Episode one of The Crown season five is about ‘Queen Victoria Syndrome’ – so what is it?

It’s been likened to when royals become ‘parasites’ 😬

Season five of The Crown has just dropped on Netflix, and the first episode is named “Queen Victoria Syndrome”. The episode dives in headfirst into a supposed scandal with Charles wanting to overthrow the Queen, and him revelling in the idea of being more popular in the eyes of the public than his mother is.

The so-called “Queen Victoria Syndrome” is a real thing, and has been a sore subject for the royals in the past. So here’s exactly what it means and how it applied to Queen Elizabeth II.

Ok, so what is Queen Victoria Syndrome?

The Crown season five episode one, Queen Victoria Syndrome

via Netflix

In the first episode of The Crown season five, there is a storyline about public polls into the popularity of the Queen. It’s being questioned if she is too old and out of touch, and should be replaced by someone younger, namely the then Prince Charles. “Queen Victoria Syndrome” is linked to this – it’s about whether or not the Queen was making a mistake staying on the throne, much like her great-great-grandmother Victoria did.

The show describes the “syndrome” quite simply, and says it’s when “the public begins to perceive a long-reigning monarch to be out of touch with her people.” In an article in The Huffington Post, Queen Victoria Syndrome is defined as “whereby a nation could become tired of an ageing monarch and a parasitic royal family.” Parasitic seems… harsh? But that’s how it’s been defined in real life terms.

There really were headlines in 1991 questioning if the Queen should abdicate. The Mirror at the time said: “Is It Time For Her To Hang Up Her Crown?” and The Express printed: “With Prince Charles waiting in the wings, is it time for her to step down and enjoy a happy and glorious retirement?” So this definitely would have been something the Queen was aware of.

Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth II both had extremely long reigns. Queen Elizabeth II was the longest reigning monarch in British history, with a 70-year reign, and Victoria held a 63-year rule.

The Crown season five is available on Netflix now. For all the latest Netflix news, drops, quizzes and memes like The Holy Church of Netflix on Facebook. 

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