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27/11/2009

Hertfordshire Takes Royal Role In C4 Drama

Channel 4's new drama series The Queen, explores key events in the reign of Queen Elizabeth II, mixing dramatised scenes with news archives and testimonies from royal insiders.
The five episodes will cover events such as Princess Margaret's affair in 1955, the kidnap attempt on Princess Anne in 1974, the tension between the Crown and the government in 1986, the infamous "Annus Horribilis" of 1992 with the series conclusion focusing on Prince Charles' marriage to Camilla Parker-Bowles in 2005. Knebworth House in Hertfordshire stars in Episode 4 which will be broadcast on December 2.
After extensive location scouting all over Southern England, the spectacular Knebworth House in Hertfordshire, was chosen for scenes in Episode 4 starring Barbara Flynn as the Queen, revealing how she coped with a catalogue of scandals involving her family and, of course, the fire in Windsor Castle.
The formal gardens at Knebworth doubled for Kensington Palace grounds, Knebworth's ornate picture gallery became interiors of Buckingham Palace, the lavish library doubled for Windsor Castle and the elegance of Knebworth's dining room became Kensington Palace.
Location owner Martha Lytton Cobbold said: "This is one of many filming projects that we have had at Knebworth this year and we have enjoyed working closely and in partnership with them all. It is terribly exciting for all to see the end result."
The broadcasting of The Queen coincides with the recent launch of Scene on Screen - www.sceneonscreen.co.uk - an interactive movie map promoting accessible locations that have appeared in popular film and television programmes. From the early silent and first 'talkies' produced by Directors such as Hitchcock to well-known war time classics such as 633 Squadron and the Battle of Britain, leading attractions in the East of England have appeared on both big and small screens around the globe.
Blockbusters such as George Lucas' Indiana Jones trilogy and the first four Star Wars movies have all been filmed here. As a result leading locations, such as Knebworth House, have played host to some of the world's best known screen characters including James Bond, Batman, Bridget Jones, Blackadder, Dr Who, Harry Potter, Del Boy and even Dracula!
Head of Locations & Inward Investment for Screen East, the regional screen agency, Kerry Ixer, said: "Popular film and television programmes provide an unparalleled opportunity to showcase filming locations around the globe. Production companies pay the location owners a fee to use the location after which they can experience free and potentially worldwide, advertising for their location if they are accessible to the public. The Scene on Screen website aims to show visitors where filming occurred enabling them to follow in the footsteps of popular screen characters." Visit: www.sceneonscreen.co.uk.
(KMcA/BMcC)
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