Strathdon plays host to stars of ‘Mary’

The Queen leads a march through the Aberdeenshire countryside. Picture: Universal Pictures
The Queen leads a march through the Aberdeenshire countryside. Picture: Universal Pictures

Aberdeenshire is featured in the blockbuster movie Mary Queen of Scots.

Scenes were filmed in parts of picturesque Strathdon, including historic Poldullie Bridge.

An ambush involving the Queen led to cows blocking the way across.

The landmark was chosen after the Aberdeen City and Shire Film Office responded to a UK-wide location call.

The office is a partnership between Aberdeenshire Council’s cultural services and economic development, led by film officer Marie Archer.

She explained: “The film office supports productions in a number of different ways, from temporary road closures to hire of locations – both public and private. 

“It also helps with specific access to regional infrastructure, with the benefit of local knowledge.   

“We also work together with other council services, and for this production the bridges and structures team were on hand to provide expert knowledge on the loading weight of the bridge and give support and advice on the protection of the historic bridge while filming and supervising temporary alternations to the site required for filming.”

The community also played a part with 175 extras being hired for the battle scenes.

Excited youngsters from the local primary were given a tour of the set and the location manager also paid a visit to the school.

Councillor Peter Argyle, Aberdeenshire Council’s infrastructure services committee chair, said: “In recent years Aberdeenshire has been the location of choice for a number of production companies, a reflection of the development and work of the Aberdeen City and Shire Film Office. 

“Filming spend brings both economic benefit and wider community impact for the region and high-profile titles such as Mary Queen of Scots offer an opportunity to attract more visitors to the area through film tourism.”

VisitScotland is releasing an interactive map of the locations, which is now available to view online by visiting http://bit.ly/MQOSTrail.