C5 commissions royal palace docs from Wildflame
Televisual, Pippa Considine • 5th February 2024
Wales-based factual indie Wildflame Productions has been commissioned by Channel 5 to explore two of London’s royal residences, in two feature-length documentaries.
Clarence House (w/t) and St James’s Palace (w/t) unpick the history and secrets of two of the world’s most iconic royal residences. The commission follows the Channel 5 broadcast of Wildflame shows: feature-length Frogmore House: Royal Retreat and Michael Ball’s Wonderful Wales.
Clarence House (wt) (1 x 90) takes us inside this Georgian mansion, the London home of King Charles and Queen Camilla, who follow in the footsteps of everyone from The Queen Mother, to Queen Victoria’s favourite son. A cast of royal historians, journalists and biographers divulge the stories of Clarence House and the Kings and Queens who’ve called it home.
St James’s Palace (wt) (1 x 90 min) was the location of Charles III’s televised Accession Council from St James’s Throne Room following a tradition of monarchs established back in 1603. But despite its pivotal role and its prime location in the heart of London, just a stone’s throw from Buckingham Palace, St James’s is one of the country’s most overlooked and hidden palaces.
Built by Henry VIII nearly 500 years ago on the site of an old leper hospital, the palace has been witness to unprecedented royal events including the imprisonment of Charles I in the days before he was beheaded and a focal point for the thousands of mourners as Diana, Princess of Wales, lay in rest in the Chapel Royal here ahead of her funeral.
A cast of royal journalists, historians and commentators take us through stories, from the Queen becoming a commercial landlady for the first time renting out St James’s luxury apartments to commoners – and Hollywood royalty Catherine Zeta Jones and Michael Douglas – to Queen Victoria setting the trend for big, white weddings the world over in the historic Chapel Royal.
Lucy Willis, Commissioning Editor Non-Scripted, Channel 5 commented: “I’m delighted to be working with the Wildflame team again on these Royal specials, which offer a unique insight into two of our most intriguing and little-known royal residencies.”
Connie Fisher, Head of Development, Wildflame Productions, says: “It is wonderful to be bringing these films to Channel 5 following the success of our film about Frogmore Estate. Once again we enjoy incredible insight from those who know these palaces inside out and, through that testimony coupled with glorious archive and 3D modelling, we are able to explore these royal homes and their fascinating stories in tantalising detail.”
The films are distributed internationally by Silverlining Rights.
Bethan Corney, founder and MD, Silverlining, comments: “International buyers are always looking for high-quality content about the British Royal Family, and we have already secured a number of pre-sales for these fantastic documentaries from Wildflame.”
Both Clarence House (w/t) and St James’s Palace (w/t) were commissioned by Lucy Willis, Commissioning Editor Non-Scripted, Channel 5. Clarence House (w/t) is Exec Produced by Simon Kerfoot for Wildflame Productions and produced and directed by Kate Hampson. St James’s Palace (w/t) is Exec Produced by Simon Kerfoot for Wildflame Productions and produced and directed by Joanna Burge, who is also Series Producer for both films.