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 can 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 lots 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“Queen Victoria Syndrome” refers to an getting older, long-reigning monarch who begins to be perceived as stuffy, outdated, and out of contact with the general public whereas concurrently resisting any efforts at change or any solutions of stepping apart.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 loss of life 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 loss of life 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 repute for resisting change and dwelling up to now.

Victoria had a tough relationship along 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 call which additional strained the connection between mom and son. Edward didn’t take the throne till Victoria’s loss of life in 1901, when he was 60 years previous, and he solely reigned for lower than a decade earlier than his personal loss of life. 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 scenario 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 dropping her contact. Charles — or no less than the semifictionalized model depicted within the present — grows pissed off with the queen’s resistance to vary, in addition to his personal pissed off ambitions as he continues the function 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, a bit little bit of each would possibly wind up being probably the most profitable path for the monarchy to outlive.

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