The second series of Victoria has an important mental health storyline

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Amy Swales
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TV viewers seem to have an insatiable thirst for the royals, both past and present – and perhaps it’s something to do with getting a glimpse of a life so removed from our own and yet often struggling through the same issues as anyone, regardless of how much power they wield: relationship difficulties, mental health problems et al.

A couple of months before The Crown dropped on Netflix last year, the first series of Victoria aired on ITV, detailing the life of Queen Victoria after taking the throne at the age of 18.

And now the creator-writer says the second series, starting this month, will delve into an area as relevant now as ever: postnatal mental health.

Speaking to, Daisy Goodwin revealed: “She’s suffering from postnatal depression and she doesn’t find motherhood easy. She loves her children but she finds the adjustment to motherhood a very difficult one.”

Queen Victoria and her husband (and first cousin) Prince Albert had nine children in total, and Goodwin says the show – in which the Queen is played by Jenna Coleman – will see the toll it took on the royal.

“We do see Victoria struggling with things she can’t control, like getting pregnant all the time! No contraception for Victoria, poor girl,” she explained.

“You certainly realise what an impact it is for her to have them. The first two children she has in the first year of her marriage so that’s tough.”

In the first series, viewers were amused to see the royal being told she could curb her fertility by jumping up and down repeatedly after sex, though she was soon informed by her husband that the only effective way of preventing children was to abstain from sex altogether.

Historians have previously suggested that Victoria suffered from postnatal depression several times and while some claim she did not feel maternal toward her children, others say she was simply honest about the challenges of motherhood.

Victoria returns to ITV Sunday 27 August.

Image: Rex Features


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Amy Swales

Amy Swales is a freelance writer who likes to eat, drink and talk about her dog. She will continue to plunder her own life and the lives of her loved ones for material in the name of comedy, catharsis and getting pictures of her dog on the internet.