Today is Victoria Day in Canada – Queen Victoria’s birthday (24 May 1819 – 22 January 1901). Victoria Day is our version of Memorial Day in the U.S., since it represents a long weekend and signifies the beginning of cottage season. We shop, we garden, we drink beer and throw off fireworks. Nobody really thinks about the Queen.
But when I saw the movie Young Victoria with Emily Blunt, I thought about Victoria in a new light. She really was an amazing lady. She inherited the throne at the age of 18, ruled England for 63 years, and was madly in love with her husband and first cousin, Prince Albert, with whom she had 9 children. As a young woman she was known as ‘Drina’, and was later called ‘the Grandmother of Europe’, owing to the fact that 26 of her 42 grandchildren married into royal European families.
That got me thinking about some other famous women named Victoria. Remember Victoria Principal? She is lately known for starting her own line of skin care products and jewellery, but she is most famous for her role as Pamela Ewing on Dallas. Who can forget the famous scene where she wakes up, turns over and sees Bobby, the husband she thought was dead, lying next to her?
In an effort to get Patrick Duffy (Bobby Ewing) back into the show after killing him off, the writers turned an entire season into a bad dream. Viewers felt cheated, and there was quite an uproar. It’s what’s referred to in the arts as ‘deus ex machina’ – a plot device where a seemingly impossible problem is suddenly and abruptly solved with a contrived and unexpected intervention by higher forces – in this case, the producers. It was a lesson in how not to write a television episode. But you have to give them kudos for shock value.
Then we have Victoria Beckham – a.k.a. Posh Spice – fashion designer/icon and wife of David Beckham. She’s a savvy business woman and has perfected the art of reinventing herself. As a child, she was bullied in school and other kids threw rocks at her. I’ll bet they feel pretty stupid now.
The last Victoria that comes to mind is Victoria’s Secret, the lingerie company. I have to say, they make the most comfortable bras EVER. I’ll never buy a bra anywhere else. I have to cross the border to buy them, but it’s worth it.
Disclaimer: my bras don’t have tassles, and my boobs never looked like this, even when I was younger. Just in case you were wondering.
Happy birthday, Drina.