The Favourite was Yorgos Lanthimos’s striking followup to his off-kilter indie hits The Lobster (2015) and The Killing of a Sacred Deer (2017). His take on the English regency drama is a little batsh*t, but The Favourite locations are authentic and tasteful.
The Favourite (2018) stars Academy Award winner Olivia Coleman as Queen Anne, Rachel Weisz as her closest confidante Sarah Churchill and Emma Stone as Sarah’s down-on-her-luck cousin Abigail. Abigail vies with Sarah for Queen Anne’s affections and becomes something of a social climber. All the while, there’s a war with France and the Queen is ill, depressed, races ducks and cares for 17 rabbits as surrogate children.
The Favourite is, on the one hand, an independent black comedy with arty cinematography. But on the other, it stars Hollywood’s finest and has incredibly faithful and beautiful filming locations. It’s the best of both worlds. I don’t think Lanthimos shot any scene in a studio. So, let’s take a look at The Favourite locations around England!
Where Was The Favourite Filmed?
The Favourite Filming Locations in England
1. Hatfield House, Hertfordshire
The vast majority of The Favourite filming locations are situated at Hatfield House in Hertfordshire. Hatfield House is no stranger to the big screen having featured in The Crown (2016), Wonder Woman (2017) and Bridgerton (2019) amongst dozens of other productions. It dates back to 1611 and is huge, showy and the perfect place to shoot most of The Favourite palace scenes.
Queen Anne’s bedroom in Hatfield House is the King James Drawing Room. Her aide and friend Sarah’s quarters are the house’s Library and the Long Gallery is one of the corridors Abigail wheels Queen Anne up and down in her chair. Oh, and the expertly manicured gardens and exterior where they shoot pigeons are at Hatfield House, too.
Lanthimos may have switched out some of the furnishings but the overall aesthetic and the ceiling and wall embellishments are very much the same.
2. Hampton Court Palace, Surrey
The second most prolific out of the few The Favourite filming locations that exist is Hampton Court Palace in Surrey. This royal establishment stood in for interior locations such as the servant’s quarters and kitchens.
The Cartoon Gallery stood in for the other absurdly long corridor that Abigail and Sarah wheel Queen Anne along. The original cartoons are on display at the Victoria & Albert Museum but you can still look at the replicas in the Palace.
3. Convocation House, Bodleian Library, University of Oxford
Sarah visits Parliament, most specifically the House of Commons, on behalf of the Queen whilst the Government and the opposition fight for and against higher tax for landowners to pay for the war against France. They are seated on dark wooden benches built into Convocation House which is part of Bodleian Library at the University of Oxford.
4. The Divinity School, Bodleian Library, University of Oxford
Later in the film, Queen Anne makes a trip to the Houses of Parliament where she feigns a faint to get out of an embarrassing situation. She relaxes out of the main chamber in a separate room, which is The Divinity School in Bodleian Library at the University of Oxford. You may recognise this room from the Harry Potter film series. Or, more recently, acting as Parliament in Mary Queen of Scots (2018).
5. Danson House, Bexleyheath, Kent
Queen Anne, accompanied by Abigail and later Sarah, heads to whatever the 18th-century version of a spa is. Apparently, it’s a huge bathtub of mud in the middle of a marble room with houseplants dotted around. Lanthimos shot this scene at Danson House in Kent. It’s a Georgian mansion used briefly as one of The Favourite movie locations. Some of the other scenes set in servant quarters may have filmed here, too.
And those are all the top The Favourite locations in England! Have you watched the movie or visited any of The Favourite filming locations? Let me know in the comments below!
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