The Favourite

Visit the display of costumes at Hampton Court Palace

Display of costumes from star-studded Queen Anne film The Favourite return to filming location Hampton Court Palace 

Opens 17 January 2019 

Once a royal riverside retreat for Queen Anne and her court, it was only appropriate that Hampton Court Palace was selected as a location for The Favourite, the new star-studded Queen Anne film, currently delighting cinema-goers nationwide. Now, the BAFTA-nominated costumes that were worn on location at the palace –in scenes filmed in the historic Cartoon Gallery, Kitchens and Fountain Court - will return to its grand State Apartments for a brand-new display from 17 January. 

The first-period film from director Yorgos Lanthimos, The Favouriteexplores Queen Anne’s intimate relations with her life-long friend and political advisor Lady Sarah Churchill, and Sarah’s impoverished cousin turned chambermaid Abigail. Starring Olivia Colman in a Golden Globe-winning performance as Queen Anne, alongside Emma Stone (Abigail Hill) and Rachel Weisz (Sarah Churchill), the film charts the ruthless rivalry between Sarah and Abigail as they vie for the Queen’s favour and the all-important power conferred by capturing the affections of the monarch.

Inspiring the on-camera action, Queen Anne resided at Hampton Court throughout her reign and took a keen interest in improvements to the palace, including a remodeling of the Chapel Royal and the redecoration of the Queen’s Drawing Room, both of which visitors can still see today. Sarah Churchill and Abigail Hill were also given a suite of rooms at the palace, which allowed them close access to Anne’s private apartments nearby. 

On screen, the film’s lavish costumes have been designed by three-time Oscar winning costume designer Sandy Powell, who has worked with Fox Searchlight Pictures and Historic Royal Palaces – the independent charity which cares for Hampton Court Palace – on creating a display in the atmospheric Cartoon Gallery, which eagle-eyed viewers will be able to spot throughout the film. This specially curated exhibit will showcase Powell’s bold visual approach to evoking court fashions on screen. Taking inspiration from 18thcentury silhouettes, visitors will be able to discover how Powell and her team experimented with colour, fabric, and design to create a stylized look that combines denim, laser-cut vinyl and even African prints. Each costume will be complemented by quotes from Powell, alongside historic context provided by Historic Royal Palaces curator Matthew Storey to help visitors uncover the fascinating story of Anne’s reign. 

From Fox Searchlight Pictures, Film4 and Waypoint Entertainment, an Element Pictures/Scarlet Films Production, The Favourite is out in cinemas now. 

Poppy Watt