8 filming locations of Netflix royal drama The Crown in Hertfordshire

Claire Foy, Olivia Colman and Imelda Staunton as Elizabeth in The Crown

Claire Foy played Elizabeth in seasons one and two of The Crown before Olivia Colman played the Queen in seasons three and four. Imelda Staunton will play Queen Elizabeth II in season five of the Netflix drama. - Credit: Ollie Upton / Alex Bailey / Netflix

With the makers of The Crown releasing the first official pictures of season five of Netflix's global hit, we take a look at the royal drama's filming locations in Hertfordshire.

Imelda Staunton as Queen Elizabeth II in series 5 of The Crown.

Imelda Staunton as Queen Elizabeth II in series 5 of The Crown. - Credit: © Netflix / Alex Bailey

Imelda Staunton, who portrayed Dolores Umbridge in the Harry Potter movies, will play Queen Elizabeth II in the forthcoming fifth series of The Crown.

Left Bank Pictures posted a picture on Instagram with the words: "Our royal appointment… Imelda Staunton as HRH Queen Elizabeth II."

While The Crown Netflix's official Instagram page wrote: "An early glimpse of our new Queen Elizabeth II, Imelda Staunton."

She will follow in the royal footsteps of Claire Foy and Olivia Colman as Elizabeth in the fictional drama.

Claire Foy as Elizabeth in the first series of The Crown

Claire Foy as Elizabeth in the first series of The Crown - Credit: Netflix

Claire Foy played Elizabeth for the first two seasons of the award-winning Netflix show, before handing over the crown to Oscar-winner Olivia Colman for series three and four.

Season one begins with a 25-year-old Princess faced with the daunting prospect of leading the most famous monarchy in the world while forging a relationship with the domineering, war-hardened Prime Minister Winston Churchill.

Gillian Anderson as Margaret Thatcher in season four of The Crown in a scene filmed on location at Wrotham Park.

Gillian Anderson as Margaret Thatcher in season four of The Crown in a scene filmed on location at Wrotham Park. - Credit: Des Willie/Netflix

Last year's season four – set during Margaret Thatcher's years as PM – was nominated for 24 Emmy Awards, including Outstanding Drama Series and Colman as outstanding lead actress in a drama series.

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The Netflix hit bagged 11 Emmy Awards in total. 

Season four’s wins included Best Drama Series, Best Actress for Olivia Colman, Best Actor for Josh O’Connor as Prince Charles, Best Supporting Actress for Gillian Anderson as Margaret Thatcher, and Best Supporting Actor for Tobias Menzies as Prince Philip.

Olivia Colman as Queen Elizabeth II in The Crown.

Olivia Colman as Queen Elizabeth II in The Crown. - Credit: Liam Daniel/Netflix

There were roughly 90 locations used for season four, with about 75 per cent of filming taking place on location – with a number of sites in Hertfordshire used.

Based at the Hertsmere Borough Council-owned Elstree Studios, filming has already started on series five, with Dominic West taking over as Prince Charles, while Elizabeth Debicki will play Princess Diana.

Dominic West will play Prince Charles in season five of Netflix drama The Crown.

Dominic West will play Prince Charles in season five of Netflix drama The Crown. - Credit: Keith Bernstein / Netflix

As well as Imelda Staunton as the Queen, the fifth series will feature Trainspotting and Elementary's Jonny Lee Miller as Prime Minister John Major.

Elizabeth Debicki will play Princess Diana in season five of Netflix royal drama The Crown.

Elizabeth Debicki will play Princess Diana in season five of Netflix royal drama The Crown. - Credit: Netflix


Here we take a look at 8 of the locations used for The Crown in Hertfordshire over the first four seasons.


1. Elstree Studios

John Lithgow as Winston Churchill in the first season of The Crown outside No 10 Downing Street.

John Lithgow as Winston Churchill in the first season of The Crown outside No 10 Downing Street. - Credit: Alex Bailey/Netflix

Elstree Studios in Borehamwood has been the production base of The Crown since series one early in 2015.

The clearing of the backlot helped Elstree Studios successfully secure the contract for the £100m Netflix series.

While much of the filming takes place on location, standing sets of Buckingham Palace, including its façade and balcony, and offices of 10 Downing Street were recreated at the studios for the first series.

Stephen Boxer as Dennis Thatcher and Gillian Anderson as Margaret Thatcher on the steps of 10 Downin

Stephen Boxer as Dennis Thatcher and Gillian Anderson as Margaret Thatcher on the steps of 10 Downing Street in series four of The Crown. Picture: Des Willie/Netflix - Credit: Des Willie/Netflix

They have been refreshed over the years as the series moves through the decades.

For season one, production designer Martin Childs and his team created a number of sets including the private chambers of Elizabeth and Philip, the Buckingham Palace offices, 10 Downing Street offices, as well as backlots with the gates of Buckingham Palace and the world-famous 10 Downing Street front door.

The two backlot sets were built pretty close to scale, except for one thing: the door of 10 Downing Street. John Lithgow is significantly taller than the real Prime Minister of the day, so Childs’ team built a door that was larger than scale, calling it 'John’s Special Door'.


2. Hatfield House

Matt Smith as Philip in season one of The Crown in a scene filmed in the Marble Hall of Hatfield House.

Matt Smith as Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh in season one of The Crown in a scene filmed in the Marble Hall of Hatfield House with the Rainbow Portrait of Elizabeth I on the wall behind him. - Credit: Netflix

The Hatfield House estate was the home of Queen Elizabeth I and the Hertfordshire stately home was used for the Claire Foy era as Elizabeth II in The Crown.

The production team chose Lord Salisbury's mansion to stand in for Marlborough House, and for several rooms in Windsor Castle.

Marlborough House was the residence of the dowager Queen Mary, the current Queen Elizabeth’s grandmother.

Dame Eileen Atkins played Queen Mary in The Crown season 1

Dame Eileen Atkins played Queen Mary in The Crown season 1 - Credit: Netflix

Dame Eileen Atkins played Queen Mary in The Crown, and among the rooms used were the King James Drawing Room, with the famous Ermine portrait of Queen Elizabeth I,  and the Winter Dining Room, converted into a bedroom.

Hatfield House's Long Gallery and Library also doubled for rooms at Windsor Castle.

In the first series, both Claire Foy as Elizabeth and Matt Smith as Prince Philip make speeches in the Marble Hall with the Rainbow Portrait of Queen Elizabeth I behind them.

You can seen these scenes in episodes 3, Windsor, and episode 5, Smoke and Mirrors.

The Crown writer/creator Peter Morgan with Matt Smith (Prince Philip) and Claire Foy (Queen Elizabeth II).

The Crown writer/creator Peter Morgan with Matt Smith (Prince Philip) and Claire Foy (Queen Elizabeth II) following the completion of season two. - Credit: Alex Bailey / Netflix


3. Knebworth House

Matt Smith as Philip, Duke of Edinburgh and Vanessa Kirby as Princess Margaret in episode 10 of season one of The Crown.

Matt Smith as Philip, Duke of Edinburgh and Vanessa Kirby as Princess Margaret in episode 10 of season one of The Crown. This ballroom scene was filmed in the Banqueting Hall at Knebworth House. - Credit: Stuart Hendry/Netflix

Knebworth House often doubles on screen for the interior of Balmoral Castle and that's also the case in The Crown.

See season one, episode 10 'Gloriana' for a royal ball at Balmoral being held in Knebworth House.

Olivia Colman as the Queen, Gillian Anderson as Margaret Thatcher, and Emma Corrin as Diana were also all on set at Knebworth during filming of season four, where the 'Balmoral Test' and the 'Ibble-Dibble' drinking game take place in episode two.

Erin Doherty as Princess Anne in a scene of The Crown season four filmed on location at Knebworth House.

Erin Doherty as Princess Anne in a scene of The Crown season four filmed on location at Knebworth House. - Credit: Sophie Mutevelian / Netflix

With both Claire Foy and Olivia Colman having visited Knebworth House for filming during their stints as Elizabeth, expect Imelda Staunton to shoot scenes at the Hertfordshire stately home for the forthcoming run when the Royal Family retreat to the Queen's Royal Deeside residence on screen.

Olivia Colman pictured as Queen Elizabeth II during filming at Knebworth House.

Olivia Colman pictured as Queen Elizabeth II during filming at Knebworth House. - Credit: Des Willie/Netflix


4. Wrotham Park

Gillian Anderson as Margaret Thatcher in season four of The Crown. This scenes was filmed on location at Wrotham Park.

Gillian Anderson as Margaret Thatcher in season four of The Crown. This scene was filmed on location at Wrotham Park near Potters Bar. - Credit: Des Willie/Netflix

Wrotham Park between Potters Bar and Barnet is another regular filming location for The Crown crew and has been since the first season.

The inside of the Palladian mansion built by Admiral John Byng has doubled for Buckingham Palace on screen, with the meetings between Elizabeth and Margaret Thatcher filmed there in season four.

The music room is used for the 'audience' scenes between the Queen and the Prime Minister of the day, so will no doubt feature in season five between Staunton's Queen Elizabeth and John Major, played by Jonny Lee Miller.  

Erin Doherty as Princess Anne in season 4 of The Crown in a scene shot on location at Wrotham Park.

Erin Doherty as Princess Anne in season 4 of The Crown in a scene shot on location at Wrotham Park. - Credit: Des Willie/Netflix

Wrotham Park also doubled for Gatcombe Park, the Gloucestershire country residence of Anne, Princess Royal, in the recent fourth season.

Erin Doherty played Princess Anne in that series.

Erin Doherty as Princess Anne in a scene of The Crown season four filmed on location at Wrotham Park.

Erin Doherty as Princess Anne in a scene of The Crown season four filmed on location at Wrotham Park. - Credit: Des Willie / Netflix


5. St Albans Cathedral

Behind the scenes of filming The Crown at St Albans Cathedral.

Behind the scenes of filming The Crown at St Albans Cathedral for season two. The Cathedral entrance was used for the marriage of Princess Margaret (Vanessa Kirby) to Tony Armstrong-Jones (Matthew Goode), doubling for Westminster Abbey. - Credit: Alex Bailey / Netflix

Series two of The Crown paid a visit to St Albans Cathedral for filming in March 2017.

Cars pulled up outside the historic building for the wedding of Princess Margaret (Vanessa Kirby), with the Cathedral doubling for Westminster Abbey.

It was also used at the same time for the baptism of Edward in the season two episode 10 finale, with Princess Margaret and Lord Snowdon among the guests.

Tony Armstrong-Jones (Matthew Goode) and Princess Margaret (Vanessa Kirby) at Edward's baptism in The Crown

Tony Armstrong-Jones (Matthew Goode) and Princess Margaret (Vanessa Kirby) at Edward's baptism in the second season of The Crown. - Credit: Alex Bailey / Netflix

Charles, Victoria Hamilton as the Queen Mother and Anne in The Crown.

Charles, Victoria Hamilton as the Queen Mother and Anne watch Edward's baptism in The Crown in series two. - Credit: Netflix


6. Brocket Hall

Brocket Hall in Hertfordshire was one of the locations used for Kensington Palace in series four, along with Harefield Grove and Wellington College.

The estate near Hatfield was a favourite with a real Kensington Palace resident – Queen Victoria.

Home to two Prime Ministers, Lord Melbourne and Lord Palmerston, Victoria was a frequent visitor to the Hertfordshire estate.


7. High Canons 

High Canons in Well End, Borehamwood, has often been used for Clarence House in The Crown. 


8. Moor Park

Moor Park in Rickmansworth was another location used for Buckingham Palace scenes in season four.

Exteriors of Buckingham Palace were split between the backlot at Elstree plus Old Royal Naval College on the Greenwich Peninsula and Moor Park.

Other shooting locations for Buckingham Palace include Wrotham Park, Wilton House, Goldsmiths Hall and Lancaster House.

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