THE makers of award-winning Netflix drama The Crown have revealed the Scottish locations which doubled as the Royal Family’s holiday home at Balmoral.

The second series of the show about the life of the Queen and Prince Philip was shot at sprawling highland estates near Aviemore.

And in an exclusive interview with the Sunday Herald locations manager Pat Karam also revealed the stars of the series, Claire Foy and Matt Smith, couldn’t get enough of the “dramatically beautiful” setting.

More than 300 cast and crew filmed last year at Glenfeshie estate – where Karam also worked on blockbuster The Queen – and the Ardverikie estate, which was the location for Monarch of the Glen.

“I know Claire Foy and Matt Smith were very keen on Scotland,” said Karam. “We’re trying to show Scotland in a cinematic way so the places we go to tend to be dramatically beautiful.

“Everybody wants to see the Queen in a dramatic Scottish highland setting. The places we go to are chosen because of their dramatic visual value so the cast and crew always really like going to Scotland, because it’s so beautiful. We go to work in places people go on holiday so everyone’s very keen.”

Karam, who has worked in the film industry for 25 years, said he has a “longstanding relationship” with the Scottish estates where The Crown was filmed, and locals are “incredibly helpful”.

He said: “I’ve always found it very good to film in Scotland. Scotland is a very welcoming place for filmmakers. The Highlands has a lot of experience of it because so many people have shot there, going back to Rob Roy and Whisky Galore. I’ve also worked in Edinburgh and Glasgow and they’ve got very efficient film offices.

“I think Scotland has always realised the benefits that come from a cinematic depiction that is seen worldwide. It’s well know that if a film does well there’s always a tourist knock on. It motivates people to go and see these places.”

Season two begins with The Queen, played by Foy, and Prince Philip, played by Smith, holed up on the royal yacht in Lisbon with the world’s press outside reporting on rumours about problems in their marriage. The couple are later seen at their Scottish hideaway, Balmoral Castle.

Karam said, “Anyone watching a long-term dramatisation of the Queen’s life would expect at some point to see her at Balmoral. It would be a big gap if we didn’t show that. Everyone knows, particularly in Scotland, how fond the Queen is of Balmoral.

“It’s not really something you can double in England. We have shot some interiors in London but it would be impossible to duplicate the exteriors, or it would be rubbish if you did. It was always important to us to go to Scotland.”

Karam also took the team behind The Crown to Scotland for the shooting of season one.

“On season one we had a lot more locations over in the area around Aberdeen,” he said.

For the shooting of season two the cast and crew based themselves in Aviemore.

“It’s a big tourist town so it’s not difficult to accommodate a whole film crew there because they’ve got two or three very big hotels. It’s well set up for large groups. In fact one of the times we were up there it clashed with a Labour conference so it’s a town that hosts pretty big groups regularly.

“You have a significant economic boost from the cast and crew. If you turn up in a town like Aviemore with a team of 300, that’s 300 hotel rooms, 300 people going out for dinner in the evening, which is a big contribution.”

And it’s likely the team behind The Crown will be back in Scotland next year when filming of a third season gets underway.

Karam added: “We start on season three next week and I haven’t read the scripts yet, but I’d be amazed if Balmoral didn’t feature. I think Balmoral is probably second to Buckingham Palace as a setting the audience expect to see the Queen in. It would be a big gap if there wasn’t anything in Scotland and I’m positive it will feature.”

The second series of The Crown will premiere on Netflix on December 8.