ITV’s Victoria is the critically acclaimed dramatisation of Queen Victoria’s early years as monarch. Starring Jenna Coleman as Queen Victoria and Tom Hughes as Albert Prince Consort, the series places particular focus on the relationships between upper and lower classes in 1830s Britain, a period frought with the internal threats of working class radicalisation; and the external threats of encroaching Germanic influences.
Since the end of Series 1 in 2016, the resplendent costumes worn by Coleman in show, designed by Rosalind Ebbutt, have been displayed in a selection of museums across Britain, a touring exhibition of costume, accentuated by surviving artefacts of the period which might help visitors envisage the costumes in their intended context.
In previous years, my local museum displayed in seasonal rotation, an array of Edwardian-period costumes made for the show ITV show Downton Abbey, many of which were also designed by Ebbutt.
The Victoria exhibition in The Potteries Museum ran from December 2017 to April 2018 and was the final venue of the costumes’ country-wide tour.
I was fortunate enough to visit the collection of costumes in the final week before the exhibition ended. On account of this, I actually found the exhibition hall to be quite vacant of other visitors and I had full freedom in viewing the costumes undisturbed.