The Queen Victoria

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The Queen Victoria
The Queen Vic.jpg
The Queen Victoria, as it appeared from November 1992 to September 2010
Series EastEnders
Type Public house
First appearance 19 February 1985 (1985-02-19)
Address 46 Albert Square, Walford, London, E20 6PQ
Owners See list
Employees See list

The Queen Victoria (more often referred to as The Queen Vic or The Vic) is the Victorian public house in the BBC soap opera, EastEnders. It has the fictional address of 46 Albert Square, Walford, London E20.

Appearance and development[edit]

The former College Park Hotel in Harlesden, on which the design for The Queen Victoria was based.

In the series' backstory, Albert 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. In reality, Albert Square is based on the real Fassett Square in Hackney, but there is no pub there so The Queen Victoria is based on what was once College Park Tavern on Harrow Road in Harlesden.[1] Initially, the pub's exterior is first seen painted brown. This is later changed to a green and cream colour scheme before Grant Mitchell (Ross Kemp) sets alight to the Queen Victoria in 1992, after which it is painted red. Following another blaze in 2010, the pub is painted red, green and cream. On Boxing Day 2013, the new family to the square, the Carters, took over the Queen Vic and since then it has had a refurbishment and has been painted red once again.

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[citation needed] and fruit machines, whilst the larger section, known as the saloon bar, is used primarily as the customer seating area. Den Watts (Leslie Grantham) 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 another 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.

Inside Soap said that the pub was the most "haunted" location in EastEnders, considering the number of characters who have died in or outside the building, including Den, Archie Mitchell (Larry Lamb), Bradley Branning (Charlie Clements), Tiffany Mitchell (Martine McCutcheon) and Tom Clements (Donald Tandy).[2]

2010 fire[edit]

Exterior of The Queen Victoria as it appeared 2010-2014

In a storyline shown during September 2010, The Queen Victoria was severely damaged by a fire. This allowed for a subtle redesign and upgrade of the set; required when high-definition broadcasting commenced.[3] A separate set was built on the George Lucas sound stage at Elstree Studios to enable the pub interior to be set alight safely.

A team of nearly forty-five crew members were involved in the filming of the fire including makeup, stunt team, fire safety officers, cameras, lighting, sound and the costume department.[4] 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.

Safety necessitated having the set re-created at the Elstree Film Studios stage facility that is designed and equipped to film fire scenes.[4] 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 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".[4]

Storylines[edit]

In the EastEnders series spin-off CivvyStreet (1988) life in Albert Square is featured between 1939 and 1945, and The Queen Victoria (The Queen Vic) freehold is owned by the brewery, Luxford & Copley. Ray and Lil Daniels are the landlords. When the series begins, the brewery remain owners and Den (Leslie Grantham) and Angie Watts (Anita Dobson) have been landlords for ten years. Gus and Flo Leonard, and Alf and Polly Barrett are alluded to as landlords prior to the start of the series.

Angie is served with divorce papers by Den on Christmas Day 1986 and two years later he passes control to Frank (Mike Reid) and Pat Butcher (Pam St. Clement). In 1990, Frank and Pat hand over the pub to Eddie Royle. Eddie is murdered by Nick Cotton (John Altman) the following year, and the daughter of Den and Angie, Sharon Watts (Letitia Dean), becomes the first licensee when she buys the freehold of The Queen Vic with the assistance of her husband Grant Mitchell (Ross Kemp) and his brother Phil (Steve McFadden); the three live there. Grant sets fire to the pub in 1992 in an insurance scam and it is refurbished. Grant and Sharon divorce and their share of The Queen Vic is sold to Grant's mother, Peggy (Barbara Windsor). Peggy marries Frank in 1999 and he again becomes a landlord. When Grant leaves Walford, Peggy's alcoholic son Phil sells his share of pub to Dan Sullivan (Craig Fairbrass) for a mere £5 to spite his domineering mother. However, he subsequently buys back his share and evicts Dan from The Queen Vic. 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 Queen Vic. In 2002, Sharon also sells up to Phil and the pub returns to the control of the Mitchells. Peggy appoints Alfie Moon as manager later that year.

In 2004, Den tricks his way back into ownership of The Queen Vic, and within a few months he is killed by his second wife, Chrissie (Tracy-Ann Oberman), who buries his body in the cellar of pub. Chrissie forges his signature on a deed of transfer and tells the customers that he has left Walford, signing The Queen Vic over to her. Sam Mitchell (Kim Medcalf) digs up Den's body and Chrissie, in a plan to escape, sells the pub to Ian Beale (Adam Woodyatt) and is subsequently arrested for murder. Her confessing to forging his signature nullifies the sale to Ian and ownership reverts to Sharon, Den's heir. Sharon returns The Queen Vic to Peggy and Phil. When Sam (now played by Danniella Westbrook) breaks bail in 2009, the family goes into debt. Phil secures The Queen 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 Butcher (Charlie Brooks) after her step daughter Ronnie Mitchell (Samantha Womack) 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.

Again, fire destroys The Queen Vic and Peggy transfers ownership to Phil before she leaves Walford. Phil renovates the pub and rents it to Alfie Moon and his wife Kat (Jessie Wallace). Kat is away temporarily in 2012 when Roxy again is landlady but upon Kat's return, The Queen Vic is forced to close down due to an outbreak of bed bugs, the source of which was thought to be Shirley Carter (Linda Henry), who has been staying. Instead, it was found that the source was the flat where Kat was meeting her lover Derek Branning (Jamie Foreman). The Queen Vic returns to Phil when Kat and Alfie fail to pay rent and Roxy is again made manager. However, Phil has a change of mind about Kat and Alfie when he finds out from Kat about her affair and subsequent attempt to save her marriage, all the while leaving Roxy as manager. During Christmas 2012, Alfie finds out about the affair, 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. As an act of revenge against the Moons, Phil decides to sell the pub and Alfie and Kat are forced to move out. Mick Carter (Danny Dyer) buys The Queen Victoria on Christmas Day, 2013, and the following day moves into the pub with his wife Linda Carter (Kellie Bright) and son Johnny Carter (Sam Strike). Phil is surprised to discover that Mick is Shirley's brother. When Shirley persuades their estranged father into giving them £10,000 to repair the rising damp in the cellar, Mick and Linda give Shirley a 10% stake in the pub.

In 2016, Mick and Linda's son, Lee Carter (Danny-Boy Hatchard) gets into debt, and Mick pays it off by taking out loans. The family struggle to pay for court fines after Babe Smith (Annette Badland) sells alcohol outside of licensing hours, repairs to a leaking roof, for Sylvie Carter's (Linda Marlowe) funeral, and vets bills for their dog, Lady Di (Hot Lips). While Linda and Mick are away, Linda sends Woody Woodward (Lee Ryan) to look after the pub as a manager. Max Branning (Jake Wood) hears of the Carters' financial problems and suggests to Shirley that they sell the freehold of the pub. Shirley convinces Linda but they do not tell Mick, and Shirley forges his signature. The new freeholders, Grafton Hill, send Fi Browning (Lisa Faulkner), a business consultant, to look at ways to maximise profit at the pub, and concludes that two members of staff need to be made redundant, but insists that the freeholders want Woody to stay, so barmaid Tracey (Jane Slaughter) is made redundant. It then emerges that the company Max works for, Weyland & Co, are involved and they have a mole in the pub, as the company is planning to redevelop the local area and The Queen Vic is their first target. It is soon revealed that Fi is the mole, and Grafton Hill makes them pay for further repairs. Fi tricks the Carters into thinking the debt is less, so when they fail to pay, they are given a month to leave and it is revealed that Fi's father, James Willmott-Brown (William Boyde) is the owner. However, after Fi realises that James is a rapist and he is arrested for fraud, she offers the Carters the chance to buy the Vic back, which they are eventually able to do.

Employees[edit]

Current staff[edit]

Character Job role Years
Mick Carter Landlord 2013–
Linda Carter Landlady 2013-
Shirley Carter Landlady Do not add co-owner/licensee as this is covered by Landlord. Please also do not add percentages of who owns the public house, this is not important. --> 2014–
Whitney Dean Barmaid 2010, 2015–
Kat Moon Cleaner 2013, 2018–
Mo Harris Cleaner 2018–
Jean Slater Cleaner 2018–
Stacey Fowler Cleaner 2018–
Tracey Barmaid 1989–

Previous staff[edit]

Job role Characters
Owners Luxford and Copley, Sharon Watts, Sam Mitchell, Den Watts, Chrissie Watts, Ian Beale, Archie Mitchell, Roxy Mitchell, Peggy Mitchell, Phil Mitchell, Grafton Hill, Fi Browning
Landlords and licensees Ray Sewell, Lil Sewell, Gus Leonard, Flo Leonard, Alf Barratt, Polly Barratt, Den Watts, Angie Watts, Jan Hammond, Pat Butcher, Frank Butcher, Eddie Royle, Sharon Watts, Grant Mitchell, Dan Sullivan, Steve Owen, Chrissie Watts, Phil Mitchell, Archie Mitchell, Peggy Mitchell, Alfie Moon, Kat Moon, Roxy Mitchell
Managing supervisors James Willmott-Brown, Sam Mitchell, Ronnie Mitchell, Sharon Mitchell, Fi Browning
Bar managers Simon Wicks, Sharon Watts, Barry Evans, Alfie Moon, Roxy Mitchell, Woody Woodward
Bartenders Lofty Holloway, Arthur Fowler, Nina Harris, Sam Mitchell, Ricky Butcher, Little Mo Mitchell, Kat Slater, Spencer Moon, Jake Moon, Simon Wicks, Melanie Healy, Trevor Morgan, Donna Ludlow, Kathy Beale, Clyde Tavernier, Michelle Fowler, Cindy Beale, Steve Elliot, Tiffany Mitchell, Debbie Wilkins, Lorraine Wicks, Jan Hammond, Binnie Roberts, Josie McFarlane, Mary Flaherty, Shelley Lewis, Dennis Rickman, Honey Mitchell, Sean Slater, Dawn Swann, Danny Mitchell, Glenda Mitchell, Ronnie Mitchell, Chelsea Fox, Christian Clarke, Pat Butcher, Billy Mitchell, Peggy Mitchell, Janine Butcher, Stacey Slater, Eddie Moon, Tyler Moon, Ryan Malloy, Jodie Gold, Kim Fox, Roxy Mitchell, Mo Harris, Ray Dixon, Jean Slater, Patrick Trueman, Fatboy, Kirsty Branning, Babe Smith, Nancy Carter, Lee Carter, Stacey Fowler, Masood Ahmed, Johnny Carter
Cleaners Ethel Skinner, Pauline Fowler, Little Mo Mitchell, Rosie Miller, Juley Smith, Danielle Jones, Julie Perkins, Billy Mitchell, Bianca Jackson, Lauren Branning, Shirley Carter, Denise Fox
Potmen Tom Clements, Jim Branning, Charlie Slater, Ted Murray, Patrick Trueman
Caterers and cooks Ethel Skinner, Debbie Wilkins, Magda Czajkowski, Cindy Beale, Hattie Tavernier, Ian Beale, Christian Clarke, Jane Beale, Jean Slater, Ray Dixon, Babe Smith, Abi Branning
Events managers Jean Slater, Babe Smith

Key events in The Queen Victoria[edit]

The Queen Victoria's bust of Queen Victoria (pictured on display at the Elstree and Borehamwood Museum) was used from 1993 until 2010, and from 2012 onwards.
1980s
1990s
2000s
2010s

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Hassell, Katherine (15 February 2015). "The most memorable moments of EastEnders". Daily Express. Retrieved 26 December 2016. 
  2. ^ "Soap's Most Haunted!". Inside Soap. 2016 (43): 49. 29 October – 4 November 2016. 
  3. ^ Green, Kris (22 June 2010). "'EastEnders' pub to burn down in blaze". Digital Spy. Retrieved 22 June 2010. 
  4. ^ a b c Conder, Matt (15 September 2010). "Walford Web – Walford Lite – The Great Fire of Walford – Behind the Scenes". Walford Web. Walford Web. Archived from the original on 1 December 2010. Retrieved 16 September 2010. 

External links[edit]