The Crown’s Helena Bonham Carter on playing Princess Margaret: ‘The license to behave badly was fantastic’

"People treated me like Margaret, and they were ready to be frightened of me!"

The Crown Margaret

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

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The actress has now finished filming for The Crown, in which she plays the Queen’s younger sister Princess Margaret. Season four will hopefully arrive on Netflix later in 2020, and season three has already earned her a BAFTA nomination for Best Supporting Actress; the virtual ‘ceremony’ is due to take place on Friday 31st July.

And on set for The Crown, Bonham Carter found people reacting to her like she was the late Princess herself.

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

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

“The license to behave badly was fantastic, too,” Bonham Carter added. “I could just be very demanding, and they would all find it hysterically funny.”

The Crown: Princess Margaret and Helena Bonham Carter

With season four having wrapped, the actress is now preparing to hand over the role of Princess Margaret to Lesley Manville, who will star as the Queen’s sister in seasons five and six.

But she’s reluctant to hand over a few other things…

Asked about whether she’d taken any souvenirs from set, Bonham Carter confided in RadioTimes.com and other press: “I’m not allowed to admit it. But I’ve got loads, shedloads. I’m going to eBay them later.

“No, [I’ve got] a couple of things. I’ve got some pearls. I’m going to have to hand them back, I guess…!”

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