It has emerged that a Star Wars request to film in Windsor Great Park was rejected by The Queen’s Crown Estate.
A few years ago, the film franchise applied to use Crown Estate land, as the film, Rogue One, was created at nearby Pinewood Studios.
The Queen is the proprietor of the Crown Estate as Monarch, but is not involved in the running of the business, and neither is the government; it is likened to a QUANGO. The Crown Estate’s profits each year dictate how much funding the Privy Purse is given to support Her Majesty’s duties and that of her working family.
Nick Day, from the Crown Estate, told the BBC it ‘wasn’t right’ for the estate. “Star Wars was just such a huge thing that the risk for the park was just too great,” Mr Day said. “The location they were interested in wasn’t suitable for large numbers of people in there.
“Our priority is to maintain and protect Windsor Great Park and we can facilitate film crews if we’re sure the risk to the park is minimal.
“But Star Wars is a huge machine, and there’s also massive outside interest in those sort of things.”
While it is unlikely The Queen had much say in the decision, Prince William and Prince Harry are big fans of the franchise. They visited Pinewood in 2016, and enjoyed a lightsaber fight and insight into the production during a tour of the set.
The 5000-acre Royal Park formed Windsor Castle’s private hunting ground for centuries, but has something of a star-studded past. Various parts of the estate have been used for location filming for The Legend of Tarzan, Bridget Jones’s Baby, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa, and Goodbye Christopher Robin amongst others, partly due to its location near Pinewood.
But Mr Day said around eight out of ten filming requests were refused. “If it doesn’t work for here then, no matter who you are, I’m afraid that dollars, bright lights and names don’t sway us,” he added.