The Victorian period of this country’s history is known for political and military change where the British Empire thrived.

But the woman on the throne was a complex, contradictory woman, who had a traumatic childhood, who loved dancing.

Best known for her spherical in shape, being dressed in black, perpetually grump, these are the stereotypes which come up when you mention Queen Victoria.

Now, historian Lucy Worsley looks to take a Basingstoke audience on a journey on what life was like in the palaces, and the rich colourful age of this woman who ruled a quarter of the globe.

But when talking to the museum curator, with Basingstoke being the home of Jane Austen her other love instantly comes out.

“I’m self-proclaimed Austen groupie,” Worsley tells The Gazette.

“To me she appears as a courageous, lonely professional female artist. Many people think she lived in these lavish houses that you see in the film adaptations of her books.

“But in reality, she lived in the vicarage and had quite a simple existence.”

For the TV historian, the world before us has always peeked her interest. But things could have been very different.

She continues: “History was always my favourite subject at school, but my dad was a scientist and he wanted me to follow in his footsteps.

“I went to do a course at university but my mum could tell I wasn’t enjoying it so she told me to change it to history.

“When I had the awkward conversation with my dad he said ‘you’ll be cleaning toilets with a history degree my girl’. Thankfully that isn’t the case.”

Quite the opposite, as chief curator at Historic Royal Palaces as a day job and being the face of many historical programmes on the BBC it is clear that history is the 44-year-olds passion.

That being said TV was never something she aspired to.

However, sharing the story of the past is where Worsley is most comfortable, and the upcoming show at the Anvil, Queen Victoria - Daughter, Wife, Mother and Widow has been three years of hard work for her.

When talking about the show she added: “I have exploded in detail 34 significant days in her life.

“The way I have been able to take that approach is because of her technology all of her diaries have now been digitized and it makes it a lot more accessible.

“Though you have to be careful as she knew people would want to read them so she wouldn’t give the whole truth.”

Lucy Worsley will be at The Anvil on Thursday, 20 September. For more information and tickets visit