Helena Bonham Carter has recalled meeting Princess Margaret, whom she plays in The Crown, on several occasions.
The actor told The Guardian that Margaret was 'dimly in the back of my childhood', which makes sense because Bonham Carter's family moved in the same circles as the royals (her great-grandfather is former British PM HH Asquith and she is related to the wealthy Rothschild family). One of her uncles also dated the Queen's younger sister.
Bonham Carter recalled 'people saying, "There's a princess in the room"' and remembers 'backing into her and her giving me one of her sharp looks' as a child. But it was later in life that she was on the receiving end of one of Margaret's famous backhanded compliments.
She explained that she encountered the Countess of Snowden at 'one of those dos', where the Princess recognised her and said: 'You're getting better at acting'. Bonham Carter says she wasn't surprised by the comment because 'that was so her. She used to put people down in a sort-of compliment'.
That said, Bonham Carter spent months researching Margaret before she played her in The Crown – and was keen to explore the other sides to her, rather than simply focus on her infamous put downs and well-documented snobbery.
She explained: 'I'm not disputing Margaret was rude, but often the reason people attack others is because they feel vulnerable'. So, she spoke to those who knew the Princess well, including her former lady-in-waiting, to get a well-rounded take on her character.
You can read Helena Bonham Carter's full interview with The Guardian here. The Crown returns to Netflix later this month.
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