Helena Bonham Carter says the royals are an ‘impossible family to survive’

Bonham Carter, 56, played the role of Princess Royal Margaret for two seasons in Netflix’s ‘The Crown’

Maanya Sachdeva
Sunday 27 November 2022 10:46 GMT
The Crown season four teaser trailer

Helena Bonham Carter has said the royals are an “impossible family to survive” while reflecting on the personal struggles of Princess Royal Margaret and Prince Harry.

Bonham Carter played the role of Margaret in season three and four of Netflix’s hit The Crown, before Lesley Manville took over from her.

The Oscar winner, 56, spoke about passing the role on to Manville, and the shared “despair” of Harry and Margaret in a new interview with The Times.

On stepping aside for Manville, Bonham Carter said: “I had a sort of demotion, which was very Margaret, because a lot of [her] story is that she’s getting more obsolete as her sister has more children.”

In an earlier interview with The Times, ahead of Bonham Carter’s first cinematic outing as the princess, the 56-year-old said Margaret “had no self-pity”.

When asked whether that was true for the “current spare” Harry, Bonham Carter replied: “I think this is the problem with navel-gazing.

“But we now live in an era when you can talk about your mental health, and she could have shared quite a lot and it might have helped with the despair – which is what Harry and her share.

“Of course, it’s an impossible family to survive. It’s a very tricky thing to be conspicuous and vulnerable — not a good mix,” she added.

Harry and Meghan relocated to the US in 2020 shortly after announcing that they were stepping back from their roles as working royals.

Bonham Carter also reflected on the death of Margaret’s older sister, Queen Elizabeth II in September this year.

She said Britain’s longest-serving monarch “gave us all the luxury of an illusion of permanence” and that the Queen “never confused the office with herself”.

The Harry Potter star added: “She didn’t take her power personally, as Donald Trump and our last couple of prime ministers did.”

Elsewhere in the interview, Bonham Carter said she and her boyfriend make jokes about their 21-year age gap.

“Collagen is not the only form of sexiness,” she added.

Bonham Carter also defended JK Rowling, saying that Harry Potter author was being “hounded” over her views on transgender rights.

She said Johnny Depp, who is godfather to her children, had been “vindicated” by the jury’s verdict in the recent, high-profile defamation suit against ex-wife Amber Heard.

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