If you love The Crown, Netflix's BAFTA-nominated drama series about the life of Queen Elizabeth II – find out exactly where seasons one, two, three and four were filmed in England, Scotland and beyond...
The Crown, one of Netflix’s most popular TV series, follows the life of Queen Elizabeth II – spanning decades of her reign as Queen of the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth.
We see Elizabeth transition from young Princess to Her Majesty The Queen – quite literally, too, as actors Claire Foy and Olivia Colman share the role as different stages of her life. Throughout, she deals with the trials and tribulations of modernising the monarchy, endures tense meetings with Prime Ministers, embarks on Royal Tours around the globe and visits her many palaces: Buckingham, Sandringham, Balmoral…
Given the need for grandeur in every frame, it’s also one of Netflix’s most expensive shows. For that same reason, it has a seemingly endless list of spectacular filming locations, too.
Here, we have the full list of filming locations used by The Crown in seasons one, two, three and the as-yet unaired season four (so expect the occasional spoiler). You can scroll for the full list, or skip ahead to your chosen region: London, England, Scotland, Wales, Spain or South Africa.
Ely Cathedral, located in the town of Ely in Cambridgeshire, stars as Westminster Abbey in early seasons of The Crown, most notably for scenes depicting the then-Princess Elizabeth’s wedding to Prince Philip in 1947. One famous scene, in which Prince Philip asks a newly-crowned Queen Elizabeth II if she is his Queen or his wife, was also shot here.
No stranger to playing this part in fictionalised accounts of the Royal Family, Ely Cathedral was also a key filming location for 2010 Oscar-winner The King’s Speech and the 1998 biopic Elizabeth: The Golden Age.
Like Ely, Waddesdon Manor in the county of Buckinghamshire is no stranger to a period drama – it has appeared in Downtown Abbey and the film The Queen, starring Dame Helen Mirren, among others.
In The Crown, it is often used a stand-in for Buckingham Palace. It’s no surprise, really. One look at this Grade I-listed country mansion and you can see that with it’s grand, Neoclassical facade, it looks perfectly regal.
Wilton House and its manicured 1,400-acre estate prides itself on being the perfect period filming location, so much so that it has a dedicated page on its website to everything that’s been filmed there.
In addition to starring in Emma (2019), Pride & Prejudice (2004) and The Young Victoria (2007) – as well as a few episodes of Bargain Hunt – Wilton House’s decadent interiors were used for filming scenes inside Buckingham Palace. One notable scene features the Queen, Prince Philip, US President John F Kennedy and First Lady Jackie Kennedy.
Unsurprisingly, the clifftop Dover Castle in Kent is listed on IMDB as one of The Crown’s filming locations. This Norman castle is one of the UK’s largest, and its history dates all the way back to the 11th century.
Though it has undergone significant rebuilding since the 1800s, and is now protected by English Heritage, it was originally developed into the castle we know it as today in the 12th century by Henry II. Parts of the castle from the era remain, and the views across the English Channel from The Great Tower are simply timeless.
There are many gorgeous manors on this list, but one wins the prize of stepping in for Sandringham Estate, the Royal Family’s beloved country getaway in Norfolk. For The Crown, it’s Englefield House in Berkshire, near Reading.
The real Sandringham is Queen Elizabeth II’s private country residence, and the house is set in a sprawling 20,000-acre estate which stretches into the Norfolk coast’s Area of Outstanding Beauty. Englefield is similarly impressive; a Grade II-listed family home that also looks after 14,000 acres of rural land in both Berkshire and Hampshire. Idyllic.
The city of Liverpool stands in for Washington DC in the USA in The Crown’s third series, as the show continues to depict the Royal Family’s relationship with the United States’ presidents and their inner circles.
The Liverpool Echo was eagle-eyed when the show’s crews started popping up – and noted that they’d filmed at the Cunard Building, and placed signs saying ‘Washington D.C.’ near the Three Graces.
If you’ve seen series two, you’ll probably recognise that Woodchester Park – a National Trust property in Gloucestershire – features heavily as tough boarding school Gordonstoun, which Prince Charles attends on the instruction of dad Prince Philip.
Keep an eye out for shots of the forest, a floating platform on the lake and the obstacle course that Prince Charles has to tackle – those are all scenes shot at Woodchester over the course of 10 days. The real Gordonstoun School still exists, by the way, though is located many miles away on a 150-acre estate in Moray, Scotland.
If Ely Cathedral makes a fabulous Westminster, then Winchester Cathedral is a wonderful stand-in for London’s St Paul’s Cathedral. Scenes were filmed here for season three for Winston Churchill’s funeral.
Winchester Cathedral is certainly unique in its impressive length, but also its lengthy history – it dates back to the seventh century. The cathedral’s interiors are just as significant: its chantry chapels and unusual oak choir stalls date back to the 14th century, and its 11th-century crypt is quite spectacular.
Just south of Guildford is Loseley Park, a charming country house and 1,400-acre estate often used for private functions, with a gorgeous flower-adorned garden open to the public in the summer months. Typically, in non-COVID times, private tours of the home, still lived-in by the owners, can be arranged.
Loseley was used for three days of filming, standing in for the Broadlands, the home of the Mountbatten family in Hampshire. It appears in the first season, and you can see the house, the drawing room and the great hall in a number of scenes, according to Loseley's website.
The series reportedly used Hatfield House – a grand Jacobean country house – as the residence of Queen Mary, mother of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth II's grandmother.
It was also apparently used in a scene set in Windsor Castle, as Queen Mary wanders down the Long Gallery to pay a visit to her son Prince Edward, Duke of Windsor.
In real life, its royal connection goes back all the way to Elizabeth I. Her chief minister, Robert Cecil, first Earl of Salisbury, finished building Hatfield House in 1611.
Knebworth House is another stately home that frequently pops up in film and TV. Most recently, it appeared as a grand manor in the Netflix comedy Eurovision Song Content: The Story of Fire Saga.
In The Crown, Knebworth's grand entrance was used in place of the entrance to Balmoral (despite exteriors being shot in Scotland). One notable scene shot here sees Matt Smith's Prince Philip and Vanessa Kirby's Princess Margaret deep in conversation.
Chelmsford-based Hylands House in Essex needs little introduction. Naturally, its blindingly white exterior was used for filming scenes at The White House in Washington D.C.
In one season three episode, Helena Bonham Carter's Princess Margaret and her then-husband, Antony Armstrong-Jones, Earl of Snowdon, travel to the United States in order to attend a dinner party and ease relations with President Lyndon B. Johnson.
Belvoir Castle, home to the Duke and Duchess of Rutland in real life, has appeared in all three seasons of The Crown so far, both inside and out.
Cast and crew spent a month in Leicestershire, filming inside and outside of the castle. The exterior stands in for Windsor Castle, while interior filming took place in the ornately-decorated Elizabeth Saloon and the Regent's Gallery, according to Belvoir Castle's official website.
We see members of the Royal Family and the UK government embarking and disembarking on countless plane journeys throughout the series. Many of these airport scenes took place at Shoreham-by-Sea in West Sussex.
Though the airport is now part of Brighton City Airport, its 1930s Art Deco vibe, clean white facade and recognisable clock face adds a perfectly vintage feel. Perfect for film shoots, and in particular The Crown's scenes set in the 1950s and 1960s.
The Grade I-listed Lancaster House in St James’s, London, makes a fine stand-in for Queen Elizabeth II and the Royal Family’s official residence, Buckingham Palace. Many interior shots were filmed here.
In real life, it isn’t home to royalty – it’s actually the building for the UK’s Foreign Office!
This spectacular 1930s Art Deco mansion, which was once a medieval palace, is located in the Royal Borough of Greenwich in south-east London.
Scenes for Bermuda Government House were filmed here, as were interior shots for the luxurious Queen’s Quarters in the Royal Yacht.
We see the entrance of the Old Royal Naval College, also in Greenwich, fairly frequently throughout the show. It stands in as the courtyard of Buckingham Palace.
The collonaded entrance sees various members of the Royal Family on their way to appointments with Queen Elizabeth II, and in the first few episodes, then-Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip visiting her father, King George VI. Jon Lithgow, who played Winston Churchill, also filmed here on several occasions.
Wander through the City of London to find Goldsmiths' Hall, where only the most eagle-eyed fans will want to visit.
A season one episode showing a surgical procedure on King George VI, supposedly in Buckingham Palace, was filmed here.
This Baroque, white-striped building, located on 23 Blythe Road in West Kensington, can be seen in an episode of The Crown, as well as numerous other TV shows.
In addition to being a bit-part telly star, this building was once the Post Office Savings Bank, and is now used a storage facility for London’s Victoria & Albert Museum, the British Museum and the Science Museum.
In season three, Olivia Colman as Queen Elizabeth II can be seen wandering around The Royal College of Physicians, which is decorated as an art exhibition.
If you’re exploring London looking for The Crown locations, don’t miss it – though you’d probably have to be a superfan of the series to make it worth your while.
IMDB lists the Theatre Royal on Drury Lane, over 200 years old and still in the heart of London’s West End, as one of the show’s filming locations.
Not much information can be found about what was filmed on site, though our money would be on interior shots.
Speaking of theatres, London’s Lyceum Theatre, first opened in 1841, may be the home of The Lion King in real life, but in The Crown it's the swanky location of a royal gala which Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip attend in 1940s attire.
It is well-known among fans of The Royal Family that Queen Elizabeth II adores spending her summers at the Scottish estate Balmoral.
The Crown’s producers captured the magic of her Majesty’s beloved holiday home using exterior shots of Ardverikie House in Kinloch Laggan in the Scottish Highlands. Shots of the house can be spotted in season two of the show.
The Queen Mother also enjoyed holidays in rural Scotland in real life, and this is shown in The Crown’s first season, with plenty of scenes showcasing the beautiful Scottish countryside. In one episode, we see the Queen Mother purchase the Castle of Mey in Caithness, at the time in very poor condition, from a local Scot who does not recognise her.
The exteriors of what became her much-loved Scottish home were filmed at Slains Castle, sometimes called New Slains Castle, a castle ruin in Aberdeenshire. Like so many, it also claims to be the inspiration behind Bram Stoker’s Dracula on its official website.
Series three of The Crown devotes an episode to the Royal Family’s handling of the Aberfan Disaster, the collapsing of a colliery spoil tip on a village in October 1996.
Scenes depicting Aberfan were reportedly shot in nearby former coal mining village Cwmaman, in Mid Glamorgan, South Wales.
The spotlight is also on Wales in the sixth episode of series three, Tywysog Cymru. A young Prince Charles is sent to Aberystwyth to study Welsh, in order to take his title as the Prince of Wales.
The investiture was filmed at the location it happened in real life – Caernarfon Castle, a fortress situated in the north-west of the country.
The Crown often films in South Africa as a sub for locations further afield, particularly during scenes of Prince Philip’s solo six-month world tour in season two.
Cape Town, for example, was used in scenes supposed to represent Melbourne, Australia. Fisantekraal Airfield near the city also appears as an Egyptian airbase, during depictions of the Suez Crisis, according to South African website IOL.
When we think we’re seeing Matt Smith’s Prince Philip sailing up the Amazon, we’re actually looking at Keurbooms River in the Western Cape of South Africa.
“Coming up that river in a tiny boat was a real joy,” Matt said in an interview about the location. “I loved filming in South Africa. It gave me an insight into Philip.”
The city of Hermanus in South Africa’s Western Cape has doubled as four far-flung locations in the show. The Old Harbour was used in scenes of Prince Philip’s early life in Corfu, while New Harbour doubled as King’s Wharf in Bermuda.
Crews also filmed at Kogel Bay, to represent Tonga, again on Prince Philip’s world tour. Claire Foy filmed at the Castle of Good Hope in Hermanus, which served as a backdrop for Queen Elizabeth II’s 1961 tour of Ghana.
This rocky headland is significant as the backdrop for scenes of Prince Philip and the crew of the Royal Britannia, again seen during the second season of the show.
The as-yet unaired fourth season of The Crown is set to involve some Spanish filming locations, according to numerous reports.
The stars playing a young Prince Charles and Diana, Princess of Wales, were spotted in the province of Almería, Europe's driest region, in a location set to mimic the site of the red monolith Ayer's Rock (also known as Uluru) in Australia’s Northern Territory.
Actors Josh O'Connor and Emma Corrin were also spotted moving on to Malaga, again purportedly to film scenes representing Australia or New Zealand.
We don't know where Malaga was standing in for, but Prince Charles and Diana, Princess of Wales spent six weeks in 1983 touring both countries, stopping in Sydney, Canberra, Brisbane, Newcastle, Alice Springs, Auckland, Dunedin and Christchurch.
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