Princess Margaret and the Queen were not at “loggerheads” despite their depiction in The Crown

Royal expert claims that the Netflix drama is "pretty inaccurate"

Queen Elizabeth ll and her sister Princess Margaret attend the Epsom Derby on June 06, 1979
(Image credit: Photo by Anwar Hussein/Getty Images)

Princess Margaret and her relationship with the Queen has been a source of great interest for fans of the hit Netflix drama, The Crown. 

The Crown depicts the life and reign of Queen Elizabeth II, rising from niece of a king to a princess and then a monarch in her own right. Her sister Princess Margaret, played in earlier seasons by Vanessa Kirby and later played by Helena Bonham Carter has been a popular character.

But the question of whether Princess Margaret and the Queen got on in real life has been gaining momentum with viewers as the series progressed. The Crown depicts a certain amount of friction between the royal sisters.

Yet now a royal expert has claimed that the two were never at ‘loggerheads’ and actually enjoyed a close relationship.

How is the relationship between Princess Margaret and the Queen in The Crown?

In The Crown the relationship between the two royal sisters is a significant plot thread throughout all 4 seasons. In the opening season, their relationship is placed under strain when Princess Margaret wishes to marry a divorced man.

This placed her sister the Queen in the difficult position of trying to negotiate this with the Cabinet and Church of England. 

When Princess Margaret is then eventually told she will be removed from the line of succession if she were to marry Group Captain Peter Townsend, she breaks off their relationship.

Helena Bonham Carter as Princess Margaret in The Crown

(Image credit: Des Willie/Netflix)

Her devastation and resentment towards her sister over these sad events becomes a huge obstacle in their relationship. Tension emerges again in Season 2 after she has to wait to announce her engagement to Antony Armstrong-Jones because the Queen is pregnant.

Season 3 then explores the breakdown of Princess Margaret’s marriage, whilst the latest season sees the sisters once more battling each other.

Princess Margaret requests to be given a larger role within the Royal Family, but is instead bumped off the list of Counsellors of State by Prince Edward.

Did Princess Margaret and the Queen get along?

Speaking on the Pod Save the Queen’s The Crown special last week, Mirror Online lifestyle editor Zoe Forsey spoke to Ingrid Seward, editor-in-chief of Majesty magazine and author of royal biographies.  

Based on her own royal experiences, Ms Seward reportedly stated: “The character of Princess Margaret is absolutely not what I saw of Princess Margaret.”

Delving further into the show’s depiction of the Queen’s sister, she revealed her dislike of “the way they seemed to have her and the Queen at loggerheads”. 

The royal family at Buckingham Palace, May 1942. From left to right, Princess Elizabeth, Queen Elizabeth (later the Queen Mother, Princess Margaret Rose and King George VI

(Image credit: Photo by Fox Photos/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

She explained: “They were always so close and really supportive of each other.” Though Ms Seward did reflect on the reason Netflix might have chosen to make changes

“Of course, it makes a better story to have them at loggerheads,” she said. Ms Seward added that she was not “criticising the writer”, but was simply saying “you have to watch it, but not believe it.”

Is The Crown accurate? 

Ms Seward reportedly went on to admit that in her opinion the Netflix drama was “pretty inaccurate”. She also voiced her belief that The Crown “never pretended” it was going to be, stating: “that's the problem”.  

Her take on things comes after The Crown has received criticism from some, including Princess Diana’s brother Earl Spencer and Prince Charles’ former press secretary Dickie Arbiter. Earl Spencer expressed concern about the way some viewers might take the show as “gospel”. Whilst Arbiter revealed his belief that the show used “excessive” dramatic license. 

Even The Crown star Helena Bonham Carter has now added her voice to calls for the show to carry some form of “warning” reminding viewers it is fictional.

The Crown Season 4 is available now on Netflix.

Emma Shacklock

Emma is a Royal Editor with eight years experience working in publishing. Her specialist areas include the British Royal Family, ranging from protocol to outfits. Alongside putting her royal knowledge to good use, Emma knows all there is to know about the latest TV shows on the BBC, ITV and more. When she’s not writing about the next unmissable show to add to your to-watch list or delving into royal protocol, Emma enjoys cooking, long walks and watching yet more crime dramas!