Is The Palace In The Regime Real?

By Olivia Emily

2 months ago

A palace fit for Kate Winslet

Have you tuned into The Regime yet? With a star-studded line-up of actors including Kate Winslet, Andrea Riseborough and Hugh Grant, the six-part miniseries is currently airing on HBO and Sky Atlantic – and it’s not one to be missed. A political fantasy set predominantly in a palace, The Regime details the events over the span of a year in which Chancellor Elena Vernham (Kate Winslet), who oversees a crumbling authoritarian regime, experiences some serious hypochondria, paranoia and instability. But where was The Regime filmed? And is that gorgeous palace real? Here’s everything you need to know.

Kate Winslet in The Regime

Where Was The Regime Filmed?

The Regime was filmed in Vienna, Austria, with the city’s iconic summer Schönbrunn Palace forming the exterior of Chancellor Vernham’s palace. Some filming also took place in the UK.

Originally titled ‘The Palace’, production designer Kave Quinn was set a tricky task when she began working on the series: finding a real palace fit for Kate Winslet’s Chancellor Elena Vernham. ‘They were trying to find a really grand, beautiful palace to set the story in,’ Quinn remembers. ‘With [Vernham] being a very over the top dictator, she would need to have the biggest premises possible to live in.’

Kate Winslet in The Regime

Enter: Schönbrunn Palace. This Baroque palace is located outside of the centre of Vienna, and was the main summer residence of the Habsburg rulers. It has 1,441 rooms under its roof, and is surrounded by 400 acres of splendid gardens, including ornamental flower beds, manicured hedges, tree-lined avenues, a large rose garden, a botanic garden, wooded areas, an orangery and a palm house. To the rear of the palace lie most of the gardens in an ornate French style along with the Neptune Fountain, while a Gloriette monument on the hilltop rises above the entire landscape.

Is The Palace Real?

Rather than one real palace, Chancellor Elena Vernham’s palace as seen in The Regime is a collage of multiple Vienese palaces, including: the Schönbrunn Palace for the exterior shots, and the Palais Pallavicini, Palais Liechtenstein and The Hofburg for interior shots. That said, filming also took place on sound stages in the UK, meaning some of the real palace rooms were recreated in studios to allow for more angles and freedom.

Schönbrunn Palace, Vienna, as seen in The Regime

Schönbrunn Palace, Vienna, as seen in The Regime

‘From that world, we came back to the UK,’ Quinn told Town & Country. ‘Because the idea was that this palace has been around since the 18th century, but there had been additions. The script mentions it had been a hotel, and there were lots of things that we could do in the set design to employ other rooms.’ The home disco, we’re sad to report, was built on a set.

‘You need big spaces to make her character stronger and more powerful,’ Quinn added with regards to the palatial filming locations. ‘Great spaces made for an interesting view into her life. I don’t think it would’ve worked if we’d been somewhere like 10 Downing Street – you just wouldn’t have believed it. We drew on Ceausescu’s palace in Romania and places used by Hitler and all these other horrible dictators. There always seems to be a lot of space around them, and space between them and the people they’re addressing. Space puts them into what they think is a stronger position of power.’

The interior of Palais Liechtenstein, Vienna, as seen in The Regime

The interior of Palais Liechtenstein, Vienna, as seen in The Regime


All six episodes of The Regime are streaming now on NOW.