Netflix favourite The Crown is to become the latest TV show to film scenes in the north-east, with production set to arrive in Macduff at the start of next week.
Residents of four streets in the Aberdeenshire town received a letter last week to notify them that cast and crew would be arriving on August 2 to shoot at the harbour.
The letter, from the location manager and location assistant of the show’s fifth season, says they have been liaising with “Aberdeen County Council” – really Aberdeenshire Council – and Macduff Harbour Master Duncan Mackie.
It adds they aim to make the day run “as smoothly as possible, causing as little inconvenience to residences and businesses in the area as possible”.
Those living and working on Shore Street, Duff Street, Institution Street and Hutcheon Street have been informed that filming will take place on Monday between 12pm and 6pm.
Smash hit series
Through its four seasons, The Crown has grown to become one of the most popular original shows Netflix has ever produced.
Focusing on the story of the British Royal Family – though controversial for its mixing of fact, fiction and speculation – the upcoming fifth season will star Imelda Staunton as Queen Elizabeth II and Jonathan Pryce as the Duke of Edinburgh.
The streaming service announced in January last year that season five would be the show’s last, but went back on those plans several months later by announcing a sixth concluding season.
Current rumours suggest that the episodes being filmed at the moment will cover the 1990s – a difficult period for the Royals, with events including the fire at Windsor Castle in 1992 and Princess Diana’s death in 1997.
The scenes in Macduff will be filmed almost exactly 60 years after the Queen and Prince Philip visited the town, on August 16 1961.
However, it is unknown what incident will be depicted in the scene(s) filmed next week, nor whether they will involve Staunton or Pryce.
Other stars set to appear in the season include Lesley Manville, who will portray Princess Margaret, Australian actor Elizabeth Debicki, who will play Diana, and Jonny Lee Miller, who was recently announced – amid some bafflement – to be playing Prime Minister John Major.
The Wire actor Dominic West is also reportedly in talks to play Prince Charles.
A spokeswoman for Aberdeenshire Council said: “Our film office works within the Economic Development team to attract inward investment in the region and has been working with The Crown’s production team for the last few months.
“We are delighted to have them back filming with us. Increased film production helps create opportunities for our local communities as well as the positive impact this has on tourism for the region, and we are committed to maximising production opportunities.
“It’s a real pleasure to have The Crown’s crew here and big boost for Banff and Macduff in particular.”
North-east attracts big talent
This is not the first time The Crown has been drawn to the north-east to film.
Landmarks including Slains Castle, Cruden Bay beach and – unsurprisingly – Balmoral were visible to viewers in early seasons.
Other TV royalty (though admittedly in a less literal sense) has also paid a visit to the area recently.
In February, parts of the picturesque Moray Firth fishing village Portsoy were sealed off to allow the cast of BBC gangster drama Peaky Blinders to shoot some scenes.
Cillian Murphy, who plays Tommy Shelby in the hit show, was even spotted trying out the award-winning local ice cream.
Just a few weeks later, Peterhead-born director Jon S. Baird took over small sections of Aberdeen to film his big-budget movie about the creation of Tetris with Rocketman star Taron Egerton.
Aberdeen University’s zoology building was kitted out with Cyrillic signage as it appeared to be standing in for the headquarters of a Cold War-era Russian computing firm.