Where is Marie Antoinette filmed? Locations featured in the BBC period drama

The stunning backdrop matches the spectacular costumes

Emilia Schule as Marie Antoinette
(Image credit: Caroline Dubois / Capa Drama / Banijay Studios France / Les Gens / Canal+)

Fans of the opulent BBC period drama are asking where Marie Antoinette filmed - look no further, we are here to answer that exact question.

Marie Antoinette is setting fans of historical drama alight with its incredible costumes, compelling drama, and stunning backdrops. The series has been brought to audiences by writer of The Favourite,  Deborah Davis - with the plethora of awards the film received, Marie Antoinette was always on a path to greatness. The story unfolds just before the French Revolution, with a 14-year-old Marie Antoinette becoming the last Queen of France, becoming Dauphine of France with her marriage to Louis-Auguste. As a collaboration between the BBC and Canal+, the series premiered in France in October 2022, followed by a UK premiere on December 29. With plenty of chateaus to be found, and ancient backdrops, viewers have been asking where Marie Antoinette was filmed - read on for all of the answers. 

To find out what happened to Marie Antoinette and why she is so famous, we have some interesting information on the legendary figure. Elsewhere at the BBC, viewers are keen to know where Make It at Market filmed, and we have all the intel on this too. An old favourite has made a dramatic return to the channel, and Waterloo Road filmed at some of the original series' locations, although there are also plenty of new ones to be seen.

Where is Marie Antoinette filmed?

Marie Antoinette was filmed predominantly on location in France, using French palaces and estates where the titular Marie Antoinette actually lived. This includes the Palace of Versailles, the Château de Bagatelle, the Château de Rambouillet, the Château de Fontainebleau, and the Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte. 

Lésigny, the Champs-Élysées, and Voisins-le-Bretonneux also featured in the series, with internal sequences filmed at the Bry-sur-Marne studios. According to Bustle, two sets were built at the studios, taking two and a half months to build. With many of the castles used for filming in use as personal homes, the production team had to reconstruct many of their rooms and corridors to form an accurate replica of the time period. 

The Palace of Versailles is a World Heritage Site, and described as one of the greatest achievements in French 17th century art. With roots as Louis XIII's hunting pavilion, the estate was transformed and extended by his son, Louis XIV, and he eventually installed the Court and government there in 1682. The Palace was used by the following generations of Kings until the French Revolution. The Palace is open to the public, with visiting and ticket information available on the website.

The Château de Bagatelle is a small Neoclassical style château, consisting of the castle, several small formal French gardens, a rose garden, and an orangerie. In 1775, the count of Artois acquired the grounds in the Bois de Boulogne. He had a bet with Marie-Antoinette that he could build a castle there in two months. Work began on 21 September 1777, and was completed in the time set out, finishing on November 26. The building is open on certain days for guided tours only.

The Château de Rambouillet is situated in the Île-de-France region in northern France, around 31 miles southwest of Paris. After the death of Francis I of France who died at the castle in 1547, some of French history's greatest figures lived there, including the Count of Toulouse, Louis XVI, and Napoleon I. France's Presidents transformed the grounds into a prestigious hunting estate. It was used as the summer residence of the Presidents of the French Republic from 1896 until 2009, and is now managed by the Centre des monuments nationaux. 

The Château de Fontainebleau became the Imperial palace after the Revolution, still bearing the mark of the renovations made by Napoleon I - it is home to the only Napoleonic Throne room still in existence. Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette stayed at the castle on the eve of the French Revolution, creating spaces to get away Versailles and what was happening outside of the walls. Like the previous castles, The Château de Fontainebleau is available for tours and other activities.

The Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte is The largest private estate listed as a Historical Monument in France. Built in the 17th century, four families owned the castle in succession, before it was opened to public in 1968. Many events are held at the castle throughout the year, including Easter egg hunts, candlelit evenings – these see the castle and gardens lit up by 2000 candles - water shows, and period costume events. 

Lésigny is no stranger to filming, with The Chateau de Lesigny being an active filming location for over 30 years, featuring in over 50 French productions.

The world renowned Avenue des Champs-Élysées is an avenue in the 8th arrondissement of Paris. The avenue is 1.2 miles long and 230 feet wide, running between the Place de la Concorde and the Place Charles de Gaulle to the Arc de Triomphe. Translated as "Elysian Fields", the area is commonly regarded as one of the most beautiful avenues in the world.

How many episodes are in the Marie Antoinette series?

There are eight episodes in the Marie Antoinette series. The story picks up when Antoinette is forced to leave Austria to marry the Dauphin. 

The synopsis reads: "She must produce an heir to secure the alliance between France and Austria, but she’s as unprepared for her job as her awkward teenage husband. How will this free spirit react to Versailles with its ridiculous rules of etiquette? Embodying a sense of personal freedom, individuality and self-determination beyond her times, Marie Antoinette morphs into a teenage rebel determined to rebuild the dark and manipulative world of Versailles in her own image."

Speaking to Variety, writer and executive producer Deborah Davis spoke about writing the character of Marie Antoinette. She said she "found the fighter, and I loved being with her all the way through her battles. Marie-Antoinette comes from a very long line of extremely strong-willed, spirited women, and she took them on."

Marie Antoinette (EMILIA SCHULE), Louis / The Dauphin [later Louis XVI] ( LOUIS CUNNINGHAM) in Marie Antoinette

(Image credit: BBC / Capa Drama / Banijay Studios France / Les Gens / Canal+ / Caroline Dubois)

Will there be another series of Marie Antoinette?

There has currently been no announcement about a second series of Marie Antoinette. However, reviews have been favourable meaning that if there's any further story to tell, the BBC might want to tell it.

Emine Saner from The Guardian was very enthused with the series. She said "if you loved The Favourite, you’ll adore this fun period drama. Strange, funny, grotesque in places … this drama from the writer of the Olivia Colman movie portrays the French queen as a naive and playful teenager – and it’s hugely entertaining".

Dan Einav from the Financial Times added "So while the show may take some creative licence and imaginative leaps, it does so in the hope of reclaiming her humanity and giving texture and agency to a woman who was not only a notorious materialist, but was treated as a commodity herself." 

One viewer said "Look, you do just have to roll with some of the outlandishness in certain power dynamics and characters *cough* Du Barry *cough* but I had a blast watching this. It's different to your typical period drama without being so heightened and removed from reality it feels like ‘The Great' (which I adore). The actors are fantastic, Schule is so engaging and interesting as the lead and the rest of the cast is full of fresh, exciting faces (who I've not seen before at least). The characters are a ton of fun, especially once they're given time to develop and settle, and I really enjoyed watching different pairings play off each other (with lots more potential in a second series). I've seen reviews about the first half being slow. I agree to a point, but often it really works and helps to establish a certain sense of weight and consequence before the show becomes this playful and entertaining romp - because at that point it's easy to forget how this all ends."

If you loved Marie Antoinette you might like period drama Hotel Portofino.

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Lucy Wigley
Parenting writer - contributing

Lucy is a mum-of-two, multi-award nominated writer and blogger with six years’ of experience writing about parenting, family life, and TV. Lucy has contributed content to PopSugar and moms.com. In the last three years, she has transformed her passion for streaming countless hours of television into specialising in entertainment writing. There is now nothing she loves more than watching the best shows on television and sharing why you - and your kids - should watch them.