This is Alan Rickman's second film as a director.
André Le Nôtre designed the Champs-Élysées in Paris.
Alan Rickman was in Brussels shooting A Promise (2013) when he invited Matthias Schoenaerts to play André Le Nôtre in the film.
Some of the costumes from the television show Die Tudors (2007) were altered and reused in this film. Costume designer Joan Bergin was involved in both projects.
Kate Winslet's daughter Mia appears in a scene at the Louvre. She is sitting on a chair alone when Sabine walks into the room before a crowd of people follow.
"But in order to make it a love story, we've had to slice 35 years off Le Nôtre's age. Yes, he designed the gardens of Versailles. Yes, there is an outdoor ballroom. But he was 70 at the time and there was certainly no woman involved." - Alan Rickman (Interview -
The real André Le Nôtre, the landscape architect who designed the gardens of Versailles and many other palace grounds, was 25 years older than Louis XIV. The film's time-line of a year or so includes the death of Maria Theresa, Louis' queen. This occurred in 1638, when Louis was 45 and Le Nôtre was 70; At that point, Le Nôtre had been working on the gardens at Versailles for more than 20 years.
Though Le Nôtre was a real person, Kate Winslet's character Sabine is fictional, there would be no woman with a profession at that time. Alan Rickman told that he loved the idea of "putting a completely fictitious character in the middle of a known bit of history."