When it comes to Princess Margaret portrayals, her lady-in-waiting, Lady Anne Glenconner, does play favorites. Discussing Netflix’s fictional take on the monarchy, The Crown, Glenconner told People that she only liked one actress’s take on the princess: “I didn’t like the first one at all,” she said. “She was too tall.”
Vanessa Kirby played Princess Margaret during the drama’s first two seasons, when Claire Foy had the role of Queen Elizabeth II. In Season 3, following the time jump, Olivia Colman took the role of the Queen and Helena Bonham Carter stepped in as Princess Margaret.
Glenconner discussed the show with People as she promotes her upcoming memoir, Lady in Waiting: My Extraordinary Life in the Shadow of the Crown. Speaking about Kirby, she said, “To see this actress towering over Claire Foy was ridiculous. And her voice was not right.”
“Helena,” she added, “has the voice spot-on.”
Bonham Carter has previously discussed the exhaustive research she performed before taking on the role. She even consulted a psychic so that she could communicate with the late royal’s spirit.
“She said, apparently, she was glad it was me,” Bonham Carter said at a literature festival last fall. “My main thing when you play someone who is real, you kind of want their blessing because you have a responsibility.”
“So I asked her, ‘Are you OK with me playing you?’ and she said, ‘You’re better than the other actress’… that they were thinking of,” Bonham Carter said. “They will not admit who it was. It was me and somebody else. That made me think maybe she is here, because that is a classic Margaret thing to say. She was really good at complimenting you and putting you down at the same time.”
“Then 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.’”