Elizabeth II in film and television: royal filming locations

Movie TV show
Thursday, September 8, 2022. Prince Charles officially announces the death of his mother, Queen Elizabeth II. The sovereign bowed out at the age of 96, after a reign that lasted just over 70 years. A respected and celebrated queen, including in pop culture, which she will have marked several times with
Elizabeth II dans le film The Queen
Elizabeth II dans le film The Queen

Elizabeth II has appeared many times in films and television, in documentaries, and has been portrayed by several great actresses in fiction films and series, sometimes in the background but often in the foreground. The most famous sovereign in the world, the Queen of the United Kingdom has thus become a true pop culture icon, directly or indirectly highlighting places that are now linked to her history. Here are the most memorable.

Elizabeth II

The Queen (Stephen Frears, 2006)

The Queen
The Queen

Taking place after the tragic death of Lady Di, The Queen focuses on Elizabeth II’s reaction and feelings as her kingdom goes through a most difficult time. Played by Helen Mirren, an actress who won an Oscar for her performance, the monarch inhabits this masterful and melancholy work.

Although Buckingham Palace, the Queen’s official residence in London, and Balmoral Castle in Scotland, her country home, do appear on screen, becoming the scene of crucial scenes, director Stephen Frears’ teams did not obtain permission to shoot there.

Figurine solaire reine Elizabeth II
Fantrippers’ opinion

Queen Elizabeth II solar figurine

Greet your guests with a little greeting from Queen Elizabeth II herself with this solar figurine! Exposing her to the sun for a few minutes, the 70 year old Queen moves her hand for a royal welcome.

The Old Royal Naval College was used to film the shots showing the entrance to Buckingham Palace. It is in particular the inner courtyard of this monument in Greenwich, also classified as a UNESCO site, that Tony Blair (Michael Sheen) crosses to visit Elizabeth II. For the interiors of the palace, the director invested in Halton House in Buckinghamshire. A country house built in 1883 at the request of Alfred de Rothschild, now open to film and television productions, but not to the public.

Blairquhan Castle
Blairquhan Castle by Scotia

Balmoral, the privileged retreat of the Queen and her family, has been “recreated” on screen at Cluny Castle, a 1604 building located in Sauchen, Scotland. The Queen’s bedroom, while at Balmoral and hearing the news of Diana Spencer’s death, was fashioned from a room at Blairquhan Castle on the west coast of Scotland. Formerly the home of the Baronets Hunter-Blair, this Regency-era residence has been the setting for other scenes such as the Queen and her entourage watching the news on television. The gardens of Culzean Castle, in Maybole, hosted the filming of the scenes that were supposed to take place in the gardens of Balmoral, when Her Majesty walks with the Queen Mother (Sylvia Syms).

The hunting sequences also warranted a trip to Fraser Castle in Aberdeenshire.

Goldsmiths Hall by Katie Chan
Goldsmiths Hall by Katie Chan

Stephen Frears also filmed the Queen’s speech, in reaction to the disappearance of the Princess, from the drawing room of Goldsmith’s Hall in Foster Lane in the heart of London. Waddesdon Manor was also used to film other sequences inside the sovereign’s apartments at Buckingham Palace.

The Crown (2016)

The Crown

The most expensive series produced by Netflix, The Crown tells the life of Elizabeth II since her coronation. Directed by Peter Morgan, the show did not have, like other films about the British royal family, access to the real key places of the monarchy as the country residence of Balmoral in Scotland or of course Buckingham Palace. In the first season, when the Queen is played by Claire Foy, the action takes place at the Old Royal Naval College for all the sequences taking place in the palace courtyard. The scene in which King George VI (Jared Harris) undergoes surgery was produced at Goldsmith’s Hall, while the real operation also took place at Buckingham Palace.

WIlton House by Henry Kellner
WIlton House by Henry Kellner

The Queen’s wedding to Prince Philip Mountbatten (Matt Smith) was filmed in Southwark Cathedral, a sublime Gothic building where William Shakespeare and other prestigious men of letters are buried. Lancaster House, a recurring film location in the history of cinema, also used in The Queen, was used as a backdrop for the scenes supposedly taking place inside the palace. The Wilton House was also used for some interior shots. Finally, only the façade of the real palace appears on the screen. Some passages also justified the use of computer-generated imagery to place the action in its true historical context and create a perfect illusion on the screen.

Fantrippers’ opinion

Queen Elizabeth II T-shirt

A great gift for yourself or your beloved ones on Birthday, Halloween, Christmas, New year, Father’s day, Mother’s day, Anniversary day, Valentine.

Subsequently, in subsequent seasons, including season 3 and season 4, where Elizabeth II is played by Olivia Colman, the production took place in other prestigious monuments, such as Belvoir Castle. Located in Leicestershire, this building has “doubled” Windsor Castle with a certain presence. Plans were also made in Burghley House, a stately home from the 1600s.

The Crown in Balmoral Gardens
The Crown in Balmoral Gardens

What about Balmoral Castle? Peter Morgan actually shot in Adrverikie House, another prestigious mansion located in the Scottish Highlands. This is where the hunting party Diana Spencer (Emma Corin) takes part in in episode 2 of season 4.

Elizabeth II, a cinematic monarch

The King’s Speech (Tom Hooper, 2010)

The Speech of a King
The Speech of a King

Telling the story of George VI’s (Colin Firth) rise to power after the abdication of his older brother, The King’s Speech is not really about Elizabeth II, who is still a child. The latter appears under the features of the young Freya Wilson.

Multi-awarded and awarded the Oscar for best film, The King’s Speech was filmed in England, in places such as Wembley stadium or Battersea power station, made famous by the cover of Pink Floyd’s Animals album. This is where the BBC radio room has been reconstructed. The Royal House, once located at 145 Picadily, but destroyed in the Blitz, was fashioned at 33 Portland Place. This is where the Sierra Leonean embassy was once located. This 1775 house was designed by Robert Adam. Funnily enough, this is also where the designers created the office of Dr. Logue (Geoffrey Rush), the specialist the King consults to overcome his stutter. This is also where Amy Winehouse filmed the video for her hit Rehab.

Figurine Funko Pop Elizabeth II et corgy
Fantrippers’ opinion

Funko Pop Elizabeth II and corgi figure

Proudly display Queen Elizabeth II and one of her royal corgis with this beautiful Funko Pop figure! A whole range of the famous firm is dedicated to the most famous Royal Family in the world.

The coronation of the king was shot in Ely Cathedral, not in Westminster Abbey, where the real George VI became sovereign. The Old Royal Naval College has been used to recreate period London streets. Guy Ritchie did the same for his Sherlock Holmes.

Unavoidable, Buckingham Palace appears in The King’s Speech without actually being in it. Stephen Frears shot in two locations, Englefield House in Berkshire and Lancaster House in London. Englefield was also the location for the filming of Match Point and X-Men: First Class.

The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad! (David Zucker, 1988)

The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad! Amabassador Hotel
The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad! the Ambassador Queen Hotel

In a different, much more comical vein, David Zucker’s The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad! by David Zucker, placed Queen Elizabeth II at the center of a parody-like police plot. A hilarious film in which the sovereign of the United Kingdom travels to Los Angeles on an official visit before being targeted by terrorists. The queen, here played by British actress Jeannette Charles, goes to a gala dinner that is also attended by Detective Frank Drebin (Leslie Nielsen). A scene shot at the former Ambassador Hotel, once located at 3400 Wilshire Boulevard, still in Los Angeles. This prestigious institution has since been replaced by the NOW Academy, whose building retains some of the architectural elements of its illustrious predecessor.

Fantrippers’ opinion

THE QUEEN: Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II: A Royal Biography

At some point, when they reach their mid-sixties, most people will accept the ravages of later middle age and gracefully, often gratefully, ease themselves into retirement. Not so the Queen.
At 91 years, Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II continues to work hard at her numerous duties for the nation and Commonwealth.Having held the throne for 65 years, she continues to demonstrate her commitment to fulfilling her various roles – Head of State, figurehead of many charities, Supreme Governor of the Church of England, upholder of the faith for the Church of Scotland.

At the end of the film, the Queen is attending a baseball game when Frank Drebin narrowly avoids the worst of it by posing as an opera singer. A most comical conclusion filmed in Anaheim Stadium, now renamed Angel Stadium and located at 2000 Gene Autrey in Orange County. The interior shots, however, were shot at Dodger Stadium in North Central Los Angeles. Fun fact: because of her great resemblance to Elizabeth II, Jeanne Charles has played the same role several times in movies and on television, in films like National Lampoon’s European Vacation and Austin Powers in Goldmember and series like Tatort, Big Brother and even the legendary Saturday Night Live. She is logically the actress who has played the most the queen on screen.

The Fantrippers Buying Board

London Fantrippers Guide

London's guide to the 1000 cult locations for films, series, music, comics and novels

Are you going to LONDON?
Are you fans of series, movies, comics, music, novels?
This guide is for you!

Harry Potter, James Bond, Bridget Jones, The Persuaders!, Black Mirror, The Crown, Dr Who, Mister Bean, Monty Python, Sherlock Holmes, Blake and Mortimer, The Beatles, David Bowie, The Who, Amy Winehouse, Dracula, Oliver Twist…

With more than 1000 cult locations for movies, TV series, music, comics, novels, the London Fantrippers Guide offers an unusual and unique travel experience through more than 1000 places of cult fiction specially selected for you.

It’s the bible of pop culture in the British capital!

With its three ways of consulting, discover London:

  • by neighborhoods by immediately visualizing the right addresses around you
  • by themes (bars, restaurants, shopping, gluttony, culture …) for a tailor-made outing according to your desires
  • by works (cinema, TV series, music, comics, novels) to find the places of your favorite heroes and heroines.

After New York and Paris, this third book in the collection is enriched by a new model, a revised pagination (640 pages) and for the first time original film journeys (Harry Potter, James Bond, Alfred Hitchcock, romantic comedies, superheroes), series (God save the Queen, detective series, humor series, Dr Who), music (The Beatles, the Britpop, Icones 60-70 , pop, punk), comics (Blake and Mortimer, From Hell, superhero), Victorian London, thriller, Jack The Ripper, Sherlock Holmes.

Fantrippers' opinion
Content quality

Interest for fans

Value for money

Facebook Twitter Instagram

By Gilles Rolland

Friday, September 9, 2022

Passionné de cinéma, de rock and roll, de séries TV et de littérature. Rédacteur de presse et auteur des livres Le Heavy Metal au cinéma, Paroles de fans Guns N' Roses, Paroles de fans Rammstein et Welcome to my Jungle : 100 albums rock et autres anecdotes dépareillées. Adore également voyager à la recherche des lieux les plus emblématiques de la pop culture.

Let's discuss this article

Notify of

0 Commentaires
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments