Beds, Herts & Bucks

Hatfield House appears in Bafta-nominated film The Favourite

Olivia Colman in The Favourite Image copyright Alamy
Image caption Actress Olivia Colman in character as Queen Anne at Hatfield House

Staff at a historic house that formed the backdrop for movie The Favourite are delighted after it won seven Bafta film awards.

About 85% of the bawdy period comedy, which stars Olivia Colman as Queen Anne, was shot at Hatfield House.

Sarah Cardall-Spawforth, one of the Hertfordshire property's managers, said staff were "passionate" about the film.

The Favourite received 12 nominations and won Best Production Design, while Colman won Best Actress.

The period drama, which also stars Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz (who picked up Best Supporting Actress), tells the story of the female courtiers fighting for the affections of the queen, who reigned 1702-1714.

Image copyright Hatfield House
Image caption About 85% of The Favourite was filmed at the stately home in Hertfordshire, which is home to the Marquess of Salisbury

Film crews arrived at Hatfield House in February 2017 and stayed until mid-May, recording scenes in the Marble Hall, the library and the Long Gallery, among others.

Ms Cardall-Spawforth said it was "very lucky" the Jacobean house was closed to the public and furniture and fittings were moved around constantly.

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Media captionWATCH: Historical royal drama The Favourite reviewed

"We're normally open from April to September, but we delayed the opening by a couple of weeks," she said.

"We would strike one room out, reinstate it and move on, so our in-house team were on standby quite a lot."

Image copyright Hatfield House
Image caption The lavishly-decorated King James Drawing Room is usually filled with paintings and portraits
Image copyright Hatfield House
Image caption The King James Drawing Room was transformed to depict Queen Anne's bedroom - and the number of candles presented a huge fire risk

Ms Cardall-Spawforth revealed the lavish King James Drawing Room doubled as Anne's bedroom in the film.

"It is normally filled with paintings and portraits, but even the chandeliers had to come down," she said.

"It was a bit like something out of Only Fools and Horses - the risk of them dropping it made it rather scary."

Image copyright Hatfield House
Image caption The Long Gallery - with its golden ceiling - features heavily in The Favourite

Ms Cardall-Spawforth said the three leading women, who are all up for Baftas, were "very respectful of the property".

"They were absolutely fantastic - very approachable and lovely to be around," she said.

The Favourite has led to "increased levels of interest" in the property, where Paddington, The King's Speech and Shakespeare in Love were also filmed.

Image copyright Hatfield House
Image caption Although Queen Anne never visited Hatfield House, her Coronation throne is on display at the property

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