Arts & Culture

Helena Bonham Carter Once Met Princess Margaret, and She Says the Royal Was "Scary"

Their encounter didn't exactly go smoothly.

In the third season of The Crown, Helena Bonham Carter plays Princess Margaret, stepping in the shoes of Vanessa Kirby, who depicted the Queen's sister last season.

But unlike Kirby, Bonham Carter based her performance off a first-hand experience with the royal.

"My uncle was actually very close to her," Bonham Carter revealed to Entertainment Weekly. "She was pretty scary."

The two once had an interaction together at Windsor Castle in which Margaret asked a rather opinionated question.

"You are getting better, aren’t you?" the Princess asked Bonham Carter, perhaps referring to her acting skills.

"I presume that’s what she meant." Bonham Carter isn't the only member of The Crown cast who has met her character's inspiration. Olivia Colman, who plays Queen Elizabeth in season three of the series once "accidentally" met the British monarch.

"I have accidentally met the Queen," Colman told EW. Here's her story:

“It was at a British Film Institute gathering to raise the profile of British film, independent film. We suddenly found ourselves, two hundred people, in a big queue. I thought maybe we were going in to have some food. I hadn’t read the order of the day. [I] looked around the corner, and there was the Queen and Prince Philip, and went, ‘Oh! Oh no! I don’t know what to do!’ And a gentleman with epaulettes said, ‘Don’t overdo it, little bow, and you say, Your Majesty, and your Royal Highness, and go. Make it as swift as possible and go.’ ‘Alright, Okay.’ And I managed to remember what to say, sort of sticky-handed and bit sort of stumbly. That was it!”


The Crown's third season premieres this fall on Netflix.

*This story originally appeared on

*Minor edits have been made by the editors

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