Victoria & Abdul Movie Connection

From this Autumn onwards, visitors to the Isle of Wight will be able to follow a new ‘Victoria’s Island’ Trail, and explore the monarch’s home – Osborne – where many of the events depicted in the new movie ‘Victoria & Abdul’ were filmed.

Osborne on the Isle of Wight, the seaside residence of Queen Victoria, was one of the key locations used in the filming of the movie, due to be released September 2017, directed by Stephen Frears and starring Dame Judi Dench and renowned Bollywood star Ali Fazal.

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More than £200,000 is being invested in the campaign by Visit Isle of Wight and it’s Island media partners, including Red Funnel, Wightlink, Hovertravel and Southern Vectis. £50,000 of the investment comes from the Wight Business Improvement District fund, a new BID formed on the Island last July.

Running in tandem with this campaign, Visit Isle of Wight will also unveil its new ‘Victoria’s Island’ Trail, featuring significant locations across the Island with connections to Queen Victoria.  The new trail booklet will take visitors on a journey across the Isle of Wight – visiting some of the places that the Queen loved, alongside lesser known locations that reveal the strong connection that the royal family had with the Island; both as off duty, private people and as heads of state. An interactive version of the trail will also appear on the tourist board’s top ranking website www.visitisleofwight.co.uk later this month, and plaques will be installed at the 13 locations featured on the trail.

Click here to download a PDF print friendly version of the trail leaflet

Visit Isle of Wight will also be highlighting its Indian links and associations to not only tie-in with the launch of the new movie, but to also help mark the 70th anniversary celebrations of that country’s independence.

Posters, trailers and initial images of the Victoria & Abdul movie have already started to appear; and the Isle of Wight is supporting Universal Pictures and Working Title, as well as English Heritage with the Victoria’s Island promotion.

Set to be the first time Osborne’s interiors have been seen in a feature film, this former royal residence will appear in a significant portion of the movie, and is the only one of Queen Victoria’s homes to be used as a location.  It marks the return of Judi Dench to Osborne in the role of Queen Victoria, having previously played the monarch in the film Mrs Brown, certain exterior scenes of which were filmed at Osborne.

According to the film’s producers, Victoria & Abdul charts the extraordinary true story of an unexpected friendship in the later years of Queen Victoria’s remarkable rule.  When Abdul Karim (Ali Fazal), a young clerk, travels from India to participate in the Queen’s Golden Jubilee, he is surprised to find favour with the Queen herself.  As the Queen questions the constrictions of her long-held position, the two forge an unlikely and devoted alliance with a loyalty to one another that her household and inner circle all attempt to destroy.  The new film shows their friendship deepening and the Queen beginning to see a changing world through new eyes and joyfully reclaiming her humanity.

The influence of India on the Queen was nowhere more apparent than at Osborne, where a new ‘Indian’ wing was added to the main house.  The Indian inspired Durbar room with its elaborate ceiling designed by Lockwood Kipling is just one of the rooms set to appear on screen.  The opulent yellow drawing room with its luxurious upholstery and drapes and the stunning Grand Corridor will also feature.  The grand Italianate architecture of the house and its stunning grounds and views will be showcased.

Costumes from the upcoming movie, namely those worn by Dame Judi Dench, Eddie Izzard and Ali Fazal, are now on show in Osborne’s Indian inspired Durbar Room, which itself features in the film.   The exhibition runs until the 30th September 2017.

For further details and all tourist information about the Isle of Wight, visit http://www.visitisleofwight.co.uk

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