The Queen Victoria
||This article describes a work or element of fiction in a primarily in-universe style. (October 2009)|
|The Queen Victoria|
The Queen Victoria, as it looked from 1992 to 2010
|First appearance||19 February 1985|
|Owner||Several, see list|
|Location||46 Albert Square, Walford, London, E20 6PQ|
|Employees||Several, see list|
The Queen Victoria (often referred to as The Queen Vic or The Vic) is a fictional Victorian public house in the BBC soap opera, EastEnders. It has the fictional address of 46 Albert Square, Walford, London E20.
Appearance and development
In the series' backstory, the Square was built around 1860 during the reign of Queen Victoria. Originally the pub was to be called The Balmoral but after the death of Prince Albert it was renamed as a tribute to the mourning Queen. Initially, the pub's exterior is first seen painted brown. This is later changed to a green and cream colour scheme only for Grant Mitchell (Ross Kemp) to set fire to the Queen Victoria, after which it is painted red. Following another blaze in 2010, the pub is painted to its current colours of red, green and cream.
During the first months of the show, The Queen Victoria has a partition wall down the middle of the bar which separates it into two sections. The smaller section, known as the 'snug', houses a dart board and fruit machines, whilst the larger section, known as the saloon bar, is used primarily as the customer seating area. Den Watts gets permission from the brewery to remove the partition in 1985, and hires Tony Carpenter (Oscar James) to do the job. In 2007 the pub has its first refurbishment in 15 years, and has a second refurbishment in late 2010.
In reality the pub exterior shell on the outdoor permanent set was built during 1984 for the new series the following year. The exterior shell was made to look as though it had stood for a hundred years. The internal sets are in a studio separate from the building situated in the Square.
In September 2010, The Queen Victoria is severely damaged by a fire – the second one in less than 20 years – in a storyline created to allow the set to be redesigned for high-definition. A separate set was built on the George Lucas sound stage at Elstree Studios to allow the interior set to be (safely) set alight.
A team of nearly forty-five crew members were involved in the filming of the fire including Make Up, Stunt Team, Fire Safety Officers, Cameras, Lighting, Sound and the Costume department. The exterior scenes took five half days to shoot (as it could only be shot at night) and were shot at the BBC studios in Borehamwood. The interior scenes were shot a week after and took three days to film.
To prepare for the fire, the set was re-created on a specially designed fire stage at Elstree Film Studios which is especially designed and equipped for fire scenes. EastEnders Production Manager Rona McKendrick says "Potentially hazardous scenes like this always require specialist knowledge and we rely on their experience and advice to ensure that everything is achieved as safely as possible. We had a Stunt Team comprising of Lee Sheward, our Stunt Co-ordinator and his team of Stunt Doubles. A Visual FX team designed and executed all the fire sequences and we had specialist Fire Officers providing out of vision fire cover / safety."
Of the fire itself, McKendrick said "Everyone was very sad to see the Vic taken out of Stage One and moved to Elstree Film Studios for the burn, I've known the set for 18 years and to see the enormous space it left was as if a piece of history had been removed".
Before EastEnders first aired the pub was owned by Ray and Lil Daniels, as revealed in Civvy Street, which is set between 1939 and 1945. Den (Leslie Grantham) and Angie Watts (Anita Dobson) were the landlords in the first episode of EastEnders in 1985, and it was said they had owned the pub for 10 years. It has been said that previous landlords were Gus and Flo Leonard, and Alf and Polly Barrett.
When the series begins in 1985 the pub is still owned by the brewery, Luxford & Copley, and is managed by Den and Angie. Den serves Angie with divorce papers on Christmas Day 1986 but remains at the Vic for another two years. He subsequently passes control to Frank (Mike Reid) and Pat Butcher (Pam St. Clement). In 1990, just two years into their tenure, Pat and Frank hand over the pub to Eddie Royle (Michael Melia). After Eddie is murdered by Nick Cotton (John Altman) the following year, Sharon Watts (Letitia Dean), the daughter of Den and Angie, buys the freehold of The Queen Vic with the assistance of her husband Grant Mitchell (Ross Kemp) and his brother Phil (Steve McFadden). Sharon becomes the first licensee of the pub and lives there with Grant and Phil. Grant sets fire to the pub in 1992 in an insurance scam and it is refurbished. After Grant and Sharon's marriage ends, The Queen Vic is sold to Grant's mother Peggy (Barbara Windsor).
Peggy marries Frank Butcher in 1999, who becomes landlord again. When Grant leaves Walford, Peggy's alcoholic son Phil sells his share of The Queen Vic to Dan Sullivan (Craig Fairbrass) for a mere £5 to spite his domineering mother. However, he subsequently buys back his share and ejects Dan from the pub. After Frank disappears and leaves her penniless, Peggy is forced to sell the pub in early 2001. The new buyer is revealed to be Sharon, in partnership with Steve Owen (Martin Kemp). Steve has to sell his share to raise ransom money for his wife Mel (Tamzin Outhwaite) and Phil buys back part of the Vic. In 2002 Sharon also sells up to Phil and The Queen Vic comes under the control of the Mitchells once more. Peggy appoints Alfie Moon (Shane Richie) as manager later that year.
In 2004, Den Watts tricks his way back into ownership of the Vic, but within a few months he is killed by his second wife Chrissie (Tracy-Ann Oberman), she then buried his body in the cellar of the Vic. Chrissie forges his signature on a deed of transfer and tells customers that he has left Walford, signing the pub over to her. Sam Mitchell (Kim Medcalf) later digs up Den's body and Chrissie plans to escape and sells the pub to Ian Beale (Adam Woodyatt) but is subsequently arrested for murder. When she confesses to forging his signature, the contract with Ian is nullified and ownership reverts to Sharon, who is listed as Den's heir. Sharon returns the pub to the Peggy and Phil Mitchell.
When Sam Mitchell (Danniella Westbrook) breaks bail in 2009, the family goes into debt. Phil secures the Vic against a loan from Ian, who is forced to sell it to Peggy's ex-husband Archie (Larry Lamb). The Mitchells initially continue running the pub but Peggy relents and hands over control to Archie and his fiancée Janine (Charlie Brooks) after her step daughter Ronnie Mitchell suffers a miscarriage during a confrontation with her father Archie. After Archie is murdered on Christmas Day, his daughter Roxy (Rita Simons) inherits The Queen Vic. When Roxy tries to sell it on, Peggy objects, and Roxy signs over the pub to her. Later in 2010, Phil develops a drug addiction and is locked in a room in the pub by Peggy. After he escapes, he argues with his mother and sets fire to the pub as an act of revenge. The fire traps him and Stacey Branning (Lacey Turner) along with her baby Lily, but they all manage to escape.
The Queen Vic is destroyed by the fire and Peggy decides to hand it over to Phil and leave Walford. He rents the pub to Alfie Moon and his wife Kat (Jessie Wallace) and they oversee its refurbishment in 2010. In 2012, Roxy temporarily becomes landlady again while Kat is away. After Kat returns, The Queen Vic is forced to close down due to an outbreak of bed bugs, originally thought to have been brought in by Shirley Carter, who has been staying. However, it is soon discovered that Kat was the one who brought the bed bugs in, having picked them up from the flat that she has been meeting her lover.
Phil regains control of The Queen Vic from Kat and Alfie, throwing them out due to unpaid rent and appoints Roxy Mitchell as manager. However, he reinstates Kat and Alfie when Kat tells him she has been having an affair and is trying to repair her relationship with Alfie, while still keeping Roxy as manager. During Christmas 2012 Alfie finds out that Kat has been having an affair with Derek Branning, they separate and Roxy and Amy move back to The Queen Vic. Roxy replaces Kat as the joint licensee of the pub with Alfie, but leaves after Alfie reunites with Kat on the day of his and Roxy's wedding. Alfie wants Kat to be licensee again, but because Roxy is planning to leave Walford, Ronnie asks Phil to help and he decides to sell the pub so that Alfie and Kat are forced to move out.
Key events in The Queen Victoria
- 1985: Den Watts has sex with his daughter's best friend, Michelle Fowler, in the bar, resulting in Michelle becoming pregnant.
- 1986: Den Watts serves Angie with divorce papers, on Christmas Day.
- 1988: Potman Tom Clements dies in the gentlemen's toilets, of a heart attack, on 21 April.
- 1992: Grant Mitchell sets fire to the pub to claim money on the insurance, with his wife, Sharon, trapped inside.
- 1994: Michelle Fowler is shot by Dougie Briggs.
- 1994: "Sharongate": Sharon Mitchell is caught out when a taped confession of her affair with Phil Mitchell is played by Grant in the bar at Phil and Kathy's engagement party.
- 1995: Grant and Michelle have sex in the bar, resulting in Michelle getting pregnant.
- 1998: Tiffany Mitchell falls down the stairs and falsely accuses Grant of pushing her.
- 2000: Pat Evans and Frank Butcher are humiliated by Peggy Mitchell when she exposes their affair by reading out a goodbye letter from Frank.
- 2003: Little Mo Mitchell is raped – and impregnated – by Graham Foster.
- 2003: Kat Slater and Alfie Moon marry on Christmas Day.
- 2005: In the soap's 20th Anniversary episode, Den Watts is killed by wife Chrissie with Pauline Fowler's dog-shaped doorstop; she buries his body under concrete in the cellar of the pub.
- 2005: Den's body is uncovered by Sam Mitchell on the day of Sharon and Dennis Rickman's wedding.
- 2007: The pub is raided by Terry Bates and his gang who are looking for Jase Dyer; windows, the bar, jukebox and fruit machine are destroyed.
- 2008: On Christmas Day, Sean Slater discovers that he is not Amy's father and that the real father is Jack Branning.
- 2009: During Archie (Larry Lamb) and Peggy Mitchell's wedding reception, Ronnie Mitchell discovers that Danielle Jones is her daughter.
- 2009: Archie Mitchell is murdered by Stacey Slater, who pushes the bust of Queen Victoria onto his head, on Christmas Day.
- 2010: The pub is raided by Billie Jackson and his crew for money.
- 2010: Phil (Steve McFadden) starts a fire to hurt his mother Peggy, which soon destroys the entire building.
- 2010: On Christmas Eve, Janine Malloy (Charlie Brooks) reveals that Stacey Branning killed Archie Mitchell.
- 2010: Mo Harris delivers Kat Moon's baby in the barrel store on 30 December.
- 2011: On New Years Day, Ronnie Branning swaps her dead baby James with Kat's son Tommy.
- 2011: Three-and-a-half months after swapping the babies, Ronnie returns Tommy to Kat.
- 2012: Kat begins an affair with a mystery man.
- 2012: A fight breaks out between members of the pub's football team.
- 2012: Kat's mystery lover is revealed as Derek Branning
- Green, Kris (22 June 2010). "'EastEnders' pub to burn down in blaze". Digital Spy. Retrieved 22 June 2010.
- Conder, Matt (15 September 2010). "Walford Web – Walford Lite – The Great Fire of Walford – Behind the Scenes". Walford Web. Walford Web. Retrieved 16 September 2010.
- The Queen Victoria BBC EastEnders profile