Film Setting For ‘Spencer’ at Schlosshotel Kronberg, Germany

The Schlosshotel Kronberg will provide the setting for an American production of ‘Spencer’, a drama featuring Lady Di’s life.

The Schlosshotel has been chosen to represent Lady Di’s real birthplace, the country estate of Sandringham in Norfolk, where she was born on 1 July 1961. Princess Di herself reputedly has never been to the Schlosshotel herself.

Some historical facts about the hotel:

German Empress Victoria (German title: Victoria Kaiserin Friedrich), a daughter of the English Queen Victoria, purchased the Villa Schönbusch from a business man named Jacques Reiss in 1888. This was also the year her husband, Emporer Friedrich III, died.

She then had Friedrichshof Castle built in its place, and she used it as her summer residence from 1894 until her death in 1901.

Schloss Friedrichshof in Cronberg i. Taunus

Note the spelling of Cronberg in the left-hand corner of the postcard. This was the official spelling before it became Kronberg in November 1929.


After her death, the castle went to her youngest daughter, Margaret of Prussia (German title: Prinzessin Margarethe von Preußen).

After WWII, the castle was confiscated by U.S. occupation forces, and used as Officers’ Club.

In 1954, the castle became a luxury hotel, convention center, and a special place to receive and host VIPs, such as the Dalai Lama in 2017.


Princess Di is played by the actress Kristen Stewart. The Hessian Film Funding Group will support the movie making with €250,000.

The movie’s release is planned for early 2022.

Baroque Castle in Werneck, Bavaria

For our most recent visit to my hometown, we decided to book a room at a brewery inn in Werneck (district of Lower Franconia in northern Bavaria). It was a good and convenient choice, as we only had to walk about a minute to reach the castle grounds.

I left home 40 years ago, and nowadays I’m trying catch up on local sights I missed to see when I was young.

Baroque Castle Werneck

Castle Park Werneck

We had picked a glorious day to take a stroll through the park.

Baroque Castle Werneck in spring time

Balthasar Neumann, Würzburg’s most famous architect of his time, had built this castle for the Prince Bishop, Friedrich Carl von Schönborn, between 1733 – 1745.

This historical postcard is part of my private collection.

Werneck Castle

The castle houses both a psychiatric and an orthopedic clinic.

The café, chapel, and park can be accessed by the public.

A Visit to Schloss Kransberg

With the help of the author and Los Angeles Time journalist, Annie Jacobsen, who was granted permission to visit the castle for research on her next book, Mr. Kopp, the Camp King Historian and I were able to gain access to Schloss Kransberg.

Ms Jacobsen also visited Camp King as her forthcoming book will include two chapters about its former intelligence center. Next on her list for further research was Schloss Kransberg, mostly known for having been Goering’s secret headquarters and where the American forces held family members of the scientist Wernher von Braun in hiding from the Russians.

So, here is what we saw.

Driving from Oberursel to Kransberg takes about 30 minutes.


After we parked the car, we walked up the hill towards the castle.

It was a good idea as the castle was teeming with police cars, police men, trucks and vans, and serious looking people.
We had walked onto a film set! From the local papers I just learned that Nele Neuhaus’s novel Schneewittchen muss sterben ( Snow White Must Die from is being made into a movie and one of the filming locations was Schloss Kransberg in Usingen.

Filming “Snow White Must Die”

Quoting the sign During WW 2, Schloss Kransberg was part of the Adlerhorst head quarters in Ziegenberg.

I am standing in Goering’s Arbeitszimmer (office).

Goering’s office at Schloss Kransberg

The building superintendent, Jan Herrmanns, is giving us a tour of the castle grounds.

The Offizierskasino (Officers’ Club) was impressive.

The Officers’ Club at Kransberg

Schloss Kransberg

A memorable trip down into the Bunker (bomb shelter)

Bomb shelter at Kransberg

We left the building through this bomb shelter door.

Kransberg Bunker

Schloss Kransberg is mentioned in quite a few books, among them The Good German (

This castle has seen so many visitors, among them unusual tenants (Michael Jackson had rented part of it for his European office), movie makers, war lovers, and peace keepers.


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