Is that a Skyscraper in Your Pocket

Proof positive that a queen outranks an earl: the (somewhat surprising) fact that the Masterpiece Theater series Victoria did better than the insanely popular Downton Abbey in its first season.

That was only one of the many fun facts that surfaced when the WGBH Ralph Lowell Society hosted a Victoria preview party for the royal bio-series at its swanky Allston studios.

Allyson DeNoble, Jon Abbott and Sherri Wolf at WGBH’s ‘Victoria’ preview party.

The afternoon event included a sneak peek at season two, followed by a Q&A session with series star Jenna Coleman, writer/producer Daisy Goodwin, and the mistress of Masterpiece Theater, Rebecca Eaton, which was capped by a cocktail party that included a deliciously lethal gin concoction. (Fun fact number 2: Queen Victoria’s preferred tipple was an even more lethal combo of whiskey and wine.)

Ralph Sheridan, Sandy Stratford and Oscar Malcolm at WGBH’s ‘Victoria’ preview party.

Among the lords, ladies and commoners assembled: stationmaster Jon Abbott, the Marnell family who owns Viking Cruises, Chestnut Hillions Cokie and Lee Perry, the ever-affable Chris McKeown, Beacon Hill thoroughbred Hilary Gabrieli, beneficent bluebloods Jeffrey and Jane Marshall, the remarkably charming Kitty Ames, Cantabrigian Carol Ann Kania, ’GBH bad boy Jared Bowen, and one woman who saw fit to wear elbow-length white gloves.

Jenna Coleman and Lynn Dayton at WGBH’s ‘Victoria’ preview party

The afternoon’s funniest remark, meanwhile, came when someone mentioned a recent addition to the Boston skyline, and another guest exclaimed, “What a magnificent erection!”” ◆

Avez-vous dish? Dirt? A spectacular social occasion? Call J.S. at 617-859-1400, ext. 303, or send an email to

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