The Crown Series 1 – 4 (2016-2020)

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

Olivia Coleman in The Crown (2020) © Netflix

Writer: Peter Morgan

Directors: Stephen Daldry, Benjamin Caron, Philip Martin, Julian Jarrold

Starring: Claire Foy, Matt Smith, Jared Harris, Vanessa Kirby, John Lithgow, Olivia Coleman, Helena Bonham Carter, Tobias Menzies

Production Companies: Left Bank Pictures, Sony Pictures Television Production UK

Kent Locations Used: The Historic Dockyard Chatham, Royal School of Military Engineering (Chatham) Brompton Barracks

The Crown is a Netflix Original ten-part historical drama series focusing on the reign of the Queen Elizabeth II played by Claire Foy in Series One and Two and Olivia Coleman in Series Three and Four. The series delivers a world full of intrigue and revelations from behind the closed doors of Westminster and Buckingham Palace as The Queen steps up to represent the world’s most powerful monarchy and forge relationships with her Prime Ministers including Sir Winston Churchill played by John Lithgow in Series One to Three.

Peter Morgan (The Queen, Frost/Nixon) is writer and creator of The Crown, reportedly the most expensive series to be produced by Netflix, estimated at £100 million at the time of the first series release. Benjamin Caron (Wallander, Scott & Bailey) directs various episodes from Series One through Four while Series One and Two directors include Stephen Daldry (The Reader, The Hours), Philip Martin (Prime Suspect: The Final Act, Hawking) and Julian Jarrold (Becoming Jane, Kinky Boots). Directors for Series Three and Four joining Benjamin Caron include Samuel Donovan (Four Lions, Liar (2017-2020), Jessica Hobbs (Apple Tree Yard, Broadchurch) and Christian Schwochow (Children of Mars, Badbanks).

The Series One and Two cast includes Claire Foy (Wolf Hall, Little Dorrit), Matt Smith (Doctor Who, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies) as Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh, Jared Harris (Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, Mad Men) as King George VI, Vanessa Kirby (About Time, Everest) as Princess Margaret and John Lithgow (Interstellar, Shrek) as Winston Churchill.  A stellar cast stepped into the roles of the Royal Family in Series Three and Four with Queen Elizabeth II played by Oliver Coleman (The Favourite, The Other Boleyn Girl (2008)), Helena Bonham Carter (Enola HolmesSuffragette (2015) as Princess Margaret and Tobias Menzies (Game of Thrones, The Night Manager) as Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh.

The Crown production team chose to visit Kent to film at The Historic Dockyard Chatham during Series One 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. The Historic Dockyard Chatham is a popular film location that has previously featured on screen in Suffragette (2015), Downton Abbey (2013) and Les Miserables (2013).

The first series of The Crown was released on Netflix on Friday 4th November 2016.

In Series Four production visited the Royal School of Military Engineering (Chatham) Brompton Barracks to film scenes set in London.  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.

Series Four will be released on Netflix on Sunday 15th November 2020.

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

 


Rush (2013)

 

Chris Hemsworth as James Hunt © Rush Films Limited

Director: Ron Howard

Writer: Peter Morgan

Starring: Chris Hemsworth, Daniel Bruhl, Olivia Wilde, Natalie Dormer, Alexandra Maria Lara

Production company: Cross Creek Pictures, Exclusive Media, Working Title Films, Imagine Entertainment, Revolution Films

Kent Filming Locations: Brands Hatch

Rush is an action-drama biopic about the 1970’s Formula 1 rivalry between charismatic Englishman James Hunt and Austrian perfectionist Niki Lauda whose glamorous fast paced lifestyles and jobs as racing drivers push them to breaking point.

Chris Hemsworth as James Hunt and Daniel Bruhl as Niki Lauda- both in red race cars and helmets

Chris Hemsworth as James Hunt and Daniel Bruhl as Niki Lauda © Rush Films Limited

Rush has an award winning team behind it, with director Ron Howard (Da Vinci Code, Apollo 13) and writer Peter Morgan (Frost/Nixon, The Queen) having both previously won 2 Oscars. 

The film stars Chris Hemsworth (Thor, The Avengers), Daniel Bruhl (Inglorious Bastards, The Bourne Ultimatum), Olivia Wilde (The O.C, TRON:Uprising), Alexandra Maria Lara (The Reader) and Natalie Dormer (Captain America, Game of Thrones).

The Rush production team visited Brands Hatch for 2 days in March 2012 and a further 2 days in May 2012 where it doubled as race tracks in Nurburgring, Monza and Firano.  The Brands Hatch  hospitality suite was used to set the fateful driver’s meeting where James Hunt (Chris Hemsworth) swayed the drivers to race despite the dangerous weather conditions.

Brands Hatch, is in Swanley in the Sevenoaks district of Kent and is a popular race track that was used for the Road Cycling events of the 2012 Summer Paralympics.

Don’t miss Rush was released in cinemas on Friday 13 September 2013 and is now available to buy on DVD. 

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


The Other Boleyn Girl (2008)

Scarlett Johansson standing behind Natalie Portman, both looking out of the window in front of them

Scarlett Johansson and Natalie Portman as Mary and Anne Boleyn Photo Credit Alex Bailey © 2006 Universal Studios ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Director: Justin Chadwick

Writer: Peter Morgan

Starring: Scarlett Johansson,  Natalie Portman, Eric Bana, Kristin Scott Thomas, David Morrissey, Benedict Cumberbatch

Production Company: Columbia Pictures, Focus Features, BBC Films, Relativity Media, Ruby Films, Scott Rudin Productions
Kent Filming Locations: Knole House, Dover Castle, Penshurst Place
The screen adaptation of Philippa Gregory’s best selling novel The Other Boleyn Girl is a dramatic story of love, passion and ambition set in the cut-throat court of Henry VIII. Mary (Scarlett Johansson), considered the more beautiful sister, gains the young king’s (Eric Bana) attention and, though married, becomes his mistress. When it becomes politically adventageous, Mary is cast aside for her dazzling young sister Anne (Natalie Portman) and can only watch as Anne’s ruthless pursuit of the crown propels her towards her doom.

The Boleyn family had extensive connections with Kent; the family lived in Hever Castle while Henry VIII adored Knole. With this connection in mind, filming took place at three fantastic locations across Kent.

Filming in Kent began at Knole in Sevenoaks, a grand house set in a deer park that Henry VIII was so impressed with; he demanded that the Archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas Cranmer give it to him. In the film, Knole was the setting for many of the film’s London night scenes and the inner courtyard doubles for the entrance of Whitehall Palace where the grand arrivals and departures were staged.

 

Filming of The Other Boleyn Girl at Knole- courtyard of Knole filed with cast members and filming equipment

Filming of The Other Boleyn Girl at Knole © Photo Credit : Alex Bailey © 2006 Universal Studios. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

 

Mary Boleyn (Scarlett Johansson) in the Grounds of Penshurst Place walking away from a wooden door

Mary Boleyn (Scarlett Johansson) in the Grounds of Penshurst Place © Photo Credit : Alex Bailey © 2006 Universal Studios. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

 

Behind the scenes at Dover Castle- queues of cast members entering the entrance to the castle along a concrete driveway. Cars and lorries are scattered along the side.

Behind the scenes at Dover Castle © Dover Castle

 

Behind the scenes at Penshurst Place- lighting equipment and stage set up against church wall

Behind the scenes at Penshurst Place © Penshurst Place

Production then moved to Penshurst Place near Tonbridge, which was also once owned by Henry VIII  and where the unspoiled estate and gardens still bring the Tudor era to life. The Baron’s Hall was transformed into the interiors of Whitehall Palace to film the scenes of Henry’s extravagant feast. The Tudor Gardens were also used for the scene where Anne (Natalie Portman) and the King (Eric Bana) talk about their relationship.

As England’s oldest fortress at the shortest sea crossing to Continental Europe, Dover Castle was a vital strategic centre in the Tudor era and able to provide the ideal setting for the final and climatic scenes in The Other Boleyn Girl. Dover Castle was transformed into the Tower of London for the execution scenes of George Boleyn (Jim Sturgess) and Anne Boleyn (Natalie Portman).

Knole Park is nestled in a medieval deer-park .  The area has welcomed filming from productions such as Rush (2013) and Pirates of the Caribbean On Stranger Tides (2011).

Historic house Knole is set in a medieval deer-park in Sevenoaks. Now a National Trust property, it is over 500 years old and was once the palace of archbishops and royal property of the Tudor dynasty. Knole has previously featured in productions such as Great British Railway Journeys – Series 7 (2016), Sherlock Holmes: Game of Shadows (2011) and Pirates of the Caribbean On Stranger Tides (2011).

Medieval and Tudor style manor house, Penshurst Place is set in gorgeous parkland and boasts period rooms and formal Elizabethan gardens. Penshurst Place is a popular film location, having previously welcomed productions such as Wolf Hall (2015), The Great Fire (2014) and The Hollow Crown – Henry V (2012)

Situated on the White Cliffs of Dover, overlooking the English Channel is the stunning medieval fortress – Dover Castle. A popular film location, Dover Castle has featured in Into the Woods (2015), Poirot “The Clocks” (2009) and Hamlet (1990).

To celebrate the cinematic release and the locations that were used in the film, the Kent Film Office and Kent Tourism Alliance in association with Universal, National Trust, English Heritage, Penshurst Place, Hever Castle and the Heart of Kent released a movie map in 2011 to highlight the Kent locations to the world! You can download your own The Other Boleyn Girl movie map and to find out more about the Kent Campaign at: https://kentfilmoffice.co.uk/kent-movie-map/austens-in-kent/

The Other Boleyn Girl features in the Kent Film Office Tudor(ish) Trail, released in May 2016, celebrating Kent’s Tudor history and film connections.

The film was released on 7th March 2008 and is now available on DVD.

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


Henry VIII (2003)

close up of Ray Winstone wearing a gold crown looking away from the camera

Henry VIII © ITV

Director: Pete Travis

Writer: Peter Morgan

Starring: Ray Winstone, Charles Dance, Mark Strong, David Suchet, Danny Webb, Helena Bonham Carter, Emilia Fox, Sean Bean, Emily Blunt

Production Company: Granada Television, Power, Powercorp, WGBH

Kent locations: Leeds Castle

Henry VIII is an Emmy Award winning two-part TV movie, which follows the life of Henry VIII throughout his radical 38 year reign and unpicks the volatility of Henry’s nature, particularly when it comes to love, as he marries and discards a string of wives with quick succession.

Henry VIII was written by British film writer and playwright Peter Morgan and directed by Pete Travis (Dredd, Vantage Point).

The cast includes an array of renowned British actors, such as Ray Winstone (Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, Great Expectations), Charles Dance (Game of Thrones, Alien 3), Mark Strong (Kick Ass, Sherlock Holmes), David Suchet (Poirot, Great Expectations) Danny Webb (Alien 3, Valkyrie), Helena Bonham Carter (Sweeney Todd, The King’s Speech), Emilia Fox (The Pianist, Merlin), Sean Bean (Lord of the Rings, Game of Thrones) and Emily Blunt (The Young Victoria, The Devil Wears Prada).

Long shot of Leeds Castle and lake

Leeds Castle in Henry VIII © ITV

Historically, Leeds Castle was used as a palace by Henry VIII and his first wife Catherine of Aragon but the production chose Leeds Castle to represent exteriors of Henry’s castle in Richmond.

Leeds Castle is near Maidstone and is set within 500 acres of parkland and gardens and surrounded by a moat. Features include original marble bathrooms, a river and maze with shell grotto. The location has previously featured in productions such as Gadget Man (2014), Lady Jane (1987) and Kind Hearts and Coronets (1949).

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

Henry VIII was first shown on ITV in 2003 and is now available to buy on DVD.

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