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The Crown: What Is Queen Victoria Syndrome?

“The Crown” is again with a brand new season, a brand new forged, and a brand new tackle historic occasions which might be creeping nearer and nearer to the current day. The primary episode of season 5, set in 1991, is titled “Queen Victoria Syndrome” and spends plenty of time speaking about that very concept. Because it so occurs, the phrase is a catchy method of indicating the rising dissatisfaction with the monarchy that plagues the characters all through the season.

What Is Queen Victoria Syndrome?

As utilized in “The Crown,” the phrase “Queen Victoria Syndrome” refers to an growing old, long-reigning monarch who begins to be perceived as stuffy, outdated, and out of contact with the general public whereas concurrently resisting any efforts at change or any solutions of stepping apart. Within the first episode of the brand new fifth season, it is a headline citing a brand new public ballot from the Sunday Occasions that appears to indicate the general public turning on Queen Elizabeth II — calling her irrelevant, previous, and out of contact — and preferring her to step down in favor of her son Prince Charles.

What Did Queen Victoria Do?

The phrase references Queen Victoria, Queen Elizabeth II’s great-great-grandmother, who reigned for 64 years from 1837 to her demise in 1901. Victoria’s reign was the longest of any British monarch in historical past till Elizabeth herself surpassed her, and, like Elizabeth, her reign stretched lengthy sufficient to see monumental shifts in society that she did not all the time sustain with. Traditionally, Queen Victoria was considerably reclusive and fairly stuffy for a lot of her reign. Specifically, after the demise of her husband, Prince Albert, in 1861, she entered deep mourning and spent the remaining 40 years of her life because the “widow at Windsor,” with a status for resisting change and dwelling up to now.

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Victoria had a tough relationship together with her eldest son and inheritor, Bertie, later King Edward VII. Younger(ish), vibrant, and outgoing (and in addition one thing of a playboy), Edward loved a lift in recognition similtaneously his mom’s recognition waned. At the same time as she aged, Victoria refused solutions that she abdicate and let Edward take the throne, a choice which additional strained the connection between mom and son. Edward didn’t take the throne till Victoria’s demise in 1901, when he was 60 years previous, and he solely reigned for lower than a decade earlier than his personal demise. Till Charles surpassed his report in 2011, Edward was the longest-serving inheritor obvious in British historical past.

“The Crown” sharply underlines the parallels between Victoria and Edward’s state of affairs and Elizabeth and Charles’s. Charles is equally depicted as a person nearing center age whereas nonetheless ready within the wings, lastly coming into his personal as his mom begins to be perceived as shedding her contact. Charles — or at the very least the semifictionalized model depicted within the present — grows annoyed with the queen’s resistance to alter, in addition to his personal annoyed ambitions as he continues the position of “ready.”

Within the episode, the queen brushes off accusations of Queen Victoria Syndrome, insisting on taking any comparability to her history-making ancestor as a praise. She continues to worth stability and custom, in distinction with Charles’s imaginative and prescient for a modernized monarchy. However, as each “The Crown” and real-life historical past present, just a little little bit of each may wind up being probably the most profitable path for the monarchy to outlive.

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