am sorry to say" he confided in a friend "that I have fallen hopelessly in love with the Queen, and wander up and down with vague and dismal thoughts of running away with a maid of honour." My main objection to her portrayal in the ITV series is not that she is pretty, but that she is portrayed as a 21st century feminist, which she was not.


Better ratings


She was, but that is not the point is it?


As said, Queen Victoria was attractive at least, as a young woman. I think the actresses I've seen portraying her, were ok playing the part.

Sir Prince Kenny

As a young woman, she was very attractive but, all those children, all that laudanum, the comparatively early demise of her husband and the deep depression after, took it's toll.


That's right, Tv companies seem to like to gloss over the truth to make more money, No mention of Victoria's drug abuse I suppose.


yeah maybe the makers believed people would not watch if she was ugly