Diana Rigg Joins Victoria’s Court for Season 2


Period drama Victoria just took things to the next level for its second season, adding Game of Thrones’ Dame Diana Rigg to the cast.

Dame Diana Rigg, currently best known for playing the sharp-tongued matriarch of the Tyrell clan on HBO’s Game of Thrones, is officially joining the cast of period drama Victoria. The BAFTA-winning – and all-around awesome – actress will be a regular cast member in Season 2, which has just started filming.

Rigg will play Charlotte Montagu Douglas Scott, the Duchess of Buccleuch. The Duchess served as Queen Victoria’s Mistress of the Robes from 1841 to 1846, as a member of Sir Robert Peel’s ministry. (Spoiler alert: Peel is obviously going to become Prime Minister next season! Sorry, Lord M.) The two women became lifelong friends. Victoria was even godmother to the Duchess’ daughter  later in life.

Casting Rigg in this particular role is more than a bit historically inaccurate. The real Duchess Buccleuch was only thirty years old when she came to work for the queen. But this isn’t that surprising. Victoria is more than willing to bend the rules of history when it suits the story. And, hey, who wouldn’t do pretty much anything to get Diana. Freaking. Rigg. on their show? I’m not mad at them. The Duchess – as the ITV casting announcement stresses – was rather famous for speaking her mind. And we’re probably not supposed to immediately see this character as a Victorian-era Olenna Tyrell, but props to them for leaning in to that comparison anyway.

According to the official press release, Season 2 will pick up six weeks after the conclusion of the first. Victoria will find herself facing the challenge of new motherhood – learning to balance her duties as both parent and queen.

Series creator Daisy Goodwin explains the new season’s central dilemma this way:

"“In series one Victoria married the handsome prince, but in this series she and Albert get down to the serious business of living happily, sometimes stormily, ever after. Victoria is the only Queen Regnant to marry and give birth while on the throne and the challenges of being head of state as well as a wife and mother are legion. In many ways Victoria’s dilemma is a modern one – how do you have a successful marriage and a happy family when you are holding down an important job. Can you really have it all?”"

Production began on Season 2 in mid-February. The new season doesn’t have an airdate yet, but will likely follow the same pattern as Season 1. This would mean a Fall 2017 UK premiere, and a January 2018 US broadcast. (If that feels familiar, it’s because that’s what Downton Abbey did too.) But who knows? Maybe they’ll surprise us.

Next: Benedict Cumberbatch Will Star in Melrose

US viewers can watch the Season 1 finale of Victoria this Sunday on PBS’ Masterpiece.