Dame Diana Rigg is joining the cast of ITV’s royal drama Victoria as a series regular for its upcoming second season and two-hour Christmas special, TVWise has learned.
Rigg, best known to TV audiences for her recurring role on HBO’s Game Of Thrones, will play the Duchess of Bucchleuch. She is the young Queen’s new Mistress of the Robes, who is renowned for speaking her mind.
She joins a returning cast that, in addition to series leads Jenna Coleman (Doctor Who) and Tom Hughes (The Game), also includes Nigel Lindsay (Unforgotten), Alex Jennings (The Lady In The Van), Peter Bowles (To The Manor Born), David Oakes (The White Queen), Daniela Holtz (Circle Of Life). Catherine Flemming (Tatort), Nell Hudson (Outlander), Ferdinand Kingsley (Borgia) and Adrian Schiller (The Secret Agent).
The show’s second season picks up six weeks after season one and sees Victoria now as a working mother, learning to balance her responsibilities as both parent and Queen. However, with Prince Albert still struggling to find a role for himself there is an inevitable power struggle between husband and wife. As well as much drama in Buckingham Palace, the new season will include trips to France and Germany, touch on tragedy in Ireland and war in Afghanistan, and see Victoria and Albert discovering sanctuary in the Isle of Wight.
“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”, said series creator Daisy Goodwin. “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?”
Daisy Goodwin penned the scripts for season two, which is being produced for ITV by independent production company Mammoth Screen. The eight episode second season and two-hour Christmas special was commissioned by ITV’s Head of Drama Polly Hill and Senior Drama Commissioner Victoria Fea. Paul Fritt is the series producer, while Damien Timmer, Kate McKerrell and Daisy Goodwin are executive producing. Production on season two is now underway, with ITV eyeing a late 2017 premiere.