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About The Location
The filmmakers relished the challenge of bringing the country of Genovia to the screen. A mythical principality somewhere in Europe, Genovia was mentioned often, but never actually seen in "The Princess Diaries.”

"In the first film when we meet Princess Mia, she's in high school when she discovers she's a princess—but the whole story takes place in San Francisco,” says Garry Marshall. "In this film, we actually take you to Genovia, the wonderful land of beaches and mountains and picturesque little cities and all of the things we talked about in the first film, including pears.”

And where exactly is Genovia?

"We decided that Genovia is probably somewhere between Spain and Italy; so it's kind of ‘the kneecap of Europe!'” commented Marshall, rather straight-faced. Although the filmmakers had discussed shooting "The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement” partially in Europe to represent the imaginary country, they ultimately decided that the entire film would be shot in the Los Angeles area.

"Genovia was originally supposed to be in Czechoslovakia, as we were going to shoot it in Prague,” says Garry Marshall. "But then I took one look at the world and I said, ‘I think Genovia is now in Burbank!'”

"We basically created our own world with Genovia, a sort of magical little world,” adds producer Mario Iscovich. "In the tradition of the great old Hollywood movies, we wanted to create this illusion, where you get swept into this world. We didn't model Genovia on any country specifically, but we imagined it to be relatively provincial, with the usual trappings of royalty, and we gave it a little bit of a fairy tale feeling, just a splash, to give it it's own magical atmosphere.”

"The goal, artistically, was to have a springtime/summery feeling with lots of vibrant colors, a lot of green,” adds producer Mario Iscovich. "Given the time of year we planned to shoot the film, weather considerations and the look we wanted for the film, we decided to shoot it all in Southern California. We created a variety of sets at the Disney Ranch; we found an incredible estate in Pasadena, which served as the back of the palace; a beautiful church in Pasadena for an elaborate wedding, and we built a number of sets on stages. Voila! We have Genovia.” Locations for the film also included a stretch of Leo Carrillo Beach in Malibu, and exteriors at the University of Southern California.

Director Garry Marshall and the filmmakers collaborated on the creation of Genovia with production designer Albert Brenner, a five-time Oscar nominee and sculptor, with whom Marshall had worked on four previous films.

"Albert Brenner came out of retirement to work with us on this film, and he did a beautiful job, designing and building the palace, town and countryside of Genovia, all created right here in the Los Angeles area,” notes Marshall. Brenner was happy to join forces with director Garry Marshall to create the mythical country of Genovia.

"This film has been a joy to do. Garry's belief in me has always given me the freedom to bring visions to life, and to use all that I've learned from my years in this business and all of the architectural wonders I have seen in my travels,” notes Brenner. "We discussed Genovia as a living monarchy which has existed for centuries—perhaps a dash of England, a hint of Monaco and Lichtenstein…and more than a little of the classic architecture of Italy and France. I envisioned a country that was unique but familiar, a Palace steeped in its classic history, but brought up-to-date by its modern Queen and its even more modern Princess. Although grand, the Palace had to accommodate young peoples' parties as well as formal balls and royal functions, with a bright and upbeat color palette.”

The enormous Palace

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