Air Date is Aug-12-2023
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Buckingham Palace with Alexander Armstrong Season 1, Episode 3 : Episode 3

Documentary

In this episode, the palace is in the grip of the Victorian Era – but as the mood swings from joy to heartbreak, what will become of Britain's most iconic royal residence?We begin in 1845. Life in the palace is a fairytale for loved-up newlyweds Victoria and Albert. But with four tearaway toddlers roaming the palace corridors – and plans for many more children – the fast-growing family demands more space. Victoria adds some 200 rooms to the palace, including an entire new wing at the front and the iconic central balcony. But as the Palace grew bigger, so did the number of people required to keep things running smoothly. JJ Chalmers discovers what life was like for Victoria and Albert's servants, thanks to an extraordinary palace census taken on Sunday 30th of March 1851.Despite the small army of staff patrolling the corridors, Buckingham Palace was terrifyingly vulnerable to intruders. JJ unlocks the tale of a notorious palace prowler who was rumoured to have stolen Queen Victoria's knickers! Meanwhile, Raksha Dave finds out what was involved in a royal homebirth at the palace – including the curious role of a crowd of bureaucrats, tasked with verifying the baby's bloodline.Raksha tracks down the first flushing toilet installed at the palace – and JJ struggles to learn Victoria's favourite Waltz. But in the winter of 1861, tragedy struck when Prince Albert died at the age of only 42. Overwhelmed by grief, the queen fled Buckingham Palace, and the building that had given Victoria and Albert so many happy memories was left deserted.The future of the abandoned palace hung in the balance. Alexander reveals how the government persuaded Victoria to return for the palace's first ever public garden party in 1868. The mood at the palace continued to be sombre, but there was a light at the end of the tunnel - and soon, an unprecedented celebration would bring the palace back to life…

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