Queen Victoria Syndrome: As “The Crown” enters the 1990s, the British royal family is confronted with serious problems, including the breakdown of Prince Charles and Princess Diana’s marriage and a changing public opinion of the monarchy.
The title episode of the fifth season of the Netflix drama, “Queen Victoria Syndrome,” alludes to the growing unpopularity of Queen Elizabeth II (played this year by Imelda Staunton).
When Prince Charles (Dominic West) reads a fabricated quote from a newspaper article aloud, the phrase first appears in the episode.
King George VI Syndrome? “Yes, I saw that,” he says, perusing a copy of the Sunday Times in the United Kingdom.
Reads on from the article: “An ageing monarch, too long on the throne, whose remoteness from the modern world has led people to grow tired not only of her, but of the monarchy itself.”
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What Is ‘Queen Victoria Syndrome’?
The term “Queen Victoria Syndrome” describes the phenomenon of an unpopular monarch remaining in power.
This idiom dates back to Queen Victoria, Queen Elizabeth’s great-great-grandmother, who governed Great Britain and Ireland from 1837 until her death in 1901.
After the death of Prince Albert, royal analyst Ingrid Seward described her to NBC as a “invisible queen.”
She accomplished nothing after her husband’s death. Nobody was around that she could see. Until “way…toward the conclusion of her reign,” as Seward put it, “she became the invisible queen.”
At the end of her 63-year reign, Queen Victoria was unpopular and reclusive, and there were calls for a younger monarch to replace her.
Sarah Gristwood, a royal critic, claims that by the late 1980s, certain members of the royal family were using the phrase to describe Queen Elizabeth’s reign.
Gristwood wrote in 2016 for Huff Post that “by the end of the decade courtiers had began to talk about QVS or the Queen Victoria Syndrome,” in which a society could become impatient of an old monarch and a parasitic royal family.
Was Queen Elizabeth Actually Unpopular In The 1990s, Like ‘the Crown’ Shows?
The show “The Crown” seems to have embellished newspaper accounts of Queen Elizabeth’s fame.
In the pilot, we see the headline “Queen Should Abdicate in Favour of Prince of Wales” from The Sunday Times, dated August 11, 1991.
According to the show, a poll found that many Britons consider the queen to be “irrelevant,” “old,” and “expensive.”
According to the show’s poll, “nearly half” of British citizens would approve of King Charles’s accession to the throne if it meant the early abdication of Queen Elizabeth.
This week, royal biographer Hugo Vickers reported in the Sunday Times that the survey was fictional.
The poll that was depicted in “The Crown” did not appear in the edition of The Sunday Times published on August 11, 1991, as he stated. Advertisement promoting the cruise ship Queen Elizabeth 2 had the phrase “the indisputable Queen” as the lone mention of the monarchy in that issue.
When asked about a poll conducted by the Sunday Times regarding the royal family in January 1990, he said, “crucially, far from being out of touch, the poll was largely pro-monarchy.”
Nine out of ten respondents to that earlier survey had positive or very positive feelings for the monarchy, including Queen Elizabeth, Prince Charles, and Queen Mother.
While “almost half” of tho
Image Source: historyextra
se polled in a 1990 Sunday Times article did had “sufficient faith in Charles to believe that the Queen should abdicate at some moment to make way for him,” there did not appear to be an explicit clamour for the queen’s abdication, as “The Crown” suggests.
After being attacked by the tabloid press and subjected to a decade of close examination, the British royal family enters the 1990s as a wonderfully popular component of British life, according to the opening paragraph of the authentic 1990 Sunday Times story.
Did Prince Charles Actually Try To Step Up To The Throne In The 1990s?
This season on “The Crown,” Prince Charles and former British Prime Minister John Major discuss the possibility of Queen Elizabeth abdicating so that Charles can take the throne. This discussion was apparently prompted by the queen’s unpopularity in the public eye, also known as her “Queen Victoria Syndrome.”
Major, now 79, was prime minister from 1990 to 1997, and his representatives have called these scenes “damaging and malicious fiction.”
A spokesperson for the royal family told The Guardian last month, “There was never any discussion between Sir John and the then Prince of Wales about any possible abdication of the late Queen Elizabeth II.” Sir John and Dame Norma, his wife, “have not even remotely discussed the monarchy in these terms.”
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