British country estates, crown jewels and corgis return to the small screen with the fourth season of Netflix’s big budget royal drama The Crown.
It’s 1979 and Prince Charles is 30 and single. The royal family is pressuring the young royal and heir to find a suitable bride (hello Princess Diana!). Meanwhile the divisive policies of Britain’s first female Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, start causing tension with Queen Elizabeth.
The smash-hit series likes to make use of Britain’s great homes, Gothic churches and imposing castles. Since Her Majesty is reluctant to open the doors to her official residences, filmmakers have given other historic homes in the UK a starring role as substitutes.
Caught a case of Diana fever? Relive Princess Diana’s best moments in The Crown Season 4 by exploring five of our favourite filming locations around the UK for yourself.
1. Knebworth House, Stevenage
Queen Elizabeth famously loves to escape north each summer to Balmoral, her residence in Aberdeenshire, Scotland. It’s as close as the royal family must get to living a normal life, with time outdoors away from the public lens.
In Season 4 of The Crown tv series, a young Diana Spencer and newly minted Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher are put to the test when they join the royal family in Scotland. The Balmoral residence plays a major role this season with the future Princess of Wales navigating etiquette, deer hunting and dining protocols.
The stunning Gothic mansion Knebworth House, once again, plays the on-screen double for many of the interior scenes. Located an 80-minute drive from London, it’s possible to visit the grand house yourself. There you can waltz through an eclectic mix of rooms, from the Victorian library to the Jacobean banqueting hall.
Built in 1490, the 28-acre estate has plenty of history beyond The Crown. Knebworth House has welcomed Charles Dickens and Winston Churchhill and the exterior was used by Tim Burton for the 1988 Batman.
2. Ardverikie Estate, Scotland
On the shores of Loch Laggan this former traditional Highland sporting estate also stands in as Balmoral in The Crown Season 4. Built in a similar Scottish baronial style surrounded by dense forests, Ardverikie Estate bears a huge likeness to the true royal residence.
Ardverikie Estate says the Victorian Gothic family home has remained largely untouched since it was built in the nineteenth century. If you want to step inside the 38,000 acre estate and tour the castle’s reception rooms you’ll need to book a night.
Keep an eye out for Ardverikie Estate in the upcoming James Bond film No Time to Die.
3. Winchester Cathedral, Hampshire
The “wedding of the century” between Prince Charles and Diana was watched by 750 million people across the globe, and was undoubtedly one of Princess Diana’s best moments. In this season of The Crown we don’t see the wedding itself, but we do see the rehearsal set in the church ahead of the big day.
While most royals chose Westminster Abbey to marry, the young royals opted for St Paul’s Cathedral. In The Crown, Winchester Cathedral doubles as the iconic London landmark – and has a history as rich as its counterpart. Steeped in more than 900 years of history, Winchester Cathedral boasts high valued ceilings and Gothic style architecture. It was once a seat of Anglo-Saxon and Norman royal power and hosted the royal wedding of Queen Mary Tudor.
These days visitors can drop in to view the grave of English novelist Jane Austen, the 12th-century Winchester Bible and the early Norman crypt.
GET INSPIRED BY: Amazing Britain
4. Goldsmith’s Hall, London
Buckingham Palace might have 775 rooms but it turns out Queen Elizabeth doesn’t like to share. To film scenes set within the London residence, filmmakers turned to a number of locations including the magnificent Goldsmiths’ Hall.
You’ll spot Goldsmiths’ Hall when the princess-to-be is skating through lush, gold-dipped royal interiors in white-lace-up roller skates. Or when Lady Diana is preparing for her wedding in that giant dress with the longest royal train ever (25 feet).
Funnily enough, the hall we know today is actually the third on this site. The Goldsmiths’ Company has been located here since 1339 and the current building opened in 1835. It is possible to visit at times with a guided tour.
RELATED CONTENT: 5 Filming Locations from The Crown Season 3
5. Stevenson Square, Manchester
Season 4 is not just about the United Kingdom. Prince Charles and Princess Diana head overseas on a number of foreign holidays and whirlwind royal tours abroad. That includes a trip Down Under to Australia and New Zealand with baby Prince William, and Diana’s first solo tour to the Big Apple.
Rather than take the whole cast and crew to New York the showmakers turned a part of Manchester into Manhattan. Stevenson Square in the Northern Quarter gained yellow taxis, a subway station and even a classic hot dog stand for the part.
Will you be watching The Crown season 4 and reliving some of Princess Diana’s best moments for yourself? Share your thoughts (and tips!) in the comments below…