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Victoria: sex queen

01:00 Thu 04th Jan 2001 |

By Steve Cunningham

SHE ruled for 63 years and her name became a byword for prudishness. Now it seems Queen Victoria may have been a bit obsessed by sex.

Press Association
Indeed, according to a new bodice-ripping television series on the longest-ruling British monarch, she and husband Prince Albert were a lusty couple who couldn't get enough sex.

Monarchists are upset and so are some historians who believe it's too much of an instrusion into privacy. They claim some parts of a life should remain private and die with the person instead of living on in history.

Victoria and Albert, to be shown as part of the BBC spring season, celebrating the centenary of Victoria's death, dramatises the intimate events of Victoria and Albert's wedding night in February 1840.

Royal biographer Sarah Bradford says: 'I think it's a bit sad, really. What people do in bed is never factual unless it is photographed, witnessed or whatever.'

Donald Foreman, secretary of the Monarchist League, says the treatment would anger many members. 'It is true that Queen Victoria very much enjoyed sex, but it is a bit like your own grandmother's private life being revealed.'

Others argue that without knowing what goes on behind the bedroom door, we might not gain a true insight into the lives of these characters.

David Cunliffe, from the production company making the series says: 'People always portray her as not liking sex, but she loved it.

'She obviously fancied Albert rotten. When Victoria met him before they were married she said, 'Gosh, he is absolutely gorgeous', and when you look at pictures he was a bit of a dish.'

The couple don't appear completely naked in the screen portrayal, but viewers will see them disrobe and embrace passionately.

But how accurate is the TV series It's difficult to say. There's no doubt Victoria was not sexually reticent. After all, she was mother to nine children.

But how can we be sure of the facts What evidence can historians use Victoria's own diary was heavily censored by her eldest child, Vicky, when published posthumously.

Has the BBC gone too far with this historic dramatisation Should the private lives of public figures stay secret Share your views on The AnswerBank message boards. Click here

And how much do you know about the private life of the royals through history Try our quiz here

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