Dame Diana Rigg (Game Of Thrones) is joining ITV’s period drama Victoria as a new regular cast member for its second season.
She will play the Duchess of Bucchleuch, the young Queen’s new Mistress of the Robes, who is renowned for speaking her mind.
Jenna Coleman reprises her title role as Queen Victoria faces the new challenge of motherhood, alongside Tom Hughes (The Game) as Prince Albert.
Picking up six weeks after the first series ended, the second instalment establishes Victoria as a working mother, learning to balance her responsibilities as both parent and Queen. However, with Prince Albert still struggling to find a role for himself there is an inevitable power struggle between husband and wife.
Creator, Daisy Goodwin said: “In series one Victoria married the handsome prince, but in this series she and Albert get down to the serious business of living happily, sometimes stormily, ever after. Victoria is the only Queen Regnant to marry and give birth while on the throne and the challenges of being head of state as well as a wife and mother are legion. In many ways Victoria’s dilemma is a modern one – how do you have a successful marriage and a happy family when you are holding down an important job. Can you really have it all?”
Returning cast include Nigel Lindsay (Unforgotten) as Sir Robert Peel, Alex Jennings (The Lady In The Van) as King Leopold, Peter Bowles (To The Manor Born) as Duke of Wellington, David Oakes (The White Queen) as Ernest, Daniela Holtz (Circle Of Life) as Baroness Lehzen and Catherine Flemming (Tatort) as the Duchess of Kent. Below stairs Nell Hudson (Outlander) returns as Skerrett, Ferdinand Kingsley (Borgia) as chef Francatelli and Adrian Schiller (The Secret Agent) as Penge.
As well as much drama in Buckingham Palace, the series will include trips to France and Germany, touch on tragedy in Ireland and war in Afghanistan, and see Victoria and Albert discovering sanctuary in the Isle of Wight.
The eight-part series and 2 hour Christmas special are expected to air on BBC First later this year.