Where was the Netflix series The Diplomat location filmed?

Rates 9/10 Political drama The Diplomat is on Netflix, and while it of course features the usual mix of meeting rooms and political residences seen in other such series, it also features an array of stunning country houses and shots of the British countryside.

The eight-episode series from creator Debora Cahn centers on the newly installed American ambassador to Great Britain which sees Keri Russell Toplines Netflix’s Smart and Diverting Political Drama.

The trending drama stars Keri Russell as Kate Wyler, a seasoned diplomat who is newly made the US ambassador to the UK at the start of the series. Throughout the run, she has to make alliances and deal with global crises, while also keeping her husband, political star and fellow diplomat Hal, played by Rufus Sewell, in check.

The Diplomat is easily accessible and quantifiable. It could be a spinoff from Homeland or Madam Secretary, and I can imagine a dozen networks and services where The Diplomat could feel on-brand.

It’s a pure star vehicle for Keri Russell and, if we’re comparing The Diplomat to other shows, as a portrait of a marriage that’s intensely collaborative, probably to a toxic degree, it has hints of FX’s The Americans.

It has some of the beach/airplane-read appeal of The Night Agent, only with a bit more talkative nuance and performance depth, but not so much that viewers looking for a fast-paced eight-hour escape will be alienated.

Created by Debora Cahn (an executive producer of Homeland), The Diplomat begins with an explosion on a British aircraft carrier in Middle Eastern waters. The attack, initially unclaimed, kills dozens of British sailors and escalates the possibility of global conflict. But with whom?

But just where was the series filmed and where is it set? Read on for everything you need to know about the locations used for filming Netflix’s The Diplomat.

Where is The Diplomat set?

Although the opening scenes of The Diplomat take place in the US, including in Washington DC, the vast majority of the series takes place across the UK, with Kate Wyler becoming the US ambassador.

This means the series primarily sets its scenes in London around Westminster, and at the US embassy in London, which in real life can be found on the south bank of the Thames near Nine Elms.

There are also scenes at Winfield House, the US ambassador’s official residence by Regent’s Park, and at Chevening House in Kent, as well as numerous other locations across the UK. The final episode also sees scenes taking place in Paris, including at the Louvre.

What is The Diplomat plot

Russell plays Kate Wyler, who has spent her life in the military and foreign service and is days away from a new high-stakes posting in Kabul when she’s summoned by the president (Michael McKean, in a juicy guest role) to serve as ambassador to the United Kingdom. It’s normally a boondoggle assignment given to glad-handing fundraisers, lots of tea parties and ribbon cutting, but in this situation it could be far more critical. Kate thinks the president really wants her husband, Hal (Rufus Sewell), an internationally recognized foreign policy expert with ambassadorial experience, but Hal’s renegade attitude has burned a lot of bridges, particularly with the ambitious secretary of state (Miguel Sandoval). Plus, various powerful people have their eyes on Kate for a bigger job and are eager to see how she performs in this spotlight.

Soon, with Hal as a reluctant ceremonial spouse, Kate is in London under the watchful eye of so-called kingmaker Stuart (Ato Essandoh), learning the ins and outs of an unexpectedly complicated gig that includes careful management of the British prime minister (Rory Kinnear) and foreign secretary (David Gyasi), as well as the occasional odious gala and photo shoot. It’s the story of a woman thrust into a job she doesn’t want, with responsibilities she isn’t qualified for, which may make her the perfect woman for the job.

The series is superb at exploring the context of diplomacy. Cahn’s background as a writer-producer on The West Wing serves her tremendously well when it comes to illustrating elements of protocol in ways that are at once expositional and dramatic. The show is deeply invested in the optics of a position that, in a different moment, might be all optics. It’s a job at the intersection of politics and hospitality, so Kate has to learn day-to-day lessons on how much power she does or doesn’t have, which people she’s allowed to call directly, what intermediaries are acceptable and just how many simple things can instigate an uproar.

Everything in The Diplomat gives the impression of being thoroughly researched and accurately reproduced — production designer Chris Roope’s re-creation of locations like ambassadorial residence Winfield House and the American embassy in London is exceptional — without ever letting accuracy supersede entertainment.

It’s a balance that isn’t always as well achieved in the show’s overall, driving narrative. The aircraft carrier bombing, with the responsibility to respond and the question of whom to blame, is quite literally the stuff of a dozen West Wing episodic plots, only it’s stretched here to eight hours, requiring a series of red herrings and redundant misadventures that I tired of around episode five or six.

Where was The Diplomat filmed?

Filming for the series took place from April 2022 with the shooting happening predominantly in the UK, particularly in and around London and also in the Cotswolds.

One specific location we know was used is the Old Royal Naval College in Greenwich, where Russell and the cast were seen filming the sequence from episode 1 where Kate lays a wreath at the memorial

Filming for the series also took place in Paris, including outside the Louvre.Other specific locations, such as the country houses which were used for filming, have not yet been revealed by Netflix, but Russell admitted that “there’s definitely location porn” involved in the drama.

“London has a pretty fun wild scene. It’s not all pomp and circumstance, but that is absolutely one of the characters of the show. Even though there’s definitely location porn.

“Debora [Cahn, showrunner] has said many times that doing these hour shows is a grind. So many times it’s like she was in Morocco at a night shoot, like five in the morning going, ‘This could be in England during the day.’ That’s literally how we ended up here.”


The Diplomat completely nails its relationships, a rather important thing given that diplomacy is, after all, relationship-based.

It all starts with Russell’s Kate, a thoroughly considered and expertly played character who may be a fish out of water, but is the smartest darned fish going. Russell and the series are committed to Kate’s messiness, whether that’s explored in an entire episode centered on her increasing dishevelment as she travels back and forth around the world trying to avert a catastrophe, or in little details like how bathroom breaks play a bigger role in The Diplomat than any show I can remember. The Diplomat has an impeccable understanding of genre tropes, and it isn’t above a total She’s All That staircase glamour reveal or a delightfully goofy fight scene if those conventions can be tweaked to tell us new things about Kate and her strengths and weaknesses. Russell fiercely captures Kate’s discomfort and her intellect in a way that never lets viewers forget how simultaneously right and wrong she is for the situation into which she’s been thrust.

The Diplomat is available to watch on Netflix now.

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Stevie Flavio
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