Back in May, it was confirmed that, as Netflix’s The Crown jumps ahead in time, and Olivia Colman steps in for Claire Foy in the titular role of the series, Helena Bonham Carter would be taking over from Vanessa Kirby in her beloved role as Princess Margaret. It’s a lofty part to uphold, and Bonham Carter knows it; as she said in a statement shortly before filming for the third season (which comes out next year) began, “I’m not sure which I’m more terrified about—doing justice to the real Princess Margaret or following in the shoes of Vanessa Kirby’s Princess Margaret.”
It only follows, then, that Bonham Carter is taking the job quite seriously—and proving herself to be just as much of a troublemaker as the late royal while doing so. Indeed, according to The Sun, Bonham Carter hasn’t just been hanging with Princess Margaret’s latest onscreen incarnation but has also hired a psychic to contact the late princess herself.
Sure, an anonymous “TV insider” speaking with a tabloid isn’t the most reliable of sources, but to anyone familiar with Bonham Carter’s eerie oeuvre, this sounds right: “She always likes to research her roles with as much depth as possible—and is always prepared to go that extra mile. So if that means using someone with supernatural powers to speak to a character who is now on the other side, then Helena has no problems with doing that.” Apparently, Bonham Carter has not only made contact with Princess Margaret, but the actress has also been “delighted” to receive “such positive feedback from the late royal,” who’s apparently quite delighted herself to have Bonham Carter in charge of her legacy.
Neither the late Princess Margaret, the psychic, nor Bonham Carter has yet commented on the matter, though it certainly fits right in with the latter’s track record. It was just a few years ago that she went against her mother’s advice and took on the starring role of Elizabeth Taylor in a 2013 BBC film—an icon she made careful preparations to embody, creating a “massive file” that her then partner, Tim Burton, likened to a biography; calling up Taylor’s goddaughter; and, lastly, yes, enlisting the help of a supernatural counsel.
“I even asked a psychic—I’m completely wacko—who was actually de-ghosting our house,” Bonham Carter told IndieWire in 2013, confirming that she does indeed have a psychic on call, who is a friend of hers. “He’s good at moving people on because we’ve had some ghost issues in the house,” she continued. “I told him I was in a real dilemma about the role, and he came back with the answer, ‘Intellectually it makes no sense whatsoever, but emotionally it’s a nine out of 10.’”
It’s unclear, just yet, if this time around Bonham Carter also contacted her astrologer, as she did when preparing to play Taylor, but it seems likely enough that she went ahead and gave the princess the royal treatment by calling up her aunt, a graphologist—aka a handwriting analyst—just as she did when she played the Queen Mother in The King’s Speech, in 2010. If she’s opted to go the way of method acting and sticking with Princess Margaret’s daily routine, which included a “a vodka pick-me-up” at 12:30 p.m., followed by half a bottle of wine with lunch, however, it may really be a while before we hear from Bonham Carter herself on the matter.
The Royals at Wimbledon: A Visual History From Princess Diana to Meghan Markle
The Duke of York, later George VI (1895 – 1952), playing in a doubles match at Wimbledon with his partner Wing Commander Louis Greig in 1926. The Duke was an ace tennis player. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.
A picture that makes sports history, snapped at Wimbledon, as Queen Elizabeth of England awarded the Wimbledon trophy to Alethea Gibson (center, back to camera), the U.S. star and first black women to ever take the title on July 7th, 1957. Althea beat Darlene in straight sets, 6-3 and 6-2. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.
Princess Anne in the royal box at Wimbledon watching the men’s singles final between John Newcombe and Wilhelm Bungert on July 7th, 1967. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.
Queen Elizabeth II awards Virginia Wade the Wimbledon Ladies’ Singles trophy on July 1st, 1977. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.
Queen Elizabeth II presents the men’s singles trophy to champion Rod Laver on September 10th, 1962. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.
Princess Diana (center), and her sister, Sarah, at Wimbledon to watch tennis on July 3rd, 19881. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.
Top Image: Prince Charles watching a match between Dennis Ralston and John Newcombe during the Wimbledon Tennis Championships on June 26th 1970. Photograph courtesy of Getty Images.
Bottom Image: 42 years later, Prince Charles acknowledges the Center Court crowd before the second round men’s singles match between Switzerland’s Roger Federer and Italy’s Fabio Fognini on day three of the 2012 Wimbledon Championships tennis tournament on June 27, 2012. Photograph Courtesy of Getty Images.
Princess Diana and Prince William watching the women’s final at Wimbledon on July 6th, 1991. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.
Princess Diana with Prince William in the royal Box Centre court for the ladies singles final on July 2nd, 1994. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.
Princess Diana chats with the Prince of Kent after Pete Sampras wins the Men’s Final against Boris Becker of Germany at Wimbledon on July 9th, 1995. Photo courtesy of Getty images.
Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Kent (L) ahead of the second round match between Andy Murray of Great Britain against Jarkko Nieminen of Finland on Day Four of the Wimbledon Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on June 24, 2010 in London, England. Photo courtesy of Getty images.
Charles Delevingne and Princess Beatrice attend the semifinal round match between Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France and Novak Djokovic of Serbia on Day Eleven of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 1, 2011 in London, England. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.
Before she was royal, Meghan Markle attended day two of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships at Wimbledon on June 28, 2016 in London, England. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.
Princess Cate and Prince William take part in the “wave” as they watch Rafael Nadal challenge Argentina’s Juan Martin Del Potro in a Men’s Singles match at the 2011 Wimbledon Championships at the all England tennis club in south-west London, on June 27th, 2011. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.
Princess Cate and Prince William applaud Roger Federer on his victory at Wimbledon on July 16, 2017 in London, England. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.
Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, attends day four of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships at All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 04, 2019 in London, England, making headlines with her wardrobe choice. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.
The Duchess of Cornwall in the royal box of centre court on day 9 of the Wimbledon Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, Wimbledon on July 10, 2019. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.
Baroness Sue Campbell in the royal box of centre court on day 8 of the Wimbledon Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, Wimbledon on July 9, 2019. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.
Pippa Matthews and James Middleton in the royal box of centre court on day 7 of the 2019 Wimbledon Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, Wimbledon. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.
The Duchess of Cambridge in the royal box on day 12 of the 2019 Wimbledon Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, Wimbledon on July 13, 2019. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.