As Melbourne's popularity in the house wanes, the Tories eagerly await their imminent triumph. Most impatient of all is Victoria's wicked uncle Cumberland, who views Melbourne's pending defeat as a chance to prey on Victoria's vulnerability and establish a co-regency with the Duchess of Kent and Conroy.
Victoria is devastated when Melbourne regretfully announces he is stepping down, and even more bewildered that she must ask a complete stranger, Sir Robert Peel, to form a government.
Desperate, Victoria implores Melbourne to return as her Prime Minister and is stumped when he rejects her – Peel is the rightful candidate. Unable to accept this, Victoria concocts a plan that humiliates Peel, leaving him no choice but to refuse to form government.