From left to right: the White House, Winfield House, Old Royal Naval College, U.S. Embassy in London, The Louvre, and Pont Royal.


Debora Cahn’s series boasts a global playground for the eight episodes’ high-stakes conflict and juicy subplots.

9 August 20234 min read

When Keri Russell first read Debora Cahn’s screenplay for The Diplomat, the series’ far-flung shooting locations were the only things holding her back from signing on as the titular character. The eight-episode series, which follows U.S. ambassador Kate Wyler as she travels from Washington, D.C. to London and Paris, would take the Emmy-nominated actor far from her Brooklyn home.

“I was like, ‘It has to be in New York,’” remembers Russell. “I have these kids, Matthew [Rhys, Russell’s partner] is shooting something far away, we’re moving. [Cahn’s] like, ‘It shoots in London.’ I love that I say I can’t go anywhere else, but I’m like, ‘I’ll go to London to do this.’ But it was one of those things — I just couldn’t say no.”

It’s easy to see why Russell couldn’t turn The Diplomat down, and thankfully she didn’t — the actor earned her fourth Emmy nomination for her performance. Written and produced by Emmy nominee Cahn (The West Wing, Homeland), the series overflows with razor-sharp dialogue, fish-out-of-water humor, juicy romances, and edge-of-your-seat plotlines. Rounding out the cast are Rufus Sewell as Kate’s charming and mischievous husband, Ali Ahn and Ato Essandoh as colleagues who balance a secret workplace relationship, and David Gyasi as the British foreign secretary and Kate’s potential love interest.

The gripping, glamorous plot finds the perfect setting in the jaw-dropping locations where the action unfolds. In London alone, the production visited the Old Royal Naval College; the U.S. Embassy in London; the British Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Office; and the capital’s Wrotham Park, a sprawling historic estate that stood in for the U.S. ambassador’s official residence at Winfield House. From a quiet moment of romance beside Jacques-Louis David’s “The Coronation of Napoleon” at the Louvre to the explosive showdown on the Pont Royal, the famous bridge across the Seine, The Diplomat’s locations make for a series that is at times sexy, consistently witty, and always exciting. 

Here, Queue maps the most well-known and dramatic locales of the globe-spanning series The Diplomat.

All interviews included in this piece were completed in April 2023.