By Sarah A. Lybrand
This lavish, Netflix-original drama offers historical detail with plenty of royal intrigue as it follows the life and times of Queen Elizabeth II.
Netflix's The Crown chronicals Britain's most important poltical benchmarks from the 1940s up until today — the events, political rivalries, and relationships that helped shape European politics in the late 20th century.
The inherent production value of some of the most iconic castles, cathedrals, and sprawling estates in the UK wasn't lost on Netflix; the series shot on location all over the region (in addition to studios and sound stages). And while some historical sites fill in for others on the program, every filming location holds its own fascination. So in no particular order, here are some of the famous royal attractions (and even some of their on-camera stand-ins) from Netflix’s The Crown:
Buckingham Palace (& Lancaster House)
First off, Buckingham Palace is more or less the headquarters (and often the home of) the Royal Family. So you better bet this gargantuan palace — with over 775 rooms, the largest private garden in London, and staterooms used for entertaining — is featured a lot in The Crown. After all, Her Majesty the Queen has called this Palace both home, and office, for most of her life.
But not even Netflix can land (ahem, afford) that kind of location fee so the Queen’s residence was recreated at London's Elstree Studios, the Old Royal Naval College, and other stately homes in the area.
Such as Wrotham Park, Wilton House, and just a short distance away from the Palace on Pall Mall: the Lancaster House. This lavishly decorated 19th-century townhouse, a former hub of society and politics, now stands in for several interior rooms of Buckingham Palace on The Crown.
Buckingham Palace is open to the public most of August and September (and on specially-earmarked days in winter and spring), but to visit the Lancaster House you’ll need to schedule a guided tour.
The Queen’s Gallery (at Buckingham Palace)
Hardly a sidenote, while you're at Buckingham Palace don't neglect to visit the Queen's Gallery. You may recall Claire Foy standing in a stunning red room filled with exquisite pieces of art.
The site opened to the public in 1962 and exhibits some of the most important works from the Royal Collection. You can take a tour of their offerings here.
Clarence House is a royal residence in Westminister. The home was given to Princess Elizabeth and her husband Phillip after World War II (we see Prince Phillip tasked with the job of redecorating their new home in episode one of The Crown) but upon the death of Elizabeth’s father, the couple is forced to move out while Elizabeth's sister Margaret and the Queen Mother move in.
This is also where Princess Diana and Prince Charles vacationed (a country manor about 40 minutes away in High Canons plays backdrop for the Clarence House in season four).
Clarence House is open to the public during August (only) for guided tours.
The Palace of Westminister (w/ Big Ben)
Neighboring Westminster Abbey from where it gets its name, the Palace of Westminster serves as the official meeting place for the two Houses of Parliament: the House of Commons and the House of Lords.
Not to mention this is where Big Ben resides, right next to the picturesque River Thames — probably one of the most visited sites in all of London. Don't miss it!
Windsor Castle (or Belvoir Castle)
Located in the county of Berkshire, today Windsor is the Queen's preferred weekend home.
At the outbreak of the Second World War, Windsor Castle was fortified for war-time conditions while staff and members of the Royal Family (including Princess Elizabeth and her sister Princess Margaret) are moved there for safety. In the series, Burghley House provides locations for Windsor Castle, as does the lavishly decorated interior galleries of Belvoir Castle. This stunning 19th-century castle stands atop a hilltop in the Vale of Belvoir, and offers shopping, parties, performances, and even afternoon tea in the garden.
Both Windsor Castle and Belvoir Castle are open to the public post-Covid (with advanced tickets).
Westminister Abby (Or, Ely Cathedral)
Both Ely Cathedral, a magnificent Norman structure as Winchester Cathedral, stood in for the infamous Westminister Abby has been the coronation church since 1066 and the site of many a Royal Wedding — including that of Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip Mountbatten. In The Crown, this is where Queen Elizabeth demands that Philip kneel to his queen.
Westminster Abbey remains a functioning church; worship services are only offered on certain days of the week (usually during summer).
On The Crown’s post-war Britain you'll see Prince Phillip and Queen Elizabeth at the Lyceum Theatre for a royal gala. The Theater opened in 1841 and still showcases cultural events.
10 Downing Street
Number 10 (as it’s referred to in the UK) is a 200-room mansion at the heart of London and houses the offices and residence of the Prime Minister. In fact, colloquially "Downing Street" has come to refer to the entire seat of Government of the United Kingdom.
Go and see the famous 10 Downing Street door which can only be opened from the inside — because, sorry folks, no access for the general public at this time.
Netflix’s The Crown features some of England and beyond’s most regal locations, all providing a lavish backdrop for the story of our reigning monarch’s early years.
Relive the show’s finest moments by planning a visit to one of these historical relics and/or look-a-like filming locations!
With restrictions easing across Britain, please continue to follow government guidance and remember to plan ahead and check attraction websites before traveling. Take a look at our top tips on traveling responsibly post-covid, etc.