The Favourite at Hampton Court Palace

Find filming locations for The Favourite, learn about the history behind the film and find out about Queen Anne's legacy at Hampton Court Palace.

Find filming locations for The Favourite, learn about the history behind the film and find out about Queen Anne's legacy at Hampton Court Palace.

The film

In early 18th century England, a frail Queen Anne (Olivia Colman) occupies the throne and her 'favourite' Sarah Churchill, Duchess of Marlborough (Rachel Weisz) uses her personal influence to govern the country in her stead.

When a new servant Abigail (Emma Stone) arrives at court, her charm endears her to Sarah. Sarah takes Abigail under her wing and Abigail sees a chance to gain favour with the Queen and rise through the social ranks.

As the politics of war become quite time consuming for Sarah, Abigail steps into the breach to fill in as the Queen's companion. Their burgeoning relationship gives Abigail a chance to fulfil her ambitions and she will not let woman, man, politics or rabbit stand in her way.

Still from The Favourite showing cast and crew

Filming at Hampton Court Palace

Hampton Court Palace was proud to welcome the film's cast and crew during the spring of 2017.

Key filming locations included Henry VIII's Kitchens, the Cartoon Gallery and Fountain Court, which are all open to the public and included in your day admission ticket to the palace.

The funds raised through our filming activities help to conserve these historic buildings, ensuring they are here for future generations to enjoy.

Filming locations for The Favourite

Henry VIII's Kitchens

The Great Kitchens

The huge Great Kitchens date from the Tudor period and are the most impressive of Henry VIII's Kitchens. Originally they were used just for roasting fresh meat, mostly beef, on spits over the six great fires. In the last room of the Great Kitchens you can see a Tudor roasting fire in full glory. 

Later additions to the rooms give us clues to the continued use of the kitchens in later periods. A range of charcoal stoves has been added, as has a small bread oven and a later roasting range. It was these historic kitchens which would have served Queen Anne's court when in residence at Hampton Court Palace. 

Serving Place

At the end of the Great Kitchens is the Serving Place, where armies of servants would collect the finished dishes and carry them to the Great Hall and other chambers.

Visit Henry VIII's Kitchens
Still from The Favourite showing cast and crew
The Great Kitchens, looking south towards the great roasting fire where logs are burning. Logs ready for burning are piled in alcoves on the left and right of the fire. In the foreground are models of joints of meat on a table.

The Cartoon Gallery

The Cartoon Gallery was designed for William III — Queen Anne’s brother-in-law — by Sir Christopher Wren. It became one of the earliest purpose-built art galleries in Britain, home to Raphael's 'Acts of the Apostles'.

Still one of the greatest treasures in the Royal Collection, these 'cartoons' — designs for tapestries in the Sistine Chapel in Rome — are now on loan to the Victoria & Albert Museum in London. The paintings here today are copies produced in the late 17th century.

Visit William III's Apartments
Still from The Favourite showing Emma Stone as Abigail Masham in white Tudor kitchens, wearing a denim maid's outfit. Staff cook on the historic cooking equipment in the background

The Favourite costume display

17 January to end of February 2019

See costumes from The Favourite on display in the Cartoon Gallery at Hampton Court Palace.

Fountain Court

This is the palace's last great courtyard — built between 1689 and 1694 on the site of Henry VIII's apartments.

Behind its formal windows are two sets of royal apartments — one intended for the king, the other for the queen. Behind the upper windows were lodgings for leading servants and courtiers.

A carving of Hercules' lion skin is draped over each round window and underneath each arch are delicately carved flowers and royal symbols. Each is topped by the characterful head of a classical god or mythic creature.

Fountain Court, looking east. The left side of Fountain Court is in sunshine, while the right is in shadow. A warder can just be seen in the background, standing in the cloister on the left.

Queen Anne at Hampton Court Palace

Clock Court Colonnade looking south, 5 April 2018. Looking towards the entrance to The Baroque Story exhibition.

Queen Anne spent time at Hampton Court Palace during her reign, and commissioned the leading artists and craftsmen of her day to make improvements.

Much of Hampton Court was in fact built just before she became queen in 1702. Anne's sister and brother-in-law, William III and Mary II, who ruled as joint monarchs from 1688, commissioned Sir Christopher Wren to create new baroque royal apartments to replace Henry VIII's ageing and unfashionable Tudor palace.

Anne visited Hampton Court during the reign of William and Mary. Her only son to survive infancy, Prince William, was born at the palace in 1689 (he died at Kensington Palace aged only 11).

Mary II succumbed to small pox in 1694 and when William III also died in 1702, the era of grand spending on Hampton Court ended, but Queen Anne did make significant changes to the Queen's Apartments and to the Chapel Royal. She returned to stay at the palace in 1710, 1711 and 1713.

The Queen's Drawing Room

When Mary II died in 1694, the new Queen's Apartments had been left unfinished. Queen Anne commissioned the painter Antonio Verrio to decorate the walls and ceiling of the Drawing Room in 1703.

As one of the most important rooms at the palace, centrally positioned on the East Front, this large imposing space became a grand statement of Anne's royal majesty and imperial power. On the ceiling, Verrio paints her as 'Divine Justice' crowned by Britannia and Neptune, god of the sea.

Around the walls are allusions to Britain's emerging empire and in particular her navy, under the guidance of Anne's husband, Prince George of Denmark as Lord High Admiral.

Queen Anne is depicted as Justice, with scales in one hand and a sword in the other. Around the Queen are grouped Fortitude, Prudence and Temperance. Beneath, the Three Graces are joined by figures representing Vigilance and Peace. Mercury flies at their side.
A high-level view of the Chapel Royal at Hampton Court Palace, looking down over the dark brown choir stalls and chequered floor, along the stone Tudor windows and blue painted vaulted ceiling.

The Chapel Royal

In 1710, Queen Anne commissioned Sir Christopher Wren to remodel the Chapel Royal at Hampton Court.

Wren installed an oak reredos (altarpiece) at the east end of the Chapel, in front of the original lost window, which had been destroyed during the Commonwealth in the 17th century. Wren also added boxed-in pews, a new organ and a staircase leading down from the Royal Pew, where Verrio's successor as principal decorative painter, James Thornhill, added a ceiling.

Anne's changes can still be seen in the Chapel today.

Visit the Chapel Royal
Two female visitors walking through the grounds of Hampton Court Palace.

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Walk in the footsteps of Queen Anne, William III and Henry VIII on your visit to Hampton Court Palace.

Buy palace tickets
Still from the feature film The Favourite
Things to see Highlights

See costumes from The Favourite, the critically-acclaimed film starring Olivia Colman as Queen Anne on display at Kensington Palace.

Until 08 March 2019 (closed 08-14 February)

Kensington Palace

Included in palace admission (members go free)

The King's Great Bedchamber, looking north. 

Objects seen include the state bed (1716) carved by Richard Roberts (active 1714-29), "Purchase of the Field of Ephron" wall tapestry attributed to Pieter Coeck van Aelst (1502-50) (on the right of the image), also showing part of the ceiling painting (c1701) by Antonio Verrio (c. 1639-1707).
Things to see

Enjoy the beautiful State Apartments and private rooms of William III and Mary II at Hampton Court Palace as part of your visit.

Open daily

Hampton Court Palace

Included in palace admission (members go free)

Still from The Favourite showing Emma Stone as Abigail Masham in white Tudor kitchens, wearing a denim maid's outfit. Staff cook on the historic cooking equipment in the background
Highlights Things to see

See costumes created for Olivia Colman, Emma Stone, Rachel Weisz and other cast members of The Favourite on display in the Cartoon Gallery.

Daily until 10 March 2018

Hampton Court Palace

Included in palace admission (members go free)