8 filming locations of Netflix royal drama The Crown in Hertfordshire
- 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, 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 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.
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.
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.
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.
Here we take a look at 8 of the locations used for The Crown in Hertfordshire over the first four seasons.
1. Elstree Studios
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.
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
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, 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.
3. Knebworth House
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.
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.
4. Wrotham Park
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.
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.
5. St Albans Cathedral
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.
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.