£100 million Netflix drama - The Crown - that used Ely Cathedral as substitute for Westminster Abbey for Royal Wedding - airs next week

The Crown

The Crown - Credit: Archant

Reportedly with a budget of £100 million, a new historical drama The Crown – partly shot in Ely Cathedral last year- is being aired in the coming week.

It is another coup for the cathedral that is once again the set of a major production - this time, a Netflix drama re-enacting the wedding day of Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip 68 years ago. There are likely to be 60 episodes over six seasons.

The Crown, which stars former Doctor Who Matt Smith, Wolf Hall actress Claire Foy and Oscar nominated John Lithgow, is the sixth major production to film scenes at the cathedral in the past nine years.

In that time, the cathedral has welcomed what would read as, quite possibly, the most illustrious cast ever assembled: Cate Blanchett, Natalie Portman, Colin Firth, Michael Fassbender, Marion Cotillard, Mila Kunis, Channing Tatum, Scarlet Johansson, Kirstin Scott Thomas, Eric Bana, Eddie Redmayne, Derek Jacobi, Sean Bean, Douglas Booth and Geoffrey Rush.

Speaking to BBC Radio Cambridgeshire last year, director of communications and commerce Lesley Ann Thompson said: “We are very busy. We are no stranger to films - this is our sixth big film here. We are very fortunate, it’s quite amazing the interest in Ely as a location. That says as much about the city and what it has to offer as the cathedral.

“Our first film was Elizabeth: Golden Age. The supervising location manager on the Harry Potter films, Sue Quinn, came to visit Ely Cathedral. She didn’t use us but she mentioned us to the location manager on Elizabeth: Golden Age and said ‘why don’t you try there?’

Opening scenes begin in the 1940s as Elizabeth (Claire Foy) prepares to marry Prince Philip (Matt Smith).

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Royal wedding scenes were filmed in Ely Cathedral as a replacement for Westminster Abbey.