In severe black and white photographs Queen Victoria looks like the ultimate killjoy.
But before the death of her beloved husband, Prince Albert, Britain's second longest serving monarch was anything but.
As Jenna Coleman and Tom Hughes return to our screens on Sunday we take a look at the racy secrets behind the Victorian throne.
And reveal why the royal couple's intense love affair meant they were terrible parents, with Victoria loathing her nine children.
As a mother to so many offspring it may come as no surprise that the young queen absolutely loved sex.
But it seems some steamy action in the bedroom wasn't her only vice.
Queen Victoria was quite the fan of a very large tipple and was even said to enjoy drugs.
She was utterly smitten with her royal cousin as soon as she clapped eyes on him,
And it seems it wasn't only his face that grabbed the 20-year-old queen's attention.
Apparently Prince Albert's 'little prince' was so large it needed support in tight trousers, unfortunately there is no proof of this.
But it was when he was commando that the queen's attention was captured.
She wrote in her diary: “How handsome Albert looks in his white cashmere breaches with nothing on underneath.”
The couple married not long afterwards.
After marrying in 1840 the royal couple installed a button in the bedroom of Osborne House, their retreat on the Isle of Wight.
When pressed it instantly bolted all the doors. They used it frequently, romping for hours without the threat of servants interrupting.
The couple’s sex drive stayed on the boil. When, aged 38, Victoria’s doctor warned against having a tenth child she begged him: “Am I not to have any more fun in bed?”
She was said to appreciate men so much that in 1885, when homosexuality was criminalised, it affected only gay men not lesbians because the queen could not conceive how women could find other women attractive.
But it seems their great love affair did not extend to their children.
“Albert was the real love of her life and the children were just there as bi-products of that relationship,” says Professor John Plunkett of Exeter University’s Centre for Victorian Studies.
“In terms of intimacy she felt more for Albert than for her own kids. He was always by her side – even when he dies she sleeps with a photo of him pinned to the headboard of her bed.
“But the children are always distanced and detached.”
But it seems nothing could keep her away from her husband's bed, so the couple kept producing babies.
And what would the country's monarch have in her medicine cabinet to help her manage pain?
Opium of course.
It would also have included laudanum – opium dissolved in alcohol and seen as a cure for everything from coughing, diarrhoea and pain to heart disease.
But the queen’s favourite drug, however, was a certain chewing gum claiming to be “a powerful tonic to the muscular and nervous system”.
That’s because it contained cocaine. She shared her coke-laced treat with future Prime Minister Winston Churchill when he was a guest at Balmoral.
Victoria is also believed to have taken marijuana to ease menstrual cramps and got high on chloroform during childbirth, describing it as “delightful beyond measure”.
There are even claims she wrote an anonymous review for a popular Victorian drink called Vin Mariani – a mixture of alcohol and cocaine.
To be fair, Popes drank it in the 1900s and the tonic received a gold medal from the Vatican.
As a young princess Victoria would often stay up drinking into the small hours as she attended high-society balls as well as circuses and bawdy pantos.
Her love of booze continued beyond her youth and she often necked a bottle of burgundy at banquets.
Occasionally she would make her own cocktail with claret and whisky. She certainly enjoyed a good Islay single malt.
Trusted aide John Brown made sure the Queen’s glass was rarely empty.
She drank it with water at mealtimes during the day, downed it neat as a nightcap and even had it in her afternoon tea.
Her love of the spirit transformed whisky from a commoner’s drink to the tipple of toffs.
At one point PM William Gladstone was concerned she might be consuming too much alcohol when she started tipsily writing notes in crayon on state papers.
And while Victoria was undoubtedly devastated when Prince Albert died, he was not the only man in her life.
When she was crowned at 18 Victoria had a close relationship with PM Lord Melbourne, almost 40 years her senior.
The young queen, whose father died when she was a baby, became so close to her mentor she was nicknamed “Mrs Melbourne".
Even after marrying Albert she sent him a racy letter describing her wedding night as “a gratifying and bewildering experience”.
After Albert died Victoria became close to her Highland servant John Brown and carried his portrait.
Her own daughters called him “Mama’s lover” and one vicar claimed he’d secretly married them.
When Brown died the queen wrote: “Life for the second time is become most trying and sad to bear.”
But that didn’t stop her, aged 68, starting another alleged intimate relationship with Muslim servant Abdul Karim, 24.
She wrote him letters signed with flurries of kisses. They were destroyed by her son when she died.
- Victoria is back on ITV at 9pm on Sunday.
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