Helena Bonham Carter Met Princess Margaret IRL Way Before 'The Crown'

by Jessica Wang
Sophie Mutevelian

Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowdon? More like Princess Margaret, Countess of Shade. The Crown star Helena Bonham Carter revealed she met Princess Margaret IRL, and the interaction sounded hilariously brutal. In a new interview with Entertainment Weekly published on Aug. 14, Bonham Carter — who will replace Vanessa Kirby as Princess Margaret in The Crown Season 3 — recalled the time she met the free-spirited sibling of Queen Elizabeth II at Windsor Castle in England. “My uncle was actually very close to her," she told EW back in December while working on the award-winning period drama. "She was pretty scary."

Bonham Carter continued, "At one point, she met me at Windsor Castle and she said, 'You are getting better, aren’t you?'" What exactly does "getting better" allude to? Her acting abilities, apparently. She added, "I presume that’s what she meant."

The absolute shade. Princess Margaret must not be too familiar with Bonham Carter’s impressive film resume. In any case, it’ll be thrilling to watch the Sweeney Todd actor take the reign as Princess Margaret in the third season of the drama, set to debut on Netflix on Nov. 17. Elsewhere in the cast: Olivia Colman will succeed Claire Foy as Queen Elizabeth II, Tobias Menzies will succeed Matt Smith as Prince Phillip, and Charles Dance will succeed Greg Wise as Lord Mountbatten.

As per EW, Season 3 will explore the following storylines: Anthony Blunt, Queen Elizabeth’s art advisor, and the revelation that he’s a Soviet spy; Harold Wilson, British Labor leader, and his rise to Prime Minister; and the 1966 Aberfan disaster, which saw the catastrophic collapse of an oil spill in Wales. More so, Season 3 will introduce the adult versions of Charles (Josh O’Connor) and Anne (Erin Doherty), Queen Elizabeth’s eldest children. Along with Charles’ early relationship with Camilla (Emerald Fennell), the new season will also explore the crumbling union of Princess Margaret and Lord “Tony” Snowdon (Ben Daniels).

In EW’s Aug. 14 interview with the cast, showrunner Peter Morgan said of Margaret and Tony’s dynamic, "They’re such extraordinary people. Completely addicted to each other. Even right up until the minute they were getting divorced, they still had a really strong physical relationship. People often said that it was like foreplay for them, having a big row. They would have these huge rows and then amazing sex." Bonham Carter added to Morgan’s comments, "Try it at home!"

Alex Bailey/Netflix

Kirby, who garnered several award noms and wins for her portrayal, served as an illuminating Margaret in the first two seasons. Still, the actor is thrilled about Bonham Carter’s turn in her old role. In an interview with Marie Claire in July 2018, Kirby dished about the text message she received from her successor. The text, accompanied by a selfie of Bonham Carter and Colman, read, “The baton’s being passed. Think we dropped it!’ Kirby told Marie Claire of the text, “‘[This] just encapsulates Helena, because she’s hilarious, gracious and thoughtful about knowing how it must feel for me, you know? She’s magic… and she loves Margaret as much as I do.”

The Crown returns to Netflix on Nov. 17. Bonham Carter will certainly make for an inspired Princess Margaret in the upcoming season. Still, let's hope the real Princess Margaret approves of the performance.