Following critical acclaim and record ratings in both the UK and America, this Autumn sees the return of ITV's hugely popular historical drama, Victoria, produced by Mammoth Screen.
Once again written by creator and executive producer, Daisy Goodwin, the brand new eight-part season will see Jenna Coleman (Doctor Who, Me Before You) and Tom Hughes (Paula, The Game) reprise their roles as Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, as they face new challenges both at home and abroad.
Resuming one month after the first series ended, the new season establishes Victoria as a working mother, learning to balance her responsibilities as both parent and Queen. However, Prince Albert is still struggling to find a role for himself alongside his powerful wife as she returns to her duties, intent on proving that she can be both a mother and dutiful Queen.
The series will also see some new faces arrive at the palace, with iconic BAFTA Award-winning actress Dame Diana Rigg joining the regular cast as the Duchess of Bucchleuch, the young Queen's new Mistress of the Robes, and guest appearances from fellow leading actors including Emerald Fennell (Call The Midwife, Any Human Heart), Martin Compston (Line Of Duty, In Plain Sight), Bruno Wolkowitch (Spin, Cain) and Denis Lawson (New Tricks, Marchlands).
They join much-loved returning cast members including Nigel Lindsay (Unforgotten) as Sir Robert Peel, Alex Jennings (The Lady In The Van) as King Leopold, Peter Bowles (To The Manor Born) as Duke of Wellington, David Oakes (The White Queen) as Prince Ernest, Daniela Holtz (Circle Of Life) as Baroness Lehzen and Catherine Flemming (Tatort) as the Duchess of Kent. Below stairs Nell Hudson (Outlander) returns as Nancy Skerrett, Ferdinand Kingsley (Borgia) as chef Francatelli and Adrian Schiller (The Secret Agent) as Penge. Young talent Bebe Cave (Frankie) and Leo Suter (Maleficent) have also joined the cast for the second season.
The eight-part series and two-hour Christmas special has been commissioned by ITV's Head of Drama, Polly Hill, and production is being overseen for ITV by Senior Drama Commissioner Victoria Fea.
It is being executive produced by Mammoth Screen Managing Director Damien Timmer, Kate McKerrell (Lost In Austen) and Daisy Goodwin for Mammoth Screen, and once again produced by Paul Frift (Room At The Top). Directors for the series are Lisa James Larsson (Striking Out), Geoffrey Sax (Tipping The Velvet), Jim Loach (Oranges And Sunshine) and Daniel O'Hara (The Game).
Creator, Daisy Goodwin said:
"In series one, Victoria married the handsome prince, but in this series she and Albert get down to the serious business of living happily, sometimes stormily, ever after. Victoria is the only Queen Regnant to marry and give birth while on the throne and the challenges of being head of state as well as a wife and mother are legion. In many ways Victoria's dilemma is a modern one - how do you have a successful marriage and a happy family when you are holding down an important job. Can you really have it all?"
Executive Producer and Managing Director of Mammoth Screen, Damien Timmer said:
"Series one of Victoria was a big success both at home and abroad, and it is a privilege to continue to tell the story of this fascinating woman at a particularly interesting point in her reign. Audiences will be intrigued by the meticulously researched stories Daisy has planned, brimming with scandal, romance and tragedy. At the centre of it is a beautifully nuanced study of a young marriage, and it’s a joy to watch Jenna and Tom find new layers to this iconic couple."
The first series of the drama was ITV's highest rating drama of 2016, receiving critical acclaim and a consolidated average of 7.7m viewers with a 29% share. It is distributed by ITV Studios Global Entertainment and has been sold in 350 territories worldwide. It has also proved hugely popular in the US, with the first series reaching an average audience of 6.3m viewers and the first episode drawing in a 28% share - more viewers than the first series of Downton Abbey.
Victoria is a co-production with MASTERPIECE on PBS, with Rebecca Eaton serving as executive producer. Victoria premiered on MASTERPIECE on PBS on January 15, 2017.
Watch the trailer for the second series of Victoria here: