'I've tried to be truthful,' he says. 'I've only changed two elements of fact for the screen.'
The first was an assassination attempt made on the young Queen as Victoria and her husband Prince Albert were riding in an open carriage up Constitution Hill. Spotting the gunman raise his pistol in the crowd, Albert immediately pushed his young wife down into the well of the carriage to protect her. By doing so the bullet injured Albert. But did it?
Fellowes agrees there are differing accounts of what really happened. 'One is that the bullet was fired, but missed him, and the other is that the gun jammed. But the event itself certainly happened.
'I felt that this was fantastically brave of Prince Albert and that if the gun had jammed, we would lose how brave his action was. I believe Victoria was so impressed that he was prepared literally to take the bullet, that it changed something in her.
'She realised how much Albert truly loved her. You see this change in her immediately after the assassination attempt, with her moving his desk into her own study at the Palace so they could be side-by-side throughout each day.
'I know I will be criticised, but in the end a movie has to deliver the right emotions. And I felt it would not be possible to represent that as the act of bravery and selflessness that it was, without showing the gun going off.'
Monday, March 09, 2009
In The Daily Mail, David Wigg talks to Julian Fellowes about his script for The Young Victoria.