5 Things Teenage Girls Can Learn from VICTORIA on PBS
By Christina Baehr, Contributing Writer
PBS’s lavish new show about the young Queen Victoria has everything viewers crave from a British historical drama: romance, intrigue, posh accents, and very pretty clothes. The surprise is that it also includes strong Christian worldview elements, including mercy, family reconciliation, chastity, and a compelling picture of Christian marriage.
Over eight episodes, the 17-year-old Victoria has to make the transition from naive, emotional teenager to established young queen. Here are some of the positive things VICTORIA has to say to teenage girls today.
1. Honor your mother
You probably weren’t raised in a virtual prison like Victoria was. Your mother probably didn’t have a creepy BFF like Sir John Conroy controlling your every move. So, it should be easier for you to be nice to your mother than it was for Victoria (seriously).
2. Don’t gossip
The young Queen Victoria got herself into a serious scandal by listening to gossip…and all before social media. Don’t be her. If you can’t ask someone to her face if a rumor is true (for example: “Lady Flora, did you engage in criminal conversation during that long carriage ride?”), don’t repeat it to others.
3. Remember that the world doesn’t revolve around you
“Surely my wishes must be paramount?” Victoria demands of her long-suffering Prime Minister, “Lord M.” Lord M gives her an excellent lecture on the importance of putting right conduct above personal preferences, which can be roughly summarized in the words, “Um, no.” You don’t get to be the center of the universe, even if you command an empire like Victoria.
4. Listen to the grown-ups
After never being allowed to make any decisions for herself, Victoria is over listening to grown-ups. Especially if they happen to be related to her. While Victoria is drawn more and more to a certain older man (who happens to be her Prime Minister – awkward!), her relatives keep nagging her about some stuffy German princeling. Victoria would rather take a vow of celibacy, than be set up by her mother, but when said princeling shows up, he’s not what she expected.
5. Don’t overlook the good men
When Prince Albert and his brother Ernst come to call, Victoria finds Ernst a lot more fun. He’s charming and says what she wants to hear. She discovers, however, that the truth told by the right person is a lot more romantic than empty flattery. In fact, the things that turn her off about Albert at first (seriousness, honesty, social conscience) are exactly the qualities Victoria needs to make a good queen.
You may not have any German princes in your life, but you probably do know some men who care more about God’s standard than whatever the current social norms are. Don’t overlook the Alberts for the Ernsts.
After all, history shows us that Ernst turned out to be a royally rotten husband, while Albert. . . well, it is history, but I’m not going to spoil it for you.
Editors note: Christina Baehr has six daughters and helps her husband run Pilgrim Hill, an evangelistic ministry to travellers in Tasmania, Australia.
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