Victoria beat the BBC's remake of Are You Being Served? when the lavish ITV drama went head to head with the return of the comedy favourite on Sunday night.
Former Doctor Who star Jenna Coleman made her debut as the young monarch in the period drama, in an opening feature-length episode which saw her inherit the throne at the age of 18.
Victoria, which also stars Rufus Sewell as prime minister Lord Melbourne and will later feature Tom Hughes as Prince Albert, attracted 5.7 million viewers and 6.1 million at its peak.
It claimed a 30% share of the audience.
Are You Being Served?, which left viewers and critics disgruntled and also started at 9pm on BBC1, claimed five million viewers, a peak of 5.2 million and a 24% share of the audience.
Porridge, another remake, which began at 9.30pm, was watched by 4.4 million and a peak of 4.6 million.
Derren Litten, Bendiorm's creator who penned the new Are You Being Served?, tweeted that he was happy with the results.
The second episode of Victoria was being screened on Monday night.
Next week, the big-budget drama will go head to head with the BBC's hugely popular Poldark in the 9pm slot.
Last year Poldark, starring Aidan Turner, launched with nearly seven million viewers.
The creator of Victoria, Daisy Goodwin, has said she would be flattered if the show can enjoy the same success as Downton Abbey, which came to an end last Christmas.
"It's very big shoes to fill, but I love Sunday night telly, so if people enjoy watching this as much as they did Downton, then I will feel our work is done."