Filming of a major new Sky series starring an Academy Award-winning Hollywood A-lister took place in Hatfield.

Period drama Mary & George was partly shot on location at Hertfordshire stately home Hatfield House earlier this year.

Sky have released the first-look teaser trailer of the Sky Original series starring Julianne Moore, Nicholas Galitzine, Tony Curran and Nicola Walker.

Coming to Sky Atlantic and streaming service NOW in 2024, the teaser of Mary & George features scenes shot on location at Hatfield House, with the Marble Hall and the famous Ermine portrait of Queen Elizabeth I visible on screen in the trailer. 

Welwyn Hatfield Times: Hatfield House in Hertfordshire which was used as a filming location for Sky's Mary & George.Hatfield House in Hertfordshire which was used as a filming location for Sky's Mary & George. (Image: Alan Davies)

The trailer includes a banqueting scene shot in the Marble Hall, with The Stooges' I Wanna Be Your Dog playing over the teaser.

The room, with its chequered black and white marble floor, normally features the Rainbow Portrait of Elizabeth I, but during filming this iconic picture was on display in America.

Representing the epitome of the Jacobean style, Hatfield House was used for scenes of cavorting, including a masque play, ballroom dancing, and the King’s banquet.

What is Mary & George about?

Starring Academy Award and BAFTA-winner Julianne Moore and hot British talent Nicholas Galitzine as Mary and George respectively, the limited series is set during the Jacobean era.

Created by DC Moore, the historical psychodrama is based on the extraordinary true story of Mary Villiers. 

Welwyn Hatfield Times:  Julianne Moore as Mary Villiers in forthcoming Sky series Mary & George. Julianne Moore as Mary Villiers in forthcoming Sky series Mary & George. (Image: Sky)

Prepared to stop at nothing and armed with her ruthless political steel, Mary married her way up the ranks, bribed politicians, colluded with criminals, and clawed her way into the heart of the Establishment, making it her own.

The lead director of the series is Oliver Hermanus, the award-winning director of Moffie and Living, the latter featuring an Oscar-nominated performance by Bill Nighy.

Earlier this year a large production village was set up in the grounds of Hatfield House for filming of the series, with a marquee and trailers in front of the Jacobean mansion, which was built in 1611.

Welwyn Hatfield Times: Julianne Moore attends the 76th British Academy Film Awards held at the Southbank Centre's Royal Festival Hall in London. Julianne Moore attends the 76th British Academy Film Awards held at the Southbank Centre's Royal Festival Hall in London. (Image: PA Wire/PA Images/Ian West)

Gascoyne Estates were unable to comment on filming in Hatfield Park at the time, but Sky have since confirmed Hatfield House as one of the locations used for the series.

Ahead of filming, director Hermanus' 'Mary & George highlights' on his Instagram account at the time – now unavailable – showed producers walking along the Long Gallery at Hatfield House on a tech recce.

During filming in February of this year, the miniseries director posted on-set videos to his Instagram stories, which confirmed filming was taking place on the Hatfield estate.

One of his Instagram stories at the time showed the inside of the Old Palace, where Queen Elizabeth I grew up and later held her first Council of State.

Welwyn Hatfield Times: Earl Somerset (Laurie Davidson), King James (Tony Curran) and Queen Anne (Trine Dyrholm) in Sky series Mary & George.Earl Somerset (Laurie Davidson), King James (Tony Curran) and Queen Anne (Trine Dyrholm) in Sky series Mary & George. (Image: Sky)



At the time of filming, Hermanus' Instagram stories also showed the production crew setting up lighting equipment outside of Hatfield House on the North Front.

This Instagram story showed lights shining into the magnificent Marble Hall, with the distinctive Renaissance water sculpture visible in the background of the video clip. 

Producers of Mary & George returned to the grounds of Hatfield House in March 2023 for more filming.

Who stars in Mary & George?

Series star Julianne Moore, who won an Oscar for 2014 movie Still Alice, plays Mary Villiers in the deliciously dangerous drama. 

Moore appeared in Apple TV+ neo-noir thriller Sharper and can currently be seen in Netflix's May December alongside Natalie Portman. 

Welwyn Hatfield Times: Nicholas Galitzine as George in new Sky series Mary & George.Nicholas Galitzine as George in new Sky series Mary & George. (Image: Sky)

Mary Villiers moulded her beautiful and charismatic son, George, to seduce King James VI of Scotland and King James I of England, and become his all-powerful lover.

Playing King James in the Sky series is Scottish actor Tony Curran, who appeared in the award-winning Mayflies and Your Honour. 

Welwyn Hatfield Times: Tom Victor, Amelia Gething, Sean Gilder, Julianne Moore, Nicholas Galitzine, Jacob McCarthy, Alice Grant and Niamh Algar star in Mary & George.Tom Victor, Amelia Gething, Sean Gilder, Julianne Moore, Nicholas Galitzine, Jacob McCarthy, Alice Grant and Niamh Algar star in Mary & George. (Image: Sky)

Through outrageous scheming, the pair rose from humble beginnings to become the richest, most titled, and influential mother and son England had ever seen. 

Cinderella, Purple Hearts and Red, White & Royal Blue star Nicholas Galitzine plays George in the series.

Galitzine posted on Instagram earlier this year: "So some of you are little detectives, but yes I will be joining @juliannemoore in @oliver_hermanus ‘ Mary and George.

"Can’t wait to bring George to life in this incredible story."

When her casting was announced last year, Julianne Moore said: “Mary Villiers was a woman who through her own actions rose to become a powerful and influential figure in Jacobean London.

It’s a daunting but exhilarating challenge to bring her to life on screen.”

The ensemble cast of Mary & George includes Nicola Walker, of The Split and Unforgotten fame, as Lady Elizabeth Hatton, Niamh Algar  as Sandie, and Trine Dyrholm as Queen Anne.

The cast also features Tom Victor as John Villiers, Alice Grant as Susan Villiers, Amelia Gething as Frances Coke, and Simon Russell Beale as Sir George Villiers. 

Hatfield House and King James I

It's apt that location filming of Mary & George took place at Hatfield House due to the Hertfordshire estate's direct links to King James I.

In 1611, Robert Cecil, the 1st Earl of Salisbury, built the Jacobean home you see today after demolishing three-quarters of the Palace at Hatfield.

The Old Palace you see today is all that remains of the earlier building.

Welwyn Hatfield Times: The Old Palace at Hatfield House.The Old Palace at Hatfield House. (Image: Alan Davies)

The estate had previously been owned by Elizabeth I’s father, Henry VIII, who had used it as a home for his children – Edward, Elizabeth and Mary.

It was while she was living in Hatfield, in 1558, that Elizabeth learned of her accession to the throne.

In 1607, Elizabeth’s successor, King James I, exchanged the Palace and manor of Hatfield for the Cecil family's home at Theobalds, also in Hertfordshire near Cheshunt.

One of the rooms inside Hatfield House is even called the King James Drawing Room. This takes its name from the statue of James I, presented by the King himself, which stands above the mantelpiece. King James I visited Hatfield in 1611.

Welwyn Hatfield Times: The King James Drawing Room at Hatfield House.The King James Drawing Room at Hatfield House. (Image: Alan Davies)


Inspiration for Mary & George

Sky series Mary & George is written by acclaimed playwright DC Moore, of Killing Eve fame, and inspired by the non-fiction book 'The King’s Assassin' by Benjamin Woolley.

DC Moore, writer and executive producer, said: “Since I first read about Mary Villiers’ life – and all she achieved with her son, George – I’ve been obsessed with bringing this story to the screen.

Between King James’ often-overlooked love and lust for men, Mary’s extraordinary rise as a woman in a man’s world, and George’s (many, many) sexual and political conquests, this is a profoundly rich, and, as yet entirely untold on screen, story, about a pair of ‘commoners’ who conquered all before them.”

Produced by Hera Pictures in association with Sky Studios, Mary & George is coming to Sky Atlantic and streaming service NOW in 2024.

Liza Marshall, executive producer for Hera Pictures, said: “The incredible Julianne Moore is our dream casting for Mary – a woman who was damned by her contemporaries but was always the smartest person in the room.

"Indomitable women like Mary have too often been written out of history but with DC Moore’s brilliant scripts and Oliver Hermanus at the helm, we will reclaim her story to make a truly unique, unmissable show.”

Meghan Lyvers, director of Original Drama, UK at Sky Studios, added: “Mary Villiers is one of the most fascinating, complex, and extraordinary figures in British history and we cannot wait to see Julianne Moore take on this role, bringing Mary’s story to new audiences around the world.”

Location filming at Hatfield House

Hatfield House is a popular filming location for film and high-end TV productions.

It featured in the first seasons of Netflix's The Crown and Bridgerton, and was used for Vin Diesel's Fast & Furious franchise film Fast 9. 

Batman, The Favourite, Rebecca, Enola Holmes, Tomb Raider, Guy Ritchie's two Sherlock Holmes movies, and Hot Fuzz are among the films shot on the Hatfield estate.

Scenes for the third season of Catherine the Great period romp The Great were shot on the Hatfield estate in 2022. Show creators also used the stately home for the season one pilot episode, and scenes in season two of the Russian period romp starring Elle Fanning and Nicholas Hoult.


What’s Mary & George’s release date and where can you watch it?

A limited TV series consisting of seven episodes, Mary and George is due to premiere on Sky Atlantic and NOW in the opening months of 2024.

As a Sky Original, Mary & George will only be available on Sky Atlantic and streaming service NOW.

It will not be available through Netflix or any other streaming service.