BBC 2 tonight at 9 pm.


So it turns out that Queen Victoria was amused – by music. Lucy Worsley explores the role music played in both the Queen’s private and public lives, discovering that it transformed the monarchy from a political power into a benevolent cultural force and made her an extremely popular public figure.

Interspersed with snippets of music that Victoria adored, Worsley’s typically accessible documentary reveals the fun side of the queen (although for once it doesn’t involve much dressing up). Her diary describes the pleasure she got from ogling “the fine figure” of future husband Albert waltzing (the dance was too risqué for single women to indulge in) and that she was so fanatical about singer Jenny Lind she would cut short formal dinners to rush across town in order to see the “Swedish Nightingale” perform. Later in life she was obsessed with Indian music but she also loved Scottish bagpipes, although maybe that was partly because she liked a drop of whisky, too.

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