The Crown Series 1 – 6 (2016-2023)

Actress Olivia Coleman as Queen Elizabeth II dressed in regimental uniform sitting on a black horse saluting. In the background is a crowd

Olivia Colman in The Crown (2020) © Netflix

Creator: Peter Morgan
Starring: Claire Foy, Olivia Colman, Imelda Staunton, Jonathan Pryce, Lesley Manville, Elizabeth Debicki, Dominic West
Production Company: Left Bank Pictures, Sony Pictures Television
Kent Locations Used: The Historic Dockyard Chatham, Brompton Barracks, Cobham Hall, Lydd, Discovery Park, Rochester

The Crown (2016-2023) is a Netflix Original historical drama series focusing on the reign of Queen Elizabeth II. Based on real events, the series is a fictional dramatization of the political and personal events that shaped her reign.

Created by Peter Morgan (Rush (2013), The Other Boleyn Girl (2008)), The Crown was reportedly the most expensive series to be produced by Netflix when it first aired, estimated at £100 million.

In Series 1 – 2, Queen Elizabeth II is portrayed by Claire Foy (The Electrical Life of Louis Wain (2022), A Very British Scandal (2021)) followed by Olivia Colman in Series 3-4 (Landscapers (2021), The Favourite (2019)). Imelda Staunton (Flesh and Blood (2020), Vera Drake) took over the role in Series 5-6, supported by a host of stars including Jonathan Pryce (Wolf Hall (2015), The Two Popes) as Prince Philip, Lesley Manville (Harlots (2017), Mr Turner (2014)) as Princess Margaret, Elizabeth Debicki (The Great Gatsby, Widows) as Princess Diana and Dominic West (Genius (2016), Johnny English Reborn (2011)) as Prince Charles.

The Crown production team chose to visit Kent to film at The Historic Dockyard Chatham for Series 1 where they filmed a dockside scene on Anchor Wharf after building part of the side of a ship. The Historic Dockyard Chatham dates back to the 17th century and contains over 100 buildings from the Georgian and Victorian periods. It is a popular film location that has previously featured on screen in Suffragette (2015)Downton Abbey (2010-2013) and Les Miserables (2013).

In Series 4, production visited Brompton Barracks in Chatham, where they used the Parade Square and The Mall for scenes re-enacting Trooping the Colour at the Horse Guards Parade. Brompton Barracks is ideally suited as a location to double for iconic London landmarks with a large parade ground, vaulted cellars under the Officer’s Mess, statues, stone bridges, a museum, and a large ornate arch.

For Series 5, production revisited The Historic Dockyard Chatham where they filmed the Queen boarding a ship at Anchor Wharf. Filming also took place in the village of Lydd, at Hardy Hall and The Green, which was used to recreate Tony Blair, played by Bertie Carvel (Dalgliesh, Doctor Foster), and his family casting their votes in the 1997 General Election – a scene which sadly did not make the final cut. Production also visited Cobham Hall, which doubled as Eton College.

Production returned to Kent for Series 6, with filming taking place at Cobham Hall, which once again doubles for Eton College. A jogging scene was also filmed in a nearby private woodland and in Episode 4 Discovery Park features as the hospital in France where Princess Diana passed away. The wedding of Prince Charles (Dominic West) and Camilla (Olivia Williams) in Windsor was filmed outside Rochester Guildhall in the City Centre doubling for the registry office at Windsor Guildhall and the wedding procession.

Cobham Hall is a private school in a historic house which is located in 150 acres of Grade II listed parkland. Its features include a stunning ballroom, library, cobbled courtyards, formal gardens, water towers, modern classrooms and sport facilities, including a swimming pool. Previous productions to have filmed at Cobham Hall include Hetty Feather (2015-2020), High End Yaariyaan (2019) and Tulip Fever (2018).

Formerly the HQ for Pfizer in the UK, Discovery Park is a large office complex with science labs and warehouses. Recent productions to have filmed there include The Old Guard (2020), The Complex: Lockdown (2020) and Baptiste (2019).

Rochester City has the feel of a medieval market town, with Cathedral, castle ruins and unspoilt high street by the River Medway. Recent productions to have filmed there include Whitstable Pearl (2021-2022), Series 4 of Unforgotten (2021) and Big Boys Don’t Cry (2020).

The first series of The Crown (2016-2023) was released on Netflix on Friday 4th November 2016. All seasons are currently available to view on Netflix.

Series 6 of The Crown (2016-2023) will be released on Netflix in two parts. Part 1 will be released on Thursday 16th November 2023, with Part 2 following on Thursday 14th December 2023.

For more information about Kent’s Filming History please visit our Movie Map.


The Electrical Life of Louis Wain (2022)

Benedict Cumberbatch, as Louis Wain, stands on a pebble beach, wearing sunglasses and looking off into the distance with a row of colourful houses in the distance. Cumberbatch, dressed in white trousers, navy blazer and blue and white striped t-shirt stands to the left with three women sitting on wooden stools with wooden easels in front of them to the right of the frame.

Benedict Cumberbatch, Stacy Martin, Sharon Rooney and Aimee Lou Wood in The Electrical Life of Louis Wain (2022) on Walmer Beach, Deal © StudioCanal

Writer: Will Sharpe, Simon Stephenson
Director: Will Sharpe
Starring: Benedict Cumberbatch, Claire Foy, Andrea Riseborough, Aimee Lou Wood, Toby Jones
Production Company: Amazon Studios, Film4, Shoebox Films, StudioCanal, SunnyMarch
Kent Locations Used: Botany Bay, Kingsgate Bay, Deal, Walmer, Kingsdown Leas

The Electrical Life of Louis Wain (2022) is a biopic of the English painter who rose to fame at the end of the 19th century. Known for his unique paintings of anthropomorphised cats, Wain suffered from poor mental health in his later years and was hospitalised when his family could no longer care for him.

Benedict Cumberbatch (Doctor Strange, Sherlock) stars as the titular character Louis Wain, with Claire Foy (The Crown (2016 – 2023), A Very British Scandal (2021)) portraying the love of his life, Emily. The film also features Andrea Riseborough (Luxor, The Grudge), Aimee Lou Wood (Sex Education (2021)), Toby Jones (Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, Christopher Robin) and Sharon Rooney (My Mad Fat Diary, The Tunnel: Vengeance (2017)). The film was written and directed by Will Sharpe (Defending the Guilty, Flowers) alongside writer Simon Stephenson (Eleventh Hour, Paddington 2).

Various scenes were shot on the Kent coast, including at Botany Bay and Kingsgate Bay in Thanet, Kingsdown Leas, Deal seafront and the Coast House B&B in Walmer, Deal.

Botany Bay in Thanet is a popular filming location in Kent. The sandy bay is set against a beautiful white cliff backdrop which is popular with tourists. Previous productions to have made use of this stunning location include Sulphur and White (2020) and Series 2 of Humans (2016).

Kingsgate Bay is a small sandy bay surrounded by chalk cliffs that connects at low tide through Whiteness cliff arch to Botany Bay. The Victorian Kingsgate Castle is perched on top of the sea defences; it has since been turned into private residences. Other productions to have filmed at Kingsgate Bay include True Things (2022), Mr Selfridge (2013-2016), and Bhikari (2017).

Deal is a town on the south coast of Kent with a long naval history as one of the major Cinque Ports. Deal’s seafront has a large green, promenade, small fishing fleet, huts, sailing boats, lifeboat station as well as an extensive pebble beach. Liar Series 1 & 2 (2017 – 2020) and Baptiste (2019) both recently filmed here.

The Electrical Life of Louis Wain was released in UK cinemas on Saturday 1st January 2022.

For more information about Kent’s Filming History please visit our Movie Map.


A Very British Scandal (2021)

Claire Foy, as the Duchess of Argyll, stands in the centre of the frame looking directly at the camera. Behind her is a grey-brick building. On her left, right and at the bottom of the frame stand three photographers, pointing large old-fashioned cameras directly at her. Foy has dark brown slicked-back hair and blue eyes. She wears a purple blazer with matching hat and thin veil over her face, a grey fur coat held around her midriff, light grey gloves, a pearl necklace, bracelet and earrings, and a dark grey clutch bag. She also wears bright red lipstick.

Claire Foy in A Very British Scandal © BBC

Writer: Sarah Phelps
Director: Anne Sewitsky
Starring: Paul Bettany, Claire Foy, Jonathan Aris
Production Company: Amazon Studios, Blueprint Pictures
Kent Locations Used: Kent & East Sussex Railway

A Very British Scandal (2021) depicts the story of events surrounding the notorious divorce of the Duke and Duchess of Argyll during the 1960s.

Claire Foy (The Crown Series 1 – 6 (2016-2023), Wolf Hall (2015)) stars as Margaret, Duchess of Argyll while Paul Bettany (Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015), WandaVision) stars as Ian Campbell, Duke of Argyll. The three part miniseries also features Jonathan Aris (Grantchester, The End of the F***ing World (2017)), was written by
Sarah Phelps (The Pale Horse, The White Princess) and directed by Anne Sewitsky (Monsterland, Black Mirror).

Production visited Tenterden’s Kent & East Sussex Railway to film the opening scene where Margaret and Ian Campbell meet for the first time on The Golden Arrow Boat Train from Paris.

The Kent & East Sussex Railway is a ten and a half mile rural railway from Tenterden to East Sussex. The Kent and East Sussex Railway has provided location services for a variety of film and television productions over the years including Richard E. Grant on Ealing Comedies (2016) and the opening shot of Downton Abbey (2010-2013) series one, episode one when a steam train travels through the countryside. A more recent production to film on the railway is Paul O’Grady Great British Escapes.

A Very British Scandal began airing on Sunday 26th December 2021 on BBC One and all episodes are available to watch on iPlayer.

For more information about Kent’s Filming History please visit our Movie Map.


Wolf Hall (2015)

Claire Foy as Anne Boleyn and Damian Lewis as King Henry Eighth on the Wolf Hall set

Anne Boleyn (CLAIRE FOY), King Henry VIII (DAMIAN LEWIS), © BBC Company Productions Ltd

Writer: Peter Straughan, Hilary Mantel (novel)

Director: Peter Kosminsky

Starring: Mark Rylance, Damian Lewis, Claire Foy, Mark Gatiss, Jonathan Pryce

Production company: Company Pictures

Kent locations: Penshurst Place, Dover Castle

This January, BBC Two airs new British drama Wolf Hall, charting the meteoric rise of Thomas Cromwell in the Tudor Court, from his lowly start as a blacksmith’s son to becoming Henry VIII’s closest advisor.

The six part series is based on Hilary Mantel’s Booker Prize-winning novels, Wolf Hall and Bring Up The Bodies and the screenplay was written by Oscar-nominated Peter Straughan (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy and Frank).

BAFTA-winning Peter Kosminsky (Britz, The Promise) directs the miniseries which boasts a host of acting talent, such as Mark Rylance (Britz, Hamlet), Damian Lewis (Homeland, Romeo and Juliet), Claire Foy (Season of the Witch, Crossbones), Mark Gatiss (Sherlock, Game of Thrones) and Jonathan Pryce (Brazil, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest).

Mark Rylance as Thomas Cromwell and cast members behind the scenes on Wolf Hall being filmed by camera crew on a pathway

Thomas Cromwell (MARK RYLANCE) ©BBCCompany Productions Ltd

In May 2014, the production team visited Penshurst Place to film at a variety of rooms to double for York Place and Whitehall. In July 2014, the production returned to Kent, this time filming at Dover Castle which doubled as The Tower of London for the execution of Anne Boleyn scenes.

Penshurst Place is a Medieval and Tudor fortified style manor house set in gorgeous parkland in West Kent and boasts formal Elizabethan gardens. Penshurst Place is a popular film location, having previously welcomed productions such as The Great Fire (2014), The Hollow Crown – Henry V (2012) and The Other Boleyn Girl (2008).

Dover Castle is a stunning medieval castle situated on the White Cliffs of Dover, overlooking the English Channel. Dover Castle has previously been used for filming by a variety of productions including Into The Woods (2015), Poirot “The Clocks” (2009) and The Other Boleyn Girl (2008).

Wolf Hall also features in the Kent Film Office Tudor(ish) Trail which celebrates Kent’s Tudor history and film connections.

Wolf Hall aired on BBC Two from Wednesday 21st January 2015 at 21:00 and is now available for DVD and online purchase.

 

For more information about Kent’s Filming History please visit our Movie Map.