A NEW Forest mansion stands in for Highgrove in the latest series of The Crown, which hit Netflix this weekend.

The series traces the life of the Queen from her wedding in 1947 through to the present day, with season four covering the period between 1977 and 1990.

Several scenes feature Prince Charles and his new bride, Lady Diana Spencer.

With the real Highgrove off-limits for filming, Netflix decided to use Somerley House, near Ringwood, as a stand in for the royal couple's country estate.

Salisbury Journal:

The elegant house is home to James Shaun Christian Welbore Ellis Agar, seventh Earl of Normanton.

It appeared in the Hamble-based series Howard’s Way and became Gossington Hall in an adaptation of the Miss Marple mystery The Mirror Crack’d From Side to Side, starring Joan Hickson as Agatha Christie’s spinster sleuth.

It also featured in the 2004 BBC documentary series Country House, which showed the previous Lord Normanton’s day-to-day duties.

The estate has also hosted music festivals, charity events and the annual Ellingham Show.

Other Hampshire locations have also appeared in The Crown including Winchester Cathedral, which stood in for Westminster Abbey, and Rhinefield House Hotel, near Brockenhurst.

Salisbury Journal:

The hotel was used after Olivia Colman took over from Claire Foy as the Queen and Tobias Menzies replaced former Doctor Who star Matt Smith as Prince Philip.

Rhinefield House portrayed one of the royal residences on the Balmoral estate.

Almost 20 actors, including Helen and Olivia, stayed at the hotel as up to 90 crew members filmed scenes for two-and-a-half days.

A Rhinefield House spokesman said: “It was a very lucrative piece of business and very beneficial for the hotel. It’s an amazing venue and no surprise people are inspired to use it for their productions.”

Managers were contacted out of the blue by a member of The Crown’s production team, who had seen a picture of the hotel's outdoor pool on its website.

The spokesman said furniture was changed to create a 1970s-look.

Salisbury Journal:

He added: "The hotel was used as a Balmoral venue so it was nothing to do with the New Forest. They filmed mostly around the outdoor pool but inside as well.”

Matt Callaghan, the district council's economic development manager, added: “This is not the first time one of our New Forest locations has doubled up as another location.

"We have previously seen Beaulieu River as Miami and Lymington Quay as the Shambles in York."