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Queen Victoria Revealed as Vivacious, Fond of Parties, and Prone to Flirting

on April 21, 2010 – 3:03 am

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment presents the majestic release of the lavish historical drama, The Young Victoria, to Blu-ray Disc and DVD. The Young Victoria chronicles the early and often turbulent years of a young girl who became queen of Great Britain. Victoria was a young girl of barely 18 when she was crowned – vivacious, fond of parties, and prone to flirting with the gentlemen of the court, and even her ministers. The film chronicles the period of Victoria’s early rise to power – highlighting the royal power struggle she fought and her romantic courtship and legendary marriage to Prince Albert.

From the history books and even the movies, we have become accustomed to seeing Queen Victoria portrayed as a frumpy over-weight woman dressed in widow’s black; but now The Young Victoria – teeming with drama, romance, and political intrigue – successfully and magnificently presents a distinctly different perspective of this dynamic British monarch. Golden Globe winner, Emily Blunt (Gideon’s Daughter, The Devil Wears Prada) delivers a grand performance as a burgeoning and fiery young Queen who is dealing with the tumultuous first few years of her reign. The dashing Rupert Friend (Pride & Prejudice) plays Prince Albert, the suitor who is determined to win her heart and becomes her steadfast partner in one of history’s greatest romances that’s never been told until now in this epic tale of rule and romance.

Actress Miranda Richardson portrays Victoria’s mother, the Duchess of Kent, and, with the help of actor Mark Strong as Sir John Conroy, introduces the audience to the rarely addressed heartrending story of the young queen’s lonely childhood. Moreover, Paul Bettany (Iron Man, The DaVinci Code) is convincing as Victoria’s confidant and court advisor as he maneuvers through the politics and intrigue of the 19th century English court. Princess Beatrice, who is fifth in line to the throne, appears in The Young Victoria in a non-speaking role in scenes showing her great-great-great-great-grandmother Queen Victoria’s coronation.

Award winning costume designer Sandy Powell (The Aviator, Shakespeare in Love) won the coveted Oscar for Best Costume Design for this historical 19th century drama. Powell talked about recreating Victoria’s fashions with authenticity:

“Probably one of the longest costumes to complete was Victoria’s Coronation Robe. This was made completely from scratch with us creating the fabric first. Having seen the original in the archive, it was a challenge to recreate this. We did this by buying a plain fabric with a metallic thread in it, then dying it to the right shade of gold, then all the intricate embroidery was recreated by printing and hand painting. The other complicated costumes were all the trains worn by all the women at the formal occasions such as the King’s birthday and the Coronation.”

Regarding the frothy yellow silk gown worn to the King’s birthday early in the story, Powell explains, “This dress is worn to the banquet to celebrate the King’s birthday. Victoria is still a princess and under the control of her domineering mother. Consequently the dress is designed to make her look young, more girly and not as sophisticated as the dresses she wears once she has become Queen.”

The Young Victoria was directed by Jean-Marc Vallée (C.R.A.Z.Y); written by Julian Fellowes (Gosford Park); produced by The Duchess of York Sarah Ferguson, Martin Scorsese (The Departed), Tim Headington (Edge of Darkness) and Graham King (The Aviator).

The much anticipated DVD will excite those fascinated with the Victorian era and Victorian costume with the added special features including:

  • Making of The Young Victoria
  • The Coronation Featurette
  • The Wedding Featurette
  • The Real Queen Victoria Featurette
  • Lavish History: A Look at the Costumes and Locations
  • Deleted and Extended Scenes

In addition, the Blu-ray Disc features movieIQ+sync, which allows the user to access real time information on the cast, music, trivia and more while watching the movie via BD-Live. The Young Victoria DVD is available on Blu-ray for $22.99 and the DVD for $17.99.