Some classic royal séance news now: The Crown star Helena Bonham Carter has claimed she got permission to portray Princess Margaret from the late royal herself via a psychic.
But don’t worry, this is apparently completely normal for the actress, who says she consults a medium every time she plays a deceased person.
“When you play someone real, you really want their blessing because you do have a responsibility,” Bonham Carter explained to an audience at Cheltenham literature festival.
Talking specifically about her “little chat” with the sister to Queen Elizabeth II, who died in 2002, Bonham Carter claimed Margaret said she was “glad” about her casting in the Netflix drama.
The actor recalled (via The Guardian): “She said: ‘But you’re going to have to brush up and be more groomed and neater.’ Then she said: ‘Get the smoking right. I smoked in a very particular way. Remember that – this is a big note – the cigarette holder was as much a weapon for expression as it was for smoking.’”
Bonham Carter also revealed she had a personal connection to Margaret, as her uncle, the former Liberal MP Mark Bonham Carter, had once dated the royal.
“They always remained good friends. I have photos of them together and they look really dashing as a couple,” she said. “It was definitely pre-Townsend [Peter Townsend]. They remained forever friends.”
The actor also revealed she previously met the princess, with Margaret telling her at one reception: “Oh Helena … You are getting better at acting, aren’t you?”
Bonham Carter is set to take over the royal role in The Crown when the drama returns for a third season on Sunday 17th November 2019. She’ll star opposite Olivia Colman (who will play Queen Elizabeth II) and Tobias Menzies (Prince Philip).
The series will also star Jason Watkins (Prime Minister Harold Wilson), Call the Midwife’s Erin Doherty (Princess Anne) and a young Prince Charles (The Durrells’ Josh O’Connor).
The Crown returns Sunday 17th November 2019 on Netflix