WARNING SPOILERS: Watch season two episode four here.

She watched - desolate, abandoned - from the steps of the palace as her husband was driven away in a horse-drawn carriage. 

I sobbed – wetly, desperately - into my pillow as my husband disappeared down the street in an Uber.

Her husband was returning to his homeland, to Germany, for the funeral of his father, Ernst I, Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. 

Mine was going to Tonga, for a week’s game fishing with mates.

Victoria watches as Albert departs

You know, parallel lives and all that. Well, that might be a stretch, but still, there was something familiar in the young Queen of England’s expression.

I recognised that shawl of loneliness she wore so heavily across her shoulders.

Surrounded by children and servants (I wish!), and yet she felt as if forsaken. The days unfurling interminably before her. No one with whom to share the burdens, the joy.  

I fought bitterly with my husband the night before he left. Obsessed with his upcoming trip, I felt overlooked, under-appreciated. 

Depressed after the birth of her second child, Victoria doesn’t fight with Albert before his departure, but there’s a distance between them that won’t be bridged by the usual small gestures, won’t be repaired by the sharing of rituals. 

The trauma of the labour has left her not only struggling to bond with her infant son, but has coloured everything. 

Dulling her love, her every pleasure. And then Albert is home and Victoria is beside herself with a terrible kind of gladness. 

Their delight in being reunited is matched only by their awkwardness. After 15 years of marriage I know all about having to renegotiate your place within each other’s lives. 

I know my husband will come home and he’ll mess up the bed and eat the leftovers I was saving for lunch.

I know he’ll drive me mad and that everything will be as it should.

Megan Nicol Reed

Megan Nicol Reed is a columnist for Canvas magazine.