A Stately Setting for a Royal Narrative
It’s a wintry morning in the middle of January 2020, when Prince Charles arrives by car to the Ragley Estate, where Sarah Spencer is eagerly awaiting his arrival. As Charles steps into the hall with Sarah, he meets a young Diana dressed in costume whilst rehearsing for her school’s rendition of Midsummer Night’s Dream. The location and timeline of this scenario may cause some confusion, however in this scenario the royals are portrayed by Josh O’Connor, Emma Corrin and Isobel Eadie and the Ragley Estate is simply one of the settings for The Crown Season 4.
The new series of the Netflix drama, kickstarts its first episode of season 4 with Ragley’s Great Hall as the backdrop for the first encounter between Charles and Diana, before the series goes on to unravel the timeline of their relationship together. In this scene, Diana is defying her family’s orders to not be visible during the Prince’s visit and although acting under the façade of being nonchalant, is keen to catch the eye of the waiting Prince. Whilst dressed as a ‘mad tree’, Diana apologises for making herself visible before quickly dashing through the shrubbery to the opposite end of the hall, where she engages in conversation with an intrigued Prince Charles about their mutual enjoyment of the Shakespeare play. The scene ends with Diana watching Charles and Sarah ride off on horseback, from the window of Ragley’s Family Dining Room. The hall can also be seen again, In episode 3 of the series, in which Ragley’s Vaulted Hallway received a dramatic makeover, transforming the space in to the environment of a Buckingham Palace Kitchen.
Over the years, The Ragley Estate has played location to a variety of filming projects from being a stately setting for The Scarlett Pimpernelstarring Ian McKellen to mirroring The Palace of Versailles in a 2 episode arc in Doctor Who,which saw the Estate welcome David Tennant as the Tenth Doctor. Ragley also became the home of Lady Cremone in BBC Two Drama Dancing on The Edge.
The Crown spent two days filming at Ragley in January 2020, which was a huge highlight during the winter months. Head of Events Sophie Stelling stated ‘ Having such an esteemed production at Ragley in 2020, was a fantastic way to start the year, which has been a somewhat difficult time for our industry. Seeing the concept come to life from initial meetings with the production teams and seeing initial set design sketches, to being able to watch the final delivered scenes, has been a hugely positive experience to be a part of this year! Ragley looks forward to opening the doors to events and other projects once again in 2021!’
The fourth series of The Crown is now streaming in full on Netflix.