The Crown, Netflix’s hugely popular fictional portrayal of the British Royal family, has kept us entertained over the years now(!) and left us obsessed with A) Lady Diana’s wardrobe and B) the amazing backdrops.
Stately homes, castles, manor houses and fancy restaurants have never looked more appealing, especially when we've been stuck at home. Ménage a Trois restaurant, where Camilla took Diana to lunch (that seriously happened), has sadly closed, but there are still plenty of other lavish locations to visit and stay in once lockdown’s lifted…
The Crown filming locations
Who can forget the clip of Lady Diana dressed in pink, roller-skating through the corridors of Buckingham Palace while listening to her walkman? The Royal Family didn’t actually give Netflix permission to film the scene inside Buck Pal; in fact everything set in the Queen’s main residence were shot in a variety of locations, including Lancaster House in the capital.
This Neo classical mansion is rarely open to the public, though it can be hired or explored virtually if you’re really nosey. The opulent room used for the Queen’s private audiences with various Prime Ministers is actually in Wrotham Park, a Palladian pad set in a 2,500 acre estate 30 minutes from London. It’s not open to the public either, but is available for wedding receptions and private hire. Shall we all club together or what?
You can look around the gardens of Prince Charles’ country estate (April to October), but The Crown crew actually filmed at Somerley House in Hampshire. The stunning manor house is available for weddings and private hire and includes east and west wing libraries, an enormous drawing room and picture gallery. So. Much. Space. Sigh.
The Queen’s Scottish Highland’s pile appears throughout the The Crown, with guests in Series Four put through the ‘Balmoral Test’, spoiler: welly-wearing Lady Di passed, high-heeled Mrs Thatcher didn’t. If you’ve fallen for the moody windswept landscape, there are five holiday cottages on the Queen’s estate for holiday hire - though don’t go expecting chandeliers and oil paintings as they’re pretty basic. Filming took place at Ardverikie House, a similar-looking 19th-Century Gothic building in the Highlands, which also has cottages to rent on the estate.
Scenes in Charles and Diana’s London residence - not that they appeared to do much residing together - were shot at Harefield Grove, a private house in West London and Brocket Hall an 18th-century mansion near Welwyn Garden City, which is also a posh hotel. Treat yourself to a gourmet meal in its restaurant, Auberge du Lac, or a weekend away in one of the splendid rooms which also look straight out of Bridgerton; we love Queen Victoria, an OTT pink and gold suite which its namesake always requested, or The Prince Regent, which has hand-painted Chinese silk wallpaper.
The Queen’s weekend home (nice) was built by William the Conqueror and is the oldest working castle in the world, apparently. Belvoir Castle in Leicestershire was used as its stand in in The Crown, with scenes shot in the Elizabeth Saloon and Regent’s Gallery. You can visit the splendid castle for the day, or book a longer stay on the estate. We’ve got our eye on Curlews Nest, a lovely lakeside cottage for six, shepherd’s hut and glamping site with bell tents and wood-fired pizza oven.
Lady Diana’s ancestral home was shot at Ragley Hall in Warwickshire and viewers first catch a glimpse of it when Charles arrives to take her sister, Sarah, on a date. Suitably splendid for a future princess, it’s a popular wedding venue with a great hall, state rooms and can host up to 180 people for celebrations and engagement parties. Althorp, the real Spencer family home, lies nearby in Northamptonshire, dates back to 1508 and is usually open to the public in August, including picnics on the lawn and tours of the main house.
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