Albert unwittingly creates problems for Peel as the embattled prime minister faces the most important battle of his political career. A tragedy forces personal and political sacrifices to be made.
Robert Peel takes to parliament the ideas of repealing the Corn Laws and making international trade tariff-free, where he faces opposition for his ideas. However, his cause is supported by Albert who attends a session of parliament; his presence and Peel are mocked by both the Tories and the Whigs. A romantic situation begins to form between Francatelli and Nancy Skerrett. When Leopold arrives unexpectedly, Albert is unsettled, and there is tension in the palace. Victoria later quarrels with Albert when he expresses his fears that Baroness Lehzen is improperly caring for their children. When their daughter Vicky falls ill, she is diagnosed with a serious fever that could kill her, and Victoria relents and dismisses Lehzen. Peel's bill is passed, and a man shoots at him as he leaves the House of Commons. Drummond is shot dead instead when he jumps in the way to protect Peel. Devastated by the loss of Drummond, Peel resigns as Prime Minister. Ernest breaks off with the Duchess of Sutherland when he discovers physical indications of his syphilis, while Leopold makes attempts to improve his relationship with Victoria and Albert.