I’m a conservator – and I’m appalled by staff at The Crown’s Belvoir Castle using amateur cheap techniques and Brasso to polish antiques

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Belvoir Castle, which doubled as Windsor Castle in scenes for the hit TV show, is known as one of the finest examples of Regency architecture in the country

A conservator was ‘appalled’ to learn that staff at a stately home – where scenes for The Crown were filmed – were using ‘amateur cheap’ cleaning techniques and products on their furniture.

Belvoir Castle, which doubled as Windsor Castle in scenes for the hit TV show, is known as one of the finest examples of Regency architecture in the country. A castle has stood at Belvoir since 1067 and the current building dates back to 1801.

Back in February, the historic Leicestershire venue took to TikTok to share a behind the scenes look at its ‘big spring clean’. 

And speaking to The Telegraph, horrified conservation expert Yannick Chastang, slammed workers’ use of Brasso – a metal polish aimed at removing tarnish – in particular.

‘My conservator colleagues, curator friends and I were appalled by what they are doing at Belvoir, as shown in this video,’ he told the outlet.

Belvoir Castle, which doubled as Windsor Castle in scenes for the hit TV show, is known as one of the finest examples of Regency architecture in the country

‘Brasso is made of oxalic acid, ammonia and abrasive powder. Ammonia is one of the most unstable chemical agents used on metal… Brasso has been banned from any serious country house or workshop for longer than I can remember.’ 

Mr Chastang expressed his disappointment that Belvoir wasn’t subject to ‘proper conservation’. 

He also shared his worries for a particular ‘very rare and valuable’ Boulle desk which is ‘currently falling into disrepair’ – that he feared is also being tended to with Brasso.

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The conservator has now called for an investigation into country houses’ collection care, admitting there is a difficulty with finding qualified personnel in the UK.

Other experts speaking to The Telegraph agreed that Brasso is likely too ‘abrasive’ to treat historic furniture and objects with.

However, a ‘castle insider’ has reportedly told the outlet that Brasso is no longer being used at Belvoir. 

MailOnline has reached out to Belvoir Castle for comment.

Grade I-listed Belvoir, home to the Duke and Duchess of Rutland, has been the stand-in for scenes in Windsor Castle for the first three seasons of The Crown.

Back in February, the historic Leicestershire venue took to TikTok to share a behind the scenes look at its 'big spring clean'

Back in February, the historic Leicestershire venue took to TikTok to share a behind the scenes look at its ‘big spring clean’

Its website still openly boasts of its connections to the drama – which saw Claire Foy and Matt Smith as the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh in earlier series.

However in 2020, it was reported that Belvoir had been set to one side as a filming location for the series.

It is understood that the upheaval came after Belvoir’s chatelaine Emma Manners, the Duchess of Rutland, demanded a larger fee from the production team to ensure filming could continue at Belvoir when it threatened to interfere with the estate’s highly profitable shooting season.

The filmmakers refused and upped sticks to Burghley.

Grade I-listed Belvoir, home to the Duke and Duchess of Rutland, has been the stand-in for scenes in Windsor Castle for the first three seasons of The Crown. Pictured in 2021

Grade I-listed Belvoir, home to the Duke and Duchess of Rutland, has been the stand-in for scenes in Windsor Castle for the first three seasons of The Crown. Pictured in 2021

A source at the time said: ‘Belvoir Castle has been the scene of so many films, I think they felt they could call the shots. They were really tiresome over filming then they got greedy over money so the producers told them to get lost.

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‘People assume a big show like The Crown is a cash cow but there is a budget as for any other show.’

Neither Burghley House nor Belvoir Castle were prepared to comment. Netflix said: ‘The Crown uses a wide number of historic locations throughout the UK to represent the different Royal households featured in the series.’

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Source: tit.edu.vn

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