[A]s filming begins on the highly-anticipated third series of royal drama Victoria, ITV has announced that Laurence Fox (Lewis) and Kate Fleetwood (Harlots) are set to join the cast. The announcement and start of filming marks Victoria Day, the anniversary of Queen Victoria’s birthday.
Produced by leading drama indie Mammoth Screen as a co-production with MASTERPIECE, and created by writer and producer Daisy Goodwin, the brand new series sees critically-acclaimed actress Jenna Coleman (Doctor Who) reprise her role as the young Queen, alongside Tom Hughes (Paula) as Prince Albert.
Joining the leads, Laurence Fox has been confirmed to play charismatic and wayward Foreign Secretary Lord Palmerston, whilst Tony and Olivier Award nominee Kate Fleetwood will play Victoria’s mysterious sister Feodora, who makes an unexpected return into the Queen’s life.
In addition, actor and comedian John Sessions (The Loch) will also star as Prime Minister John Russell, whilst Lily Travers (Kingsman) will play the Duchess of Monmouth. Nicholas Audsley (The White Princess), David Burnett (The Mummy) and Emily Forbes (Endeavour) also join the cast as new characters.
Starting in 1848, the third instalment of the lavish drama will depict a turbulent and uncertain time for both Europe and the monarchy. With revolutions on the continent and the Chartist movement reaching its peak in London, Victoria is under pressure from the government to leave London for her own safety.
Creator Daisy Goodwin said: “Victoria and Albert are the most famous couple of the nineteenth century, but underneath the united facade, their relationship is at breaking point and it is a struggle for mastery that neither side can win.”
Praised for its opulent production values, Victoria is one of ITV’s most successful dramas, with the first series being the highest rating drama of 2016 on the channel. The second series continued to prove immensely popular, attracting a consolidated average of 6.4 million viewers and a 25% share.
It has also been hugely popular in the US, with the second series reaching an average audience of 5.2m viewers on PBS, securing its place as second in its timeslot for the majority of the series, behind specials such as the Super Bowl, Grammys and Winter Olympics.
The eight-part series has been commissioned by ITV’s Head of Drama, Polly Hill, and production is being overseen by Senior Drama Commissioner Victoria Fea for ITV. It is being executive produced by Damien Timmer, Kate McKerrell and Daisy Goodwin for Mammoth Screen, and Rebecca Eaton for MASTERPIECE. The series will be produced by David Boulter (Dickensian) and Geoff Sax (Tipping The Velvet) will direct the first block.
Victoria is distributed by ITV Studios Global Entertainment and has been sold to 189 countries worldwide.