It’s one of the most expensive TV programmes made – and when The Crown returns to Netflix later this month, Manchester viewers might spot some familiar locations.
The first two series of The Crown, which began in 2016, starred Claire Foy as a young Queen Elizabeth. Olivia Colman took over the royal reigns for the third series and has reprised the role for the fourth run, before Imelda Staunton takes over for the fifth and final outing.
Written by Peter Morgan, the series began in the late forties and has covered seminal moments in the monarch’s reign.
Season 4, which was partly filmed in Manchester earlier this year, picks up in the late 1970s, and stars Gillian Anderson as Margaret Thatcher and Emma Corrin as Lady Diana Spencer.
Over a few days back in February, the production team and cast shot scenes in and around The Northern Quarter’s Stevenson Square, as well as Dale Street, Back Piccadilly, and the John Rylands Library.
Viewers may also spot The University of Manchester’s Renold Building, and outside Peter Street Kitchen.
Screen Manchester, which is the film office for the city, worked closely with the team from The Crown as they filmed in Manchester.
“Screen Manchester provided us on The Crown with immense support while we were filming in Manchester,” said Nathan Flaher The Crown Series 4’s location manager.
“From scouting, council permits, road closures and general support, we were able to recreate New York in the 1980s very well.
“Thank you to all at Screen Manchester, the business owners, highways and the general public”.
The new season, which launches on 15th November, stars Helena Bonham Carter as Princess Margaret, Tobias Menzies as The Duke of Edinburgh, Erin Doherty as Princess Anne, Emerald Fennell as Camilla Parker Bowles, and Charles Dance as Lord Mountbatten.
Queen Elizabeth (Olivia Colman) and her family find themselves preoccupied with safeguarding the line of succession by securing an appropriate bride for Prince Charles (Josh O’Connor), who is still unmarried at 30.
As the nation begins to feel the impact of divisive policies introduced by Britain’s first female Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, tensions arise between her and the Queen which only grow worse as Thatcher leads the country into the Falklands War, generating conflict within the Commonwealth.
While Charles’ romance with a young Lady Diana Spencer provides a much-needed fairytale to unite the British people, behind closed doors, the Royal family is becoming increasingly divided.
“It was fantastic to welcome this world-famous Netflix and Left Bank Pictures production to the city and we worked closely with Nathan to secure the necessary permissions to film,” said Bobby Cochrane, Screen Manchester’s development manager.
“It is always a pleasure to open up the beauty of some little seen interiors of some of our most iconic buildings. Also to facilitate requests to close roads in order for the production to film.
“Having another high profile drama like The Crown choosing Manchester as a place to film continues to showcase how adaptable the city is as an ideal filming location.
“It was a pleasure to assist the production team in achieving their vision of doubling key Manchester locations as period New York.
“We can’t wait to see the final results when series 4 transmits on Netflix.”
The Crown Season 4 launches on Sunday 15th November on Netflix.