The Crown’s Helena Bonham Carter has opened up about playing Princess Margaret

the crown
(Image credit: Mike Marsland/WireImage)

The Crown star Helena Bonham Carter has opened up about playing Princess Margaret.

The former Harry Potter actress joined Netflix’s The Crown for the third series last year, where she played Queen Elizabeth II’s younger sister Princess Margaret and even earned a BAFTA nomination for Best Supporting Actress.

“There is a great fun in playing a royal, it’s got to be said,” Helena Bonham Carter told RadioTimes.com. “Because even though they obviously know that you’re not really royal and you’re faking it, they treat you like royalty.”

“Even though I’m not remotely like Margaret, she did creep in,” the actress admitted. “But people treated me like Margaret, and they were ready to be frightened of me.”

MORE: How true is The Crown? We separate fact from fiction in the hit Netflix show

The Princess herself had a reputation for being difficult, witty, decadent, rebellious, spoilt, charismatic, troubled, demanding and glamorous (among other adjectives).

Speaking of the Princess’s famously rebellious and glamorous reputation, Helena added, “The license to behave badly was fantastic, too.

“I could just be very demanding, and they would all find it hysterically funny.”

The actress appears alongside Oscar-winning actress Olivia Colman, who plays the Queen, and Tobias Menzies, who acts as Prince Philip.

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The Crown’s fourth season is set to drop on Netflix later this year, with a fifth and sixth season to follow.

Season five will see Helena’s Harry Potter co-star Imelda Staunton taking over from Olivia Colman as Queen Elizabeth II.

While it was recently revealed that Lesley Manville will fill Helena’s shoes as Princess Margaret.

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In a statement confirming the news on The Crown's Twitter feed, Lesley said, "I could not be happier to be playing Princess Margaret.

"The baton is being passed on from two formidable actresses and I really don’t want to let the side down.

"Furthermore, to play siblings with my dear friend Imelda Staunton will be nothing short of a complete joy".

Aleesha Badkar
Aleesha Badkar

Aleesha is digital shopping writer at woman&home - so whether you're looking for beauty, fashion, health or home buys, she knows all the best places to splash your cash. She earned an MA in Magazine Journalism from City, University of London in 2017 after graduating from University of Leeds in 2014 with a BA in English and Spanish (which took her to Madrid for a fun Rioja and tapas-packed year). Aleesha has worked for woman&home since 2019, when she joined the team as their digital news writer. A year on the news team gained her quick and reactive writing skills and a love for breaking stories, invaluable insight into where to get the best lifestyle releases first, an AOP awards nomination and the nickname ‘crazy watch lady’ after she became so obsessed with the royals that she followed breaking news alerts on her Apple Watch.


Before joining the woman&home team, Aleesha wrote for their sister site GoodtoKnow, where she covered celebrity news, health advice and where to snap up the cheapest lifestyle buys. With a background in beauty, Aleesha has also written for Stylist and Women’s Health where she developed an understanding into what makes a stellar product and which brands are worth paying attention to. She never leaves the house without a slick of lip balm and a good slathering of SPF, cannot live without an eyelash curler by her side and is always on the hunt for new lipsticks to add to her ‘Lipstick of the Day’ Instagram story highlight (and color-coordinated collection).

But it’s not just beauty buys Aleesha can help you with. Social media savviness, strong PR relationships and a need to stay in the know mean she’s all about the latest fashions, clever gadgets and reliable lifestyle buys too. She loves indulging in an interior craze (with a bedroom drowned in prints, plants and pink), is a regular visitor to the Missoma and Edge of Ember 'New In' pages and can’t resist the allure of a kitchen gadget—just ask her three coffee machines.

When she’s not playing around with new products and testing anything she can get her hands on, Aleesha spends most of her time with her head in a current bestseller, catching up on the latest Netflix craze with her sister, trying out new recipes, drinking wine with her bestie and (in non-COVID times) has been known to be a bit of a jetsetter amongst her friendship group. Oh and she makes the most of her Disney+ subscription by watching the Marvel films on repeat (definitely not just for Chris Evans...).

Follow her latest shopping & lifestyle advice, beauty insights and social antics on Instagram at @aleeshabadkar.


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