The key creatives behind an award-winning show which returned to British screens this week have given an insight into how the drama is put together.

There has been plenty of excitement after season four of The Crown was released on Netflix.

The new season of the show, produced at Elstree Studios in Borehamwood, continues the story of the Royal Family as the 1970s draw to a close, and Queen Elizabeth (Olivia Colman) and her family find themselves preoccupied with safeguarding the line of succession.

This series also sees the return of performances from Josh O’Connor as Prince Charles, Helena Bonham Carter as Princess Margaret and Tobias Menzies as Prince Phillip alongside the debut of new cast members Emma Corrin as Princess Diana and Gillian Anderson as Margaret Thatcher.

Borehamwood Times:

Credit: Netflix

Some of the real-life filming locations in Hertfordshire

Whilst The Crown’s production base is at Elstree Studios with its own Buckingham Palace and Downing Street sets and creative departments working on site, the drama is also filmed on location locally, as well as across the UK and overseas.

Viewers of the new series may recognise or be interested to know some of filming locations are places not too far from the studios - like Wrotham Park, near South Mimms, which is used as the Queen’s private audience room where she meets prime minister Margaret Thatcher, and Princess Anne’s Gloucestershire residence of Gatcombe Park.

Other inside scenes are shot at Knebworth House near Stevenage.


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Prince Charles’s (Josh O’Connor) home of Kensington Palace is shot at Brocket Hall, near Welwyn Garden City, while the portrayal of Clarence House is actually filmed at country manor High Canons House near Well End.

What's it like working behind the scenes on site at Elstree Studios?

Giles Gale is costume supervisor on The Crown.

He said: "On a busy day at Elstree, The Crown might have up to 300 background artists. Most of these will need to be ready for 8am when we start shooting.

"With such a large call there could be as many as 20 additional costume staff members to help get people ready and make sure they look correct on camera. No matter how busy it is we always make sure the costume crew has time to eat breakfast before shooting commences.

"Meanwhile, the principal team are getting all the actors ready which can take a similar length of time. Once everyone is dressed and on set as well as shooting the scheduled scenes various teams will be working ahead at the costume base also at Elstree. We also have a team of eight people constantly making costumes for the main cast.

"At the end of the day all costumes have to be cleaned and either put aside for future use or returned to our stock or the costume house they were hired from."

Borehamwood Times:

The fictional home of Downing Street and Buckingham Street

Mark Raggett's role is supervising art director and he has been working on The Crown from the beginning.

He said: "We started work on The Crown at Elstree Studios in late 2014 and here we are six years on about to release Season 4.

"In the early days there were a few of us in the art department, with Martin the designer, working out what we might be able to achieve at Elstree.

"Production soon followed and it was to became our permanent home.

"The backlot allowed us the space to build both the exterior of the Palace and Downing Street, which has served us well over the last four seasons."

"The stages have provided us with permanent space for the interior of Downing Street (cabinet rooms etc.) and the living quarters of the Palace, both upstairs and down. We often spill onto other stages with sets which vary from the Interior of the Britannia, various newspaper offices and the myriad of plane interiors which transport the Royal family around the globe.

"Work on Season 5 has already started, what an incredible journey it continues to be."

Props supervisor Owen Harrison added: "A typical day on The Crown Prop Dept can require a combined total of 40 prop men split between five or six locations and a full-time crew at the Elstree prop store.

"Every location can contain multiple sets and exteriors that need to be dressed, filmed then struck and reinstated back to how it was before we arrived.

"A large percentage of the locations are Stately homes and National Trust properties that come with very specific requirements and strict guidelines so our teams must liaise with the locations department to ensure that everything runs smoothly during this period."

All ten episodes of Season 4 of The Crown can be streamed now on Netflix.