This luxury mansion in La Zagaleta became a villa in California's Malibu. / NETFLIX

Puerto Banús and La Zagaleta take on new roles in latest series of The Crown

A 16-million-euro mansion in Marbella starred in the Netflix filming with actors playing the parts of billionaire Mohamed Al-Fayed and his son Dodi

FRANCISCO GRIÑÁN

The fifth season of the hit Netflix series The Crown has now been released and a great deal of it is about Princess Diana in the early 1990s. Much of this new series has been filmed in Spain, including Malaga, although on this occasion only two locations in the province were used.

“It was nowhere near as extensive a shoot as the fourth season, when we filmed in six locations, but we have used Marbella in the new episodes,” says Tate Aráez, location director for The Crown in Spain.

Puerto Banús was used as the general base for filming the scenes at sea. The control tower in the port and a luxury residence in the most exclusive part of Benahavís, La Zagaleta, were also used as a backdrop, but are difficult to identify on screen. Tate Aráez and the head of construction of the series in Spain, Nahia Fito, have helped us to discover which locations were ‘playing’ others in the world.

Marbella as the Côte d'Azur

In September 2021 a 73-metre-long superyacht belonging to British mobile phone magnate John Caudwell docked in Puerto Banús, but as far as the series is concerned, the luxury vessel with its seven cabins and 20 crew belongs to Egyptian multi-millionaire Mohamed Al-Fayed and is in the Côte d’Azur in France. The all-powerful businessman and owner of Harrods is played by Israeli actor Salim Daw. We also see him in a smaller launch on his way to the yacht. He had placed his entire empire at the service of the British royal family, although he was rejected by all its members. Well, nearly all. Diana of Wales was the exception.

Malibú is in Benahavís

There was a lot of speculation about the filming in La Zagaleta and whether the villa would be used as Torre de Tramores, the property belonging to Sir James and Lady Annabel Goldsmith where Diana took refuge from the media during her divorce from Prince Charles. However, we now know that the luxury home in Benahavís appears on screen as a residence in Malibu, California, which Dodi Al-Fayed, the son and heir of Mohamed, falls in love with. Dodi, played by Khalid Abdalla, tries to persuade his father to buy him the ‘shack’ for which he didn’t name the price.

Missing scenes

There are some parts of the filming we do not see in the series. In Puerto Banús, for example, the Harrods owner arriving in a Rolls-Royce convertible before embarking on his luxury yacht on the Côte d’Azur. The interior of the circular control tower of the port was also redecorated to set the scene for Al-Fayed’s company. However, in the end these scenes were not used. We will have to hope for an out-takes edition in future, to see them.