Fortuitously, Blenheim’s three-sided courtyard was just the ticket for the film’s Location Manager, Martin Joy, who wanted an accurate double for Queen Victoria’s Buckingham Palace. Better still, Blenheim’s Long Library also doubled as the interior of Prince Albert’s Royal Palace in Laeken, Belgium.
Filming took place in August 2007 and the venue remained open to the public during the shoot. The sight of squads of red-clad soldiers and movie stars was an added treat for Blenheim’s visitors.
And now the makers of the movie and the marketing minds at Blenheim Palace hope to help each other again – with visitors to the Blenheim tipped off about the forthcoming film and filmgoers getting an added bonus of a visit to key venue from the film. The Long Library is even kitted out with props from an important scene in the film where Prince Albert receives a letter from Victoria.
To be fair, the exhibition is quite slight and is more of a side-show for a tour of the palace. It’s not, itself, so detailed a display as to repay a visit for that reason alone. Costumes from the film – notably dresses worn by Emily Blunt (Victoria) - and stills from the movie are, though, colourful and engaging reminders or foretastes of the film and of the Palace.
Notes about the making of the movie film are illuminating and images showing the film’s stars – Jim Broadbent, Harriet Walter, Paul Bettany and Emily Blunt – provide a pointer to Blenheim’s ongoing cultural connections. However, if you’re expecting a lot of props and an array of costumes from the film, you’ll be disappointed.
But as an engaging aspect of a visit to Blenheim, it’s a reminder that Oxfordshire’s heritage is alive and well and wowing the world. And Blenheim has gone further – matching the movie’s romance by offering an additional Romance at the Palace experience. From 14-22 February, romantic tours of the state rooms will feature some of the Palace’s great love stories and scandals.
With an attitude like that, you can see why Blenheim is so attractive to many movie-makers. And while The Young Victoria exhibition is more of a display than a full-blown array, it’s great to see the Palace celebrating its movie connections.
Martin Joy was the Location Manager on The Young Victoria – responsible for scouting the spectacular venues that doubled as Victoria and Albert’s royal palaces. Click here to read what Martin tells Daily Info about passing Blenheim off as Buckingham Palace.