Tony Blair’s hero’s welcome in Kosovo recreated for The Crown as Southend doubles for Balkans
Tony Blair is back! Ex-Prime Minister is greeted as a hero on the streets of Kosovo (not really, it’s his triumphant 1999 journey that’s being re-enacted for The Crown – as Southend-on-Sea doubles for the war-torn Balkans)
- Blair’s post-war trip to Kosovo in 1999, re-enacted for Netflix’s The Crown
- Filming took place today in Southend, Essex – with Blair played by Bertie Carvel
- The real Blair was received like a hero after the NATO air campaign against Yugoslavia
Tony Blair’s heroic reception on the streets of Kosovo in 1999 was re-enacted today for Netflix royal drama The Crown.
The production turned Southend-on-Sea, Essex, into the streets of the war-torn Balkan country to film their version of Tony Blair – played by Bertie Carvel – visiting the country where many Toni’s and Tonybler’s are now named after him are.
It was Blair’s first visit to Kosovo following the NATO air campaign against Yugoslavia that forced Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic to end his crackdown on ethnic Albanians.
Tony Blair supported NATO’s decision to launch a 78-day air war against Serbian forces in 1999.
Netflix is recreating the streets of Kosovo today in Southend Essex as they recreate British Prime Minister Tony Blair’s July 1999 journey for The Crown.
Tony Blair is played by actor Bertie Carvel for the Netflix royal drama
Then-Prime Minister Tony Blair visited a Kosovo refugee camp in Macedonia in 1999
‘Kosovars’ on set in Southend today – but in real life Blair was greeted by grateful townsfolk
The Toni’s and Tonibler’s of Kosovo are named after Tony Blair
After supporting NATO’s decision to wage a 78-day air war against Serbian forces in 1999, Blair was seen as a hero in Kosovo.
After the successful intervention, grateful Albanian Kosovars named their children after the British Prime Minister, naming them “Toni” and “Tonibler” in his honor.
The real Tony Blair visited Pristina, the provincial capital of Kosovo, on Saturday 31 July 1999 and was greeted by adoring Kosovars who showered him with affection.
People cheered the British Prime Minister, shaking his hand, giving him flowers and even kissing him. Blair planted a tree to represent the rebuilding of Kosovo, CNN reported at the time.
Blair told the delighted crowd: “What has brought me joy is to see the little children in their home country at peace.
“That is the hope we have for the future. That hope lies in the hundreds of these children.”
The Labor PM also said it was important to reconcile with old enemies and that Kosovo was in “the family of nations in Europe… with the security that comes and the prosperity that comes from belonging to Europe”.
Blair revisited Kosovo on July 12, 2010, and thousands of people chanted his name and waved Kosovar and British flags as he walked to an improvised stage in the main square of the capital, Pristina.
The real Tony Blair visited Pristina, the provincial capital of Kosovo, on Saturday 31 July 1999 and was greeted by adoring Kosovars who showered him with affection. Pictured: Crowds on the set in Southend today
Bertie Carvel’s Tony Blair greets the crowds of ‘Kosovo’ in Southend for the filming of The Crown
Filming for the episode of The Crown took place at Civic Center North in Southend-on-Sea
People cheered the British Prime Minister, shaking his hand, giving him flowers and even kissing him. Blair planted a tree to represent the rebuilding of Kosovo (Pictured: filming this trip today for The Crown)
Mr Blair met Kosovan leaders during his two-day visit and today shook hands with nine Tonibler and Toni children, ethnic Albanian children named after him.
Many streets in Kosovo were renamed in honor of his decision to support NATO involvement in the conflict.
Blair’s historic landslide for the Labor Party in the 1996 general election was featured in the final episode of The Crown’s latest series, which was published in November.
Filming for this episode of the next season of The Crown took place at the Civic Center North in Southend-on-Sea.