Stage-managed from birth by Uncle Leopold of Belgium, young Albert of Saxe-Coburg, son of an obscure German duke and a pretty mama who is banished for adultery when he is five (thus stunting the lad's emotional growth), pulls off the coup of the century when he charms his cousin Queen Victoria of England into proposing. But it takes Albert, who is ever so serious, some years to work into the part. Forbidden by the queen to discuss affairs of state or even household management with her, he has little to do but be a stud at first, while tortured by such earthshaking questions as: can he win the keys to the palace and the right to manage it away from Victoria's old nurse Lehzen? And--how many whippings a day should he give naughty Prince Bertie? Albert's plodding steadiness (he even saves Vicky from assassination), not to mention seven exhausting pregnancies, cause the Queen at last to dwindle into a proper Victorian wife. For some, the usual measured dose of what the doctor ordered; for the rest of us, especially when compared to the likes of Jarman's Crown in Candlelight (above), a solid soporific.