Westminster Abbey

TV show The Crown (2016)
Princess Elizabeth (Claire Foy), eldest daughter of King George VI (Jared Harris), marries Prince Philip Mountbatten (Matt Smith) within the walls of the prestigious Westminster Abbey. A key scene from the first season of The Crown, actually shot in Ey Cathedral.
Cathédrale d'Ely
Cathédrale d'Ely by Diliff. Wikimedia.

“IIn the first flush of a romantic love, we’re all blind. We see only what we want to see.”

Elizabeth II (Claire Foy)

The wedding of Princess Elizabeth II (Claire Foy) and Prince Philip Mountbatten (Matt Smith) is the highlight of the first episode of The Crown. To shoot this important scene in more than one way, the showrunner Peter Morgan was of course inspired by the documents at his disposal. His goal from the start was to stick as closely as possible to reality, both through the costumes and by emphasizing the resemblance between the actors and the real characters.

Love marriage

Unfortunately, Peter Morgan was unable to obtain permission to film in Westminster Abbey, where the real Elizabeth Windsor was married to Philip Mountbatten on November 20, 1947. Instead, he had the opportunity to take over Ely Cathedral, a unique monument located more than two hours north of London. The camera movements, framing and other tricks that made the wedding of the future queen of the United Kingdom more real than real.

Becoming a queen

The wedding scene was a real challenge for Claire Foy as she was just starting to get into the costumes of the queen-to-be. She told Vogue: “The production wanted to do things right. A team was entirely dedicated to the research. We also rehearsed a lot. As soon as I got the job, I read a lot about the Queen. I still like to do a lot of research. If I had not been an actress, I think I would have worked in research.


Each episode of The Crown cost an average of $13 million.

Mariage royal
Mariage d’Elizabeth II. Tous droits réservés : Netflix.

Ely Cathedral

This former Saxon abbey founded in 673 is now one of the finest churches in the UK. One of the most famous too.

Destroyed by the Vikings and then lavishly rebuilt, listed as a Grade I monument, Ely Cathedral has elements of the Romanesque style and others leaning towards the late Romanesque. Both remarkable inside and out, it contains several treasures including manuscripts. Its nave and choir are among the most spectacular in all of Europe and alone tell a fascinating story. It has long been considered one of the Seven Wonders of the Middle Ages. It is visible on the cover of the album The Division Bell of the group Pink Floyd.

Go there

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By Gilles Rolland

Monday, September 12, 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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