Neapel, Palma, Capri is a beach on the Strait of Gibraltar. A trip to Italy is said to save Prince Charles and Lady Di’s marriage in the latest season of The Crown. But in reality, the couple boards the yacht Christina O in the Club de Mar of the island’s capital of Mallorca, which later anchors in the bay of Puerto de Sóller: Almost everything that is not set in Britain has been in the ten new Netflix episodes filmed in Spain.
Even Egypt was moved to the Iberian Peninsula: the Alexandria of the British colonial era is in fact the Andalusian Jerez de la Frontera. In Seville, the arcades of the historic Pilate’s Palace serve as the backdrop for a wedding celebration for the Al-Fayed family in Cairo. And the ancient pillars that Charles strolls through with his family and friends are genuinely Roman. But they are not on the island of Capri. The Roman ruined city of Baelo Claudia is not far from the port and holiday resort of Tarifa.
The producers of the Netflix series are particularly fond of the Balearic Islands. They keep coming back to Mallorca. More than a hundred extras were used for a scene on the beach of Sant Elm, where Diana and her sons docked in a motorboat. In the film it doesn’t last a minute. Since 1991 was all about bulky cell phones, all cast members had to leave their cell phones in the cloakroom so they wouldn’t show up in their pockets.
Game of Thrones, James Bond and Indiana Jones
The film team also made a detour to Marbella and Puerto Banús. Spain’s Costa del Sol is the Côte d’Azur, where Diana and Dodi Al-Fayed spent their last vacation in the summer of 1997 before both were killed in a car accident in Paris. The superyacht Titania – the weekly rental is said to be more than 600,000 euros – becomes Dodi’s father’s ship in the series. In the fourth season, Málaga was already transformed into the Australian city of Brisbane. Previously, the Hotel Alfonso XIII. moved to California in Seville, where Princess Margaret traveled in the 1960s.
“The Crown” is no exception: more and more film productions are being drawn to the south of Spain in particular. Andalusia was the first Spanish filming location for “Game of Thrones”. The Kingdom of Dorne had its palace in the Alcázar of Seville. Other episodes played in Extremadura, the Basque Country and Catalonia. James Bond was traveling in the Andalusian Atlantic city of Cádiz. In Die Another Day, it became the capital of Cuba, Havana. The Tabernas desert, near Almería, has been the backdrop for many westerns and other adventure films. Portions of Lawrence of Arabia and Steven Spielberg’s Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade were written there. Madrid was the stage for the series “Money Heist”.
The Spanish government is working to transform their country into a “Hollywood of Europe”. During a visit to California last year, Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez tried to convince American producers and directors himself. “Spain, Audiovisual Hub of Europe” is the name of the plan for the “audiovisual hub”, which will cost a total of 1.6 billion euros in Madrid.
Increase the number of productions by 30 percent by 2025
The aim is to increase the number of film and television productions in the country by 30 percent by 2025 in order to expand Spain’s leading position. There are tax breaks of between 30 and 50 percent. They can amount to up to ten million euros per production. The autonomous regions advertise for interested parties. The “Shooting Locations Marketplace” trade fair is held every year in Valladolid to bring together municipalities and producers.
Spain is well developed for tourism and has excellent international connections. It offers practically everything from snow-capped mountains to deserts to crystal-clear seas. In contrast to the USA, the distances are short and personnel costs are comparatively low. The infrastructure is well developed for this. In the small town of Algete near Madrid, one of the largest costume rental companies has its headquarters, which also outfitted “The Crown”. In Alicante, the “Ciudad de la Luz” studio is reopening, where directors such as Francis Ford Coppola and Ridley Scott have filmed.
One of the most popular historical filming locations in Spain is the Plaza de España de Sevilla. Scenes for “Star Wars” and this autumn for the Netflix series “Kaos” were already created on the semi-circular square. In 2021, 198 productions were counted in Seville, this year even more are expected. Filming for the sixth and final season of “The Crown” ended a few weeks ago in Mallorca.
As the newspaper “Diario de Mallorca” reported, shooting was temporarily suspended in September due to the death of Queen Elizabeth II. In October, they continued in Barcelona. The Catalan port city is apparently standing in for Paris, where the Princess of Wales was killed in a traffic accident in the Alma underpass. A private recording of a scene circulated on Twitter in which paparazzi followed Lady Di’s black Mercedes through Maestro Nicolau Street.