Princess Margaret may be dead, but she still found a way to weigh in on her Netflix portrayal. To prepare for season 3 of The Crown, Helena Bonham Carter spoke to the royal herself through a psychic — and, as it turns out, Margaret approves of her casting.
“I asked, ‘Would you mind if I played you?’ She did say, ‘I think you’re a better idea than the other actor,’” Bonham Carter said on the Graham Norton Show on Friday. Feedback from a royal doesn’t get much better than that, and, as Bonham Carter added, it was “a very typical Margaret” compliment (read: backhanded).
This wasn’t the first time Bonham Carter has mentioned her more spiritual research. “She said, apparently, she was glad it was me,” Bonham Carter said last month at the Cheltenham Literary Festival. “My main thing when you play someone who is real, you kind of want their blessing, because you have a responsibility.”
And apparently, Margaret also had some tips for Bonham Carter. Her main piece of advice? “Get the smoking right,” Bonham Carter recalled at the festival. Margaret, she said, smoked in a very particular way, using her holder as an accessory and a “weapon for expression.”
Bonham Carter will take over the role from Vanessa Kirby, who played Margaret in seasons 1 and 2. Olivia Colman, The Crown’s new lead, mentioned her own royal run-in on the same Graham Norton episode. Unfortunately, hers — with Prince William — didn’t go quite as well as Bonham Carter’s surreal experience.
“I met Prince William at a dinner and he asked what I was doing at the moment before he quickly added, ‘Actually, I know what you’re doing.’ I was so excited and asked, ‘Have you watched it?’ His answer was a firm, ‘No,’” Colman said.
The third season of The Crown will premiere on November 17.