This Photo Of 'The Crown's Vanessa Kirby & Helena Bonham Carter Could Be A Major Hint About Princess Margaret In Season 3

There's no denying that it will be hard to say farewell to Vanessa Kirby's luminous take on Princess Margaret, but this potential news might soften the blow a bit. If Kirby's Instagram photo with Helena Bonham Carter is to be believed, the The Crown Season 3 may have its new Princess Margaret all lined up, and oh, what an inspired casting choice that would be. Over the course of the first two seasons, Margaret has proven herself to be a standout character thanks to her passionate affairs and fiery sense of independence. Who better to carry the princess into an even wilder adulthood than Carter?

On Jan. 5, London's Evening Standard reported that Carter is the frontrunner for the role of Princess Margaret, and the two-time Oscar nominee would be an inspired choice. Season 3 of The Crown is set to take the royals into the '70s — a period that was particularly explosive for Margaret. This is the era when her marriage to Lord Snowdon fell apart right in front of the public eye, but there was no sitting at home and crying over her impending divorce for the princess. Instead, Margaret began an affair with a much younger man.

Given Carter's gift for imbuing humanity into larger-than-life characters, she's more than talented enough to bring the middle-aged Margaret to the small screen. And while Kirby has previously expressed her sadness over leaving Princess Margaret behind, the photo she shared of herself alongside her potential successor on Instagram suggests she's in full support of Carter picking up Margaret's story where she left off.

While Netflix has yet to confirm that Carter will indeed be in The Crown Season 3, Kirby's caption and the photo itself seem to all but verify the rumors. Kirby captioned the photo "hounored," and while she could mean that she's honored to meet Carter, it's far more likely that her caption is a way of expressing her happiness over the possible casting news.

But forget the caption for a second and take a closer look at the image. Kirby and Carter are sporting the same messy hairstyle and matching grins — surely this can't be a coincidence. Those twin ponytails hint that the women may be trying to tell fans of The Crown something, and that something is that the show appears to have found Kirby's successor. Now, if only Netflix would make the news official, the celebration could commence.

And so could the mourning, because as thrilling as the prospect of watching Carter bring Margaret to life in her 40s is, saying goodbye to Kirby won't be easy. In December, Kirby told Vanity Fair,

"I was so desperate to do further on . . . because it's going to be so fun [to enact] when their marriage starts to break down. You see the beginnings of that in Episode 10. I kept saying to [series creator Peter Morgan], 'Can't you put in an episode where Margaret and Tony have a big row, and she throws a plate at his head?’ I'm so envious of the actress who gets to do it."

If the photo truly is confirmation that Carter is taking over the role, then Kirby couldn't have asked for a better character to pass that plate to. Letting go of Princess Margaret is going to be hard for Kirby, but there has to be some comfort in knowing that she's leaving her beloved character in the hands of an Oscar nominee.

Carter's potential role as Princess Margaret would also set up some delicious drama between Margaret and her sister, Queen Elizabeth II, in Season 3. Imagine Olivia Colman and Carter playing off of one another. There are no worthier successors to the thrones of Claire Foy and Kirby, so everyone start praying to the TV gods that this casting rumor proves to be true.