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 (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 Discovery Park features as the Al-Fayed offices in Series 6 part 1.

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).

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.


Secret Invasion (2023)

Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury stands in front of a large diamond-shaped doorway with white light beaming through it. He wears a black trench coat and an eyepatch over one eye, which he has lifted to reveal several scars and a purple eye.

Secret Invasion (2023) © Marvel Studios / Disney

Creator: Kyle Bradstreet
Starring: Samuel L. Jackson, Ben Mendelsohn, Emilia Clarke, Olivia Colman, Cobie Smulders
Production Company: Marvel Studios
Kent Locations Used:
The Historic Dockyard Chatham

Secret Invasion (2023) is a new Marvel mini-series based on the comic of the same name. The series follows Nick Fury and Talos as they try to stop the Skrulls, a faction of shapeshifting aliens who have infiltrated planet Earth.

Created by Kyle Bradstreet (Mr. Robot, Copper), who also serves as head writer, the series has an all-star cast including Samuel L. Jackson (Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015), Pulp Fiction) as Nick Fury, Ben Mendelsohn (Darkest Hour (2018), Una (2017)) as Talos, Emilia Clarke (Dom Hemingway (2013), Game of Thrones) as G’iah, Olivia Colman (Empire of Light (2023), The Crown (2016-2022)) as Special Agent Sonya Falsworth and Cobie Smulders (Avengers Assemble, How I Met Your Mother) as Maria Hill.

In July 2022, production visited The Historic Dockyard Chatham and used a wide range of the site, including Anchor Wharf, the Ropery streets and the rear of the Officer’s Terrace which doubles for the streets of Moscow in Episodes 1 and 2 of the series.

The Historic Dockyard Chatham is a 17th Century Dockyard which spans over 80 acres, containing over 100 buildings dating from the Georgian and Victorian periods. It is the most popular filming location in Kent, having recently played host to Enola Holmes 2 (2022), Operation Mincemeat (2022) and Bridgerton (2020).

Secret Invasion was released on Disney+ on Wednesday 21st June 2023.

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


Empire of Light (2023)

Micheal Ward and Olivia Colman stand on the roof of a building, looking out to sea. The night sky in front of them is lit up by fireworks and an illuminated town is visible in the distance.

Micheal Ward and Olivia Colman in Empire of Light (2023) © 20th Century Studios

Director: Sam Mendes
Starring: Olivia Colman, Micheal Ward, Colin Firth, Toby Jones
Production Company:
Neal Street Productions, Searchlight Pictures
Kent Locations Used:
Margate, Dreamland, Arlington House, Broadstairs, Cobtree Manor Park, Manston Airport, The East Kent Railway

Empire of Light (2023) is a dramatic love story centred around a beautiful old cinema on the South Coast of England in the early 1980s.

Written and directed by Academy Award-winning Sam Mendes (1917, Skyfall) and photographed by the legendary Roger Deakins (Blade Runner 2049, No Country for Old Men), Empire of Light stars Olivia Colman (The Favourite (2019), The Crown (2016-2022)) as Hilary and Micheal Ward (Top Boy (2019-2022), Blue Story) as Stephen, with Colin Firth (Operation Mincemeat (2022), The Mercy (2018)) and Toby Jones (The Electrical Life of Louis Wain (2022), Christopher Robin (2018)) in supporting roles.

After seeing the art-deco Dreamland cinema, director Sam Mendes chose Margate as the film’s lead location, the Empire Cinema. A sound stage was erected next door to provide additional cinema interiors facing the beach. The amusement park and roller disco also make an appearance.

Filming took place across Margate from March to May of 2022. Margate Seafront, including the main sands, tidal pool, Nayland Rock Shelter, Marine Terrace and the promenade feature heavily throughout the film as the backdrop for the Empire Cinema.

The area around Fort Paragon, the old Lido, Ethelbert Terrace and Cliff Terrace appear as the streets around Hilary’s flat.

In the town centre, the old Mayor’s Parlour doubles as the interior of a doctor’s office, Arlington House as Stephen’s home and various shops and cafes feature, including Café Darcy as an old chemist, Sands Café, Marina Café and Wildes as themselves.

Image of a vintage cinema with a red velvet curtain covering the screen. On the left and right side of the screen are two red doors. Over the top of each door is a white marble statue of a woman.

Dreamland Cinema in Empire of Light © Searchlight Pictures

Margate Railway Station booking hall also features as itself and the vintage train carriage featured in the film’s closing was filmed on The East Kent Railway

In Broadstairs, Lillyputt Mini Golf, the promenade and bandstand feature on a day out, and Cobtree Manor Park in  Maidstone appears at the very end of the film.

In addition to these locations, additional sets, including Hilary’s and Stephen’s flat interiors and the Queen Elizabeth Hospital were built up in the old aircraft hangers at the former Manston Airport site.

Have a look at what the cast and crew thought of their stay in Margate…

There is also an Empire of Light Film Map you can download at bottom of the webpage.

Margate is a seaside town complete with sandy beach, harbour, amusement park, period housing and ultra-modern art gallery Turner Contemporary. It is one of the most popular filming locations in Kent, having recently featured in True Things (2022), Above the Clouds (2020) and King of Thieves (2018).

Considered to be the oldest surviving amusement park in Great Britain, Dreamland dates back to the early 1870s and was revamped in 2017. The Park has a Retro Roller Room, vintage arcades, a fully restored Grade II listed Art Deco Ballroom and beautiful rides dating from 1920 to the present day. Dreamland is an increasingly popular filming destination, having recently featured in the final series of Killing Eve (2018-2022), Series 2 of Whitstable Pearl (2021-2022) and Two Weeks to Live (2020).

View of Dreamland cinema taken from the beach. An imposing art-deco style building with the word ‘Empire’ written across it in yellow text. Behind it stands a grey brutalist apartment building.

Dreamland as the Empire Cinema © Searchlight Pictures

Arlington House is an 18-storey residential apartment block opposite Margate seafront. It was designed by architects Russell Diplock Associates in 1963 and is a great example of British Brutalist architecture. True Love (2012), Exodus (2007) and Last Resort (2000) feature Arlington House.

Laid out in 1892, the Victoria Gardens include charming features such as a rustic arbour and pergola. The Bandstand is a prominent feature within the gardens, as are the Clock Tower and an Anglo-Indian style shelter. Situated in the traditional seaside town of Broadstairs, the Gardens have also played host to Hurricane (2018).

Now closed to the public, Manston Airport is currently empty and awaiting redevelopment. It boasts a long runway, hangar, large modern warehouse as well as a disused tower and office space. The James Bond film Die Another Day (2002) features scenes shot at Manston Airport.

Cobtree Manor Park stands on the site of the old Maidstone Zoo (still with some buildings intact including Elephant House) and is part of the Cobtree Manor Estate. The park includes over 50 acres of parkland, a play area, café, bridleways for horse riding and a sculpture trail.

The East Kent Railway has a 2.5-mile railway line offering extensive views of the countryside, a 500-yard tunnel, level crossings, sidings and two country stations at Shepherdswell and Eythorne. They offer a variety of train interiors, from 1930s wood panelling, a 1960-1990 railway coach, to the present modern day intercity style coach, as well as a selection of small diesel locomotives. The East Kent Railway was used for a scene in Southcliffe (2013).

Empire of Light will be releasing in UK cinemas on Monday 9th January 2023.

If you would like to visit Empire of Light’s filming locations and take a trip around vintage Margate attractions, please visit Thanet District Council’s Empire of Light trail page.

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


Landscapers (2021)

Olivia Colman, as Susan Edwards, sits in a bed with an iron headboard. She is leaning on two frilly pillows and is wearing a blue shirt and cardigan. Reflected on the wall behind her is an image of a cowboy in a black hat.

Olivia Colman as Susan Edwards in Landscapers © Sky

Director: Will Sharpe
Starring: Olivia Colman, David Thewlis, Kate O’Flynn, Dipo Ola, Samuel Anderson, Felicity Montagu, Daniel Rigby
Production Company: Sister Productions
Kent Locations Used: Laredo Western Town in Dartford

Landscapers (2021) is a true-crime drama inspired by real events, which documents the unique transformation of a mild-mannered English couple into cold-blooded killers.

The four-part mini-series was created and written by Ed Sinclair (Screenshot) and directed by Will Sharpe (Flowers, The Electrical Life of Louis Wain (2022)).  Olivia Colman (The Crown (2016-2020), The Favourite (2019)) stars as Susan Edwards with David Thewlis (Wonder Woman (2017), Fargo) playing her husband, Christopher. Colman and Thewlis are joined by Kate O’Flynn (Bridget Jones’s Baby) as DC Emma Lancing, Dipo Ola (We Hunt Together) as Douglas Hylton, Susan’s solicitor, Samuel Anderson (Another Life) as DC Paul Wilkie, Felicity Montagu (This Time with Alan Partridge Season 2 (2021) ) as Patricia Wycherley, Susan’s mother and Daniel Rigby (The Electrical Life of Louis Wain (2022)) as DCI Geoff Collier.

David Thewlis, as Christopher Edwards, stands under a sheltered bus stop. He stands directly in the middle of the frame, looking off to the right. The bus stop is lit with a blue and green hue, and above the roof are the words ‘Victoria Coach Station’ in blue. On the left side of the bus stop sits a man wearing a black mask covering his face. He also wears a mauve polo shirt, a windbreaker jacket, suit trousers and black shoes. Christopher has short receding hair, and wears a grey windbreaker jacket zipped almost to the top, with a patterned jumper underneath, grey suit trousers, black shoes and wire-rimmed glasses.

David Thewlis in Landscapers © Sky

During filming, production visited Kent to film at Laredo Western Town in Longfield near Dartford. The production filmed a dream sequence where Susan Edwards reimagines the events surrounding the murder of her parents and her subsequent arrest.

Laredo Western Town is situated just twenty miles from London. The town represents the American Wild West as it would have been in 1865 to 1889 featuring 24 buildings including a two-story Hotel with Saloon Bar, Marshals Office, working Blacksmiths, Livery Stables, Bank and many more. All the interiors are fully furnished and decorated to the period. Previous productions to film here include Finding Neverland (2004) and  Blood Moon (2014).

Dartford is a historic market town with a rich industrial heritage and boasts Bluewater, one of the largest shopping centres in Europe. Recent productions to film here include Gangs of London (2020) and The Corrupted (2019).

 Landscapers was released on Sky Atlantic and NowTV on Tuesday 7th December 2021.

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


The Favourite (2019)

Olivia Colman as Queen Anne in The Favourite. Side view of Olivia wearing a cloak and crown staring into the distance.

Olivia Colman as Queen Anne in The Favourite ©Fox Searchlight

Writer: Deborah Davis and Tony McNamara
Director: Yorgos Lanthimos
Starring: Olivia Colman, Emma Stone, Olivia Colman and Rachel Weisz
Production Company: Element Pictures, Scarlet Films, Film4, Waypoint Entertainment
Kent locations Used: Knole

The Favourite (2019) had its world premiere at the 75th Venice International Film Festival in August 2018 where it won two awards. The film is a historical comedy-drama and is set in early 18th Century England. The story follows the life of dysfunctional monarch, Queen Anne (Olivia Colman) and Anne’s close friend and lover, Lady Sarah (Rachel Weisz), who effectively rules the country. However, her efforts to control Anne are undermined when Sarah’s impoverished younger cousin Abigail (Emma Stone) comes to work for Anne as a maid and the two women vie for Queen Anne’s favour.

Emma Stone as Abigail in The Favourite. Emma laying on a bed in a large black and white dress staring at the camera with a fire on in the background.

Emma Stone as Abigail in The Favourite ©Fox Searchlight

The film was directed by Yorgos Lanthimos (The Lobster, The Killing of a Sacred Deer) and written by Deborah Davis and Tony McNamara. Starring are Olivia Colman  (The Crown), Emma Stone (La La land), Rachel Weisz, and Nicholas Hoult (Mad Max: Fury Road).

Knole Park was used as the exterior of Westminster Place in a carriage scene that sees our protagonists abused by the peasantry. Sadly, we think this scene may have ended up on the cutting room floor, but do let us know if you spotted it!

Knole in Sevenoaks is the last medieval deer park in Kent surrounding a 600-year-old estate which has previously doubled for The Palace of Westminster during Tudor Times. Other features that filmed at Knole included The Other Boleyn Girl (2008), Burke and Hare (2010) and Sherlock Holmes – A Game of Shadows (2011).

The Favourite was be released in UK cinemas on Tuesday 1st January 2019.

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