Chester Cathedral is probably the last place you’d expect to find a Hollywood movie being filmed.
But that’s exactly what happened this week, when film crews set up camp to utilise it as part of the backdrop to The Black Prince, a tale of tragedy about the last king of the state of Punjab, Maharaja Duleep Singh.
The English-Hindi film, made by Brillstein Entertainment Partners and Firdaus Productions, stars Bollywood icons Satinder Sartaaj and Shabana Azmi and features guest appearances by singer David Essex and actors Jason Flemyng and Keith Duffy.
Set in the 1800s, it tells the story of the last Sikh Maharaja, who was placed on the throne at the age of five, following the death of his father, before being exiled to Britain, where he befriended Queen Victoria. But his attempts to return to India and reclaim his kingdom were thwarted and he ends up a pauper, dying alone in a Paris hotel in 1893.
Filming has been taking place in various parts of the UK, including Eastnor Castle in Herefordshire, and Worcester Cathedral, while in Chester, the cathedral’s Nave has been used for some scenes, as has St Anselm’s Chapel.
The film’s director Kavi Raz told The Chronicle that the $5m film is set to be released later this year.
“We chose to film at Chester Cathedral because The Black Prince is set in the Victorian era.,” he said. “We’ve been filming all over the country since last year. Viewers can expect to see quite a bit of Chester Cathedral in the film, we’ve filmed a number of scenes.
“We hope the film will be released by the end of the year,” he added.
Filming moves on to locations in Liverpool tomorrow (Wednesday).