Osborne House

Dame Judi Dench returns to Osborne to star in a new film about Queen Victoria

Osborne on the Isle of Wight, the seaside residence of Queen Victoria, is a location for a major feature film due to be released in 2017 directed by Stephen Frears and starring Dame Judi Dench entitled “Victoria and Abdul.”

Set to be the first time Osborne’s interiors have been seen in a feature film, this former royal residence will appear in a significant portion of the movie, and is the only one of Queen Victoria’s homes to be used as a location.  It marks the return of Judi Dench to Osborne in the role of Queen Victoria having previously played the monarch in the film Mrs Brown, certain exterior scenes of which were filmed at Osborne.

According to the film’s producers, Victoria and Abdul charts the extraordinary true story of an unexpected friendship in the later years of Queen Victoria’s remarkable rule.  When Abdul Karim (played by Indian actor Ali Fazal), a young clerk, travels from India to participate in the Queen’s Golden Jubilee, he is surprised to find favour with the Queen herself.  As the Queen questions the constrictions of her long-held position, the two forge an unlikely and devoted alliance with a loyalty to one another that her household and inner circle all attempt to destroy.  The new film shows their friendship deepening and the Queen beginning to see a changing world through new eyes and joyfully reclaiming her humanity.

The influence of India on the Queen was nowhere more apparent than at Osborne, where a new ‘Indian’ wing was added to the main house..  The Indian inspired Durbar room with its elaborate ceiling designed by Lockwood Kipling is just one of the rooms set to appear on screen.  The opulent yellow drawing room with its luxurious upholstery and drapes and the stunning Grand Corridor will also feature.  The grand Italianate architecture of the house and its stunning grounds and views will be showcased.

Adam Richards Supervising Location Manager said, “It’s a tremendous thrill to film in the very rooms where the dramatic story of Queen Victoria and Abdul Karim played out in real life.”

English Heritage’s Rob Flower, General Manager at Osborne noted: “Osborne offers a unique insight into Victoria’s life – it was her family home and the only place she could really relax and be herself. The story of Victoria, Abdul and her Indian servants’ time at Osborne is a fascinating but little known one.  If you’re going to bring that story to life, where better place than where it actually happened?  We’re delighted to have welcomed Judi Dench, Stephen Frears, and the rest of the cast and crew  to Osborne and the Isle of Wight.  We’re looking forward to being part of a great British film.”

And the Chief Executive of Visit Isle of Wight, David Thornton, added that the filming of the movie of the Isle of Wight is likely to raise the profile of this popular holiday Island world-wide.

“Visiting film and TV locations has become a massive phenomenon in recent years, and we’ll be working very closely with Osborne, as well as VisitEngland and VisitBritain to make sure that everyone knows they can follow in the footsteps of some great historical figures, and movie stars here, on the Isle of Wight.”

The movie is expected to hit the screens on the 22nd  September, 2017.

For further details of Osborne, visit http://www.english-heritage.org.uk//osborne; and for all tourist information about the Isle of Wight, visit http://www.visitisleofwight.co.uk

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For further information or images from Osborne, please contact:  Isobel Cooley PR Manager, South East on 01304 209891 or email Isobel.cooley@english-heritage.org.uk

Notes to editors:

English Heritage cares for over 400 historic monuments, buildings and sites – from world famous prehistoric sites to grand medieval castles, from Roman forts on the edges of empire to Cold War bunkers. Through these, we bring the story of England to life for over 10 million visitors each year.

www.english-heritage.org.uk

Registered charity no. 1140351

For further information about The Isle of Wight, please contact:

Sue Emmerson, Press Officer, Visit Isle of Wight

07766 705672    sue@visitwight.org

Notes to editors:

Working in partnership with Visit England, Visit Isle of Wight Ltd (VIOW) is responsible for developing tourism and attracting more visitors to the Isle of Wight.  As well as the consumer website www.visitisleofwight.co.uk the DMO also operates a small industry website containing recent research and tourism news along with links to Visit England reports and opportunities www.visitwight.org.