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New Victoria series promises a love drama to rival Taylor and Burton

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Victoria creator Daisy Goodwin has promised a love story to rival Hollywood’s Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton when the period drama returns for a second season.

The ITV show, starring Jenna Coleman as the famous monarch, will launch on Sunday night following the huge success of its debut last year.

It will revisit the queen shortly after the birth of her first child and chronicle the pressures she faced trying to juggle her royal duties with her role as wife and mother.

It covers the period where Victoria, who was famously besotted with German-born Prince Albert (played by Tom Hughes), reluctantly gave birth to their nine children, adding strain to their relationship.

Comparing it to one of Hollywood’s most famous love affairs, Goodwin told the Press Association: “My feeling is that they are the Burton and Taylor of the 19th century, it’s a very tempestuous marriage… very passionate.

“They’re not unfaithful to each other but they are constantly testing each other and there is this sort of power struggle.

“Every time she gets pregnant he gets a bit more power and she hates that… she is a very impulsive, volcanic person with no self-control and he’s got bags of self-control.”

Paying tribute to the chemistry Coleman and Hughes have channelled into their roles, she added: “I hope we’ve shown that it’s a very real marriage with ups and downs and all kinds of problems thrown at them.”

Goodwin (left) joined Coleman and Hughes on the red carpet to launch the new series this week.
Goodwin (left) joined Coleman and Hughes on the red carpet to launch the new series this week (Ian West/PA)

Coleman, meanwhile, likened the tempestuous relationship to the doomed tale of Antony and Cleopatra.

The former Doctor Who star said: “That’s the biggest thing I’ve been looking forward to play this year, trying to get that really passionate love that Antony and Cleopatra had.

“One is scientific and logical and shy and methodical, and the other is completely reactionary, emotionally-led, impulsive… they are put in a goldfish bowl where they’re madly, deeply in love, but operating in a political sphere as well.”

Sharing how on-screen arguments between the pair worked best when they were filmed without rehearsal, she admitted that one scene saw her launch a hairbrush at him so hard that it broke.

“I hit him and the hairbrush broke, it was awful… poor Clive on props just had to use the glue.”

Victoria, series two, returns to ITV at 9.05pm on Sunday.