The Crown: how will Helena Bonham Carter play Princess Margaret in series 3?

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Kayleigh Dray
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The Crown: how will Helena Bonham Carter play Princess Margaret in series 3?

The first picture of Helena Bonham Carter as the Queen’s sister has been released, and it tells us a lot about season three…

Earlier this year, it was confirmed that Helena Bonham Carter would be taking over Vanessa Kirby’s role as Princess Margaret in Netflix’s The Crown.

And now, at long last, fans have been offered their first snap of HBC in her royal costume.

Simply captioned with the word ‘hope’, the image sees HBC perfectly made up, with her hair piled up on top of her head in a classic beehive ‘do. 

The expression on her face, though, as she stares down at her smoking cigarette, suggests that the caption does not accurately convey the character’s emotional state.

As many will already know, Princess Margaret married photographer Antony Armstrong-Jones (later the Earl of Snowdon) on 6 May 1960. By the early Seventies, though, the couple had drifted apart – and the press later fell upon her “loving friendship” with Roddy llewellyn, a man 17 years her junior, portraying her as a predatory older woman and Llewellyn as her toyboy lover

When Llewellyn left on an impulsive trip to Turkey, Margaret became emotionally distraught and took an overdose of sleeping tablets. “I was so exhausted because of everything,” she later said, “that all I wanted to do was sleep.” As she recovered, her ladies-in-waiting kept Lord Snowdon away from her, afraid that seeing him would distress her further – and the couple later released a press release, publicly acknowledging that their marriage had irretrievably broken down.

It was a decision which saw her damned as a “royal parasite” and a “floozie” – and even sparked calls from politicians to have her removed from the civil list.

With all of the above to contend with, it’s only natural that HBC is nervous about taking on the role.

“We’re completely terrified,” Bonham Carter said in a statement. “I think also because the first two seasons were such a success, we have the onus of inheriting the responsibility of doing justice to all these genuinely famous people, and then on top of it, inheriting them from this previous generation of actors who’ve done such good jobs.”

She continued: “I’m not sure which I’m more terrified about — doing justice to the real Princess Margaret or following in the shoes of Vanessa Kirby’s Princess Margaret.

“The only thing I can guarantee is that I’ll be shorter [than Vanessa].”

The Crown has also released a picture of Ben Daniels in character as Lord Snowdon (see above), complete with the caption ‘hurt’.

After his role was announced, Daniels said: “After being glued to the first two seasons of The Crown I am beyond thrilled to be joining the cast of this incredible piece of television. 

“Snowdon was such a dynamic and complex man, I’m really looking forward to playing him.”

The third season of The Crown will cover the period from 1964 through to the early 1970s, with Olivia Colman replacing Claire Foy as Queen Elizabeth II.

It is expected to land on Netflix in 2019.

You can find out everything we know about the upcoming series, including who will be starring alongside Colman, Daniels and Bonham Carter, here.

Image: Netflix


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Kayleigh Dray

Kayleigh Dray is Stylist’s digital editor-at-large. Her specialist topics include comic books, films, TV and feminism. On a weekend, you can usually find her drinking copious amounts of tea and playing boardgames with her friends.