Buckingham Palace Court (exterior)

TV show The Crown (2016)
Winston Churchill (John Lithgow) makes his weekly visit to Queen Elizabeth II (Claire Foy). He crossed the courtyard of Buckingham Palace and followed the protocol before entering the official residence of the Royal Family. Buckingham Palace being "played" on screen by the Old Royal Naval College.
Old Royal Naval College
Old Royal Naval College by Albertistvan. Wikimedia.

People have to be angry at someone, but as a leader, one cannot simply react to everything.”

Winston Churchill (John Lithgow)

When Peter Morgan and his crew took over the Old Royal Naval College to film all the scenes of The Crown taking place in the courtyard of Buckingham Palace, memories of all the films and series already filmed here floated into the heads of those present. The site itself has a long and rich history in which the monarchy has played a prominent role. After all, this is where Elizabeth I was born a long time ago.

A prestigious lining

Unable to shoot in the real Buckingham Palace, the production used the Old Royal Naval College for the scenes that were supposed to take place outside the building. The synthetic imagery, very present but also very discreet, dresses the places to create a perfectly convincing illusion.


Jon Lithgow was voted the second best Winston Churchill in pop culture by Screenrant. He was just beaten by Gary Oldman in Darkest Hour.

Buckingham Palace Charles Dance
Buckingham Palace. Tous droits réservés : Netflix.
Cour de Buckingham Palace
Cour de Buckingham Palace. Tous droits réservés : Netflix.

Old Royal Naval College

The site of the Old Royal Naval College is particularly important in British history.

From 1498 to 1694, the site housed the Greenwich Palace, where Henry VIII and his daughters, Queen Mary I and Queen Elizabeth I were born.

Having fallen into ruin during the English Civil War (1642-1651), the palace was used as a cookie factory and then as a prisoner of war camp. It was demolished although some remains remain in the Painted Hall.

A new building was constructed under Charles II just after the Civil War but the lack of means did not allow to elaborate the building that we can admire today.

Mary II had the Royal Hospital built as early as 1694 to reflect Britain’s wealth and power as a maritime power.

Including a nursing home as well as a retirement home for naval veterans, the site also served as a training ground for nearly 27,000 officers from 1873 to 1997.

Since 1998, the Old Royal Naval College has welcomed tourists, nearly 1.2 million a year, a music conservatory, a university and is also a popular film location.

Go there

The Fantrippers Buying Board

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– Dr No (1962)
– From Russia with Love (1963)
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– Diamonds Are Forever (1971)
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– Casino Royale (2006)
– Quantum of Solace (2008)
– Skyfall (2012)
– Spectre (2015)

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By Gilles Rolland

Tuesday, September 13, 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.

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