Young actress Emily mingles with 'royalty'

Emily McQueen with actress Jenna Coleman who plays a young Queen Victoria
Emily McQueen with actress Jenna Coleman who plays a young Queen Victoria

The borough potentially has a new star of the screen as a talented young Wiganer makes her TV debut in a lavish primetime period drama.

Emily McQueen filmed her role in the second series of ITV show Victoria as Princess Vicky just before and after her fourth birthday.

The Up Holland youngster was picked for the role in the programme starring Jenna Coleman and Tom Hughes as the Victorian royal couple after her mum Rachael Stewart decided to set her up with an agency.

She admitted to being extremely surprised when Emily was auditioned and then given a part in the cast but is also incredibly proud of how her daughter handled the filming process.

Family and friends will all be tuning in intently over the next couple of weekends to see how many of the half a dozen or so scenes she filmed ends up making it onto the nation’s screens.

Rachael, 28, said: “I can’t really remember why I set her up with the agency, I saw little kids on the TV and decided to go for it a couple of years ago.

“The agency told us they were looking for a little girl to play Princess Vicky so she auditioned and they called us back a couple of days later and said she had got the part. I was shocked, it was her first proper job and she walked it.

“She did about eight days’ filming altogether. Seeing her on screen is so exciting, I’m so proud.

“It has been hard watching the programme because we know it will be Emily soon. Everyone’s watching now, looking for our Emily.

“She loved doing it. Whenever she sees it advertised on TV and Jenna Coleman is on she points at her and says: ‘There’s my mummy!’ She just can’t wait to see herself on screen.

“It was really relaxed on set and they let her play as well. We could be in a room with 40-odd people and all the attention on her and the other actors, but she did really well.

“It helped that they had little dogs on set, because she loves animals.”

Emily plays the eldest daughter of Queen Victoria, played by Coleman, and her husband Prince Albert whose part is taken on by Hughes.

Rachael says the two stars were superb with the child actors taking on the roles during the filming process, which was mainly at locations around Yorkshire.

She also admits that being on set every day watching Emily perform was an astonishing education in the work that goes into putting a big-budget glossy drama on TV.

She said: “Jenna and Tom were amazing. At dinner they would come and sit with the children and help them get used to them. The children had to call them mamma and pappa, which Emily found a bit confusing at first.

“Everyone on set was really nice and it was an amazing experience. It’s totally different watching from behind the camera.

“It was really quite mad. You just don’t realise how much goes into just doing one little scene.”

Emily is already the toast of St Teresa’s Catholic Primary School in Up Holland, where she has just started in the reception class, with the head teacher praising her drama exploits in assembly.

Rachael says she hopes Emily will want to continue with acting now she has got a taste for the big time.

Emily is not the only Wigan youngster involved in the popular TV show.

Last month we reported about twins Isla and Aleya Field from Abram who have already been seen in the series playing Victoria’s firstborn Victoria, Princess Royal.

Victoria is on ITV1 on Sundays at 9pm.