Age comes to all of us, even royalty, so it’s no wonder that Claire Foy, Vanessa Kirby and Matt Smith — however talented — have to be recast for the next series of The Crown.
Olivia Colman has already been announced as taking over from Foy as the middle-aged Elizabeth II, and now we hear a new Princess Margaret has been found: arise, Helena Bonham Carter.
We are told that HBC is all but confirmed to play the inimitable royal. The two-time Oscar nominee was rumoured to be in contention to play Elizabeth II herself but has instead landed the far riskier, funnier and louche sister Margaret, which sounds like a better part anyway.
She made her name in the Merchant Ivory films Howard’s End and A Room with A View, then moved on to the Harry Potter franchise and several films with her ex-partner Tim Burton. Bonham Carter is also not bad at real-life depictions, having played Liz Taylor to Dominic West’s Richard Burton.
Bonham Carter has a personal connection to the Princess Margaret part: her home in Oxfordshire, Mill House, was previously owned by Margaret’s former lady-in-waiting, Jane Stevens.
Bonham Carte previously played Margaret’s mom, the Queen Mother, in the Oscar-winning biopic The King’s Speech in 2010. Ironically, so has Coleman, who took on the part in 2012’s Hyde Park on Hudson.
The show’s creator, Peter Morgan, decided to recast the roles rather than attempt to make the current actors look younger with makeup. He told Variety of the decision: “You can’t ask someone to act middle-aged. Someone has to bring their own fatigue to it. The feelings we all have as 50-year-olds are different than the feelings we all have as 30-year-olds.”