ByVaria Fedko-Blake, writer at
Staff Writer at Moviepilot! [email protected] Twitter: @vfedkoblake
Varia Fedko-Blake

There's been much hype whirling about regarding new TV series , and rightly so considering it is Netflix's most expensive production to date with a colossal budget of $100 million.

The story strips away the royal facade of one of the most famous families in the world during a tense decade in post-War Britain, starring a beautiful Claire Foy as Queen Elizabeth II. Here's the trailer:

Bringing to life the love lives, political intrigues and family conflicts at Buckingham Palace, this may well be one of our most in-depth glimpses into royal life. So, while we wait to see whether the show will be Netflix's crowning moment when it comes out on November 4, take a look at some of the real locations where the drama was filmed.

The Crown: Where Was The Expensive New Drama Filmed?

1. Buckingham Palace

Buckingham Palace | WikiCommons
Buckingham Palace | WikiCommons

Built for the Duke of Buckingham in 1703, Buckingham Palace remains the London residence of the reigning monarch in the United Kingdom.

Although no shoots were completed inside the building, judging by the numerous trailers released for The Crown, it looks like there was no avoiding using the facade of the real palace as one of the locations where the drama was filmed. Alongside this, elaborate sets were also created – production designer Martin Childs revealed:

"My team painted the sets for both Buckingham Palace and Downing Street – which was even more run down – to make them look like the wallpaper was peeling and there were water marks from damp.”

See more:

2. Ely Cathedral

Ely Cathedral interior | Photo by David Iliiff
Ely Cathedral interior | Photo by David Iliiff

Ely Cathedral is an Anglican Cathedral in Cambridgeshire that has ancient origins stemming back to AD 672, with the building officially dating back to 1083. No stranger to welcoming visitors and film crews through its enormous iron-cast doors, the place of worship has often been used as a stand-in for Westminster Abbey, which unfortunately wasn't available for hire to the annoyance of producer Andrew Eaton. He's cited as saying:

"In theory, as taxpayers, we all probably pay for some of the upkeep of Westminster Abbey, so it seemed daft that we couldn’t go in there.”

Instead, Ely Cathedral became the location where The Crown cast and crew were seen to be filming, bringing to life the elaborate royal wedding between Elizabeth and Prince Philip.

The Wedding | Netflix
The Wedding | Netflix

In preparation for the scenes, the location manager on set told a local news source that the show-runners had asked to minimize local traffic on-site over the filming period, saying:

“The purpose of this is to allow filming of a period nature (1950s) without modern cars passing in the background."

As well as The Crown, Ely Cathedral has played host to many other high-profile productions in recent years, including The King’s Speech and Elizabeth: The Golden Age.

3. Southwark Cathedral

Southwark Cathedral | WikiCommons
Southwark Cathedral | WikiCommons

As well as filming at Ely Cathedral, the cast and crew of The Crown were also spotted working outside of Southwark Cathedral, with Matt Smith (as the Duke of Edinburgh) and John Lithgow (as Winston Churchill) donning naval officer's greatcoats for the occasion.

With an ancient history spanning over 1,000 years, the Cathedral lies on the south bank of the River Thames and retains the basic forms of stunning Gothic architecture common between the 12th and 14th centuries.

4. Lyceum Theatre

Lyceum Theatre | WikiCommons
Lyceum Theatre | WikiCommons

The Crown also used the Lyceum Theatre in London's West End to bring to life scenes of a royal gala for the Netflix series.

Originating in 1765, the building has played host to a variety of entertainment over the centuries and even served as The English Opera House between 1816 and 1830.

5. Ardverikie House

Ardverikie Estate | Jim Bain/Creative Commons
Ardverikie Estate | Jim Bain/Creative Commons

Naturally, the royal family's beloved Balmoral estate in Scotland was always bound to feature as one of the locations in The Crown. Director Philip Martin spoke of the building's importance, saying:

"One of one of the interesting things about the Royal Family is the role that Scotland plays in their lives. Every year they go away up to Balmoral and stay there for some time and in some ways there's a powerful emotional connection that the royal family have with Scotland, it's important to them. And we wanted to capture that and so we filmed the relationship between them and the landscape."

To find a fitting substitute for Balmoral, the team searched far and wide for the perfect location in Scotland's Highlands, soon stumbling upon Ardverikie Estate.

Picnic filmed at Ardverikie | Netflix
Picnic filmed at Ardverikie | Netflix

Historically belonging to the Scottish Clan Macpherson, the 19th century baronial house once housed Prince Albert, Queen Victoria's husband, in the summer of 1847.

6. Slain's Castle

Slains Castle | WikiCommons
Slains Castle | WikiCommons

Another real Scottish location used in The Crown was Slains Castle, which was employed for exterior shorts for Castle Mey, an estate purchased by The Queen Mother in 1952 and transformed into a luxury holiday home to be used by the royal family for decades to come.

Standing on the sandy shores looking out to the Orkney Islands, the film crew worked hard in ensuring the beloved location was portrayed correctly in the TV series. In addition to Slains Castle's exteriors, near-by Cruden Bay also stood in for Castle Mey's beach – it can be recognized in scenes that see the Queen Mother horse-riding along the waterfront.

Riding along the beach | Netflix
Riding along the beach | Netflix

Philip Martin has spoken at length about the filming experience up in Scotland, saying:

"[Either] we were on the beach filming the Queen Mother riding with some friends or we're up a mountain listening to Elizabeth talk to Prime Minister Anthony Eden. We were trying to connect the Royal Family to the landscape that's meaningful to them."

Where Else Was The Crown Filmed?

And although the above are the most prominent locations of the series, there are snippets of information claiming that the following places have also flung their doors wide open to Netflix's expensive feat. They include:

  • Englefield House, Reading
  • Hatfield House, Hertfordshire
  • Loseley Park, Guildford
  • Old Royal Naval College, Greenwich
  • Lancaster House, London
  • Wrotham Park, Hertfordshire
  • Glenfeshie Estate, Cairngorms, Scotland

Can you recognize any more locations where Netflix's new drama The Crown was filmed?


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