Helena Bonham Carter is close to signing on with Netflix to join The Crown. As the most expensive TV series ever made, the lavish period drama explores the recent history of the British Royal Family, focusing on the story of Queen Elizabeth and exploring her life over decades of political turmoil. Along the way, the series also shines a light on the private lives of the Royals. The first two seasons have been tremendously popular, but Season 3 is expected to jump forward in time to 1957. As a result, Netflix is choosing to recast the major roles, in order to reflect the passage of time.
According to Entertainment Weekly, Helena Bonham Carter is near a deal to take over as Princess Margaret. She'll replace Vanessa Kirby, who played the Queen's scandal-struck sister in the first two seasons. Carter is no stranger to the Royal Family, and played the Queen Mother in The King's Speech. Amusingly enough, there are rumors she was set to play Elizabeth herself in The Crown. Ultimately, the role of Elizabeth went to Olivia Colman instead.
Princess Margaret's tragic, and often scandalous, tale has been a central one in The Crown. Season 2 saw Margaret meet Anthony Armstrong-Jones (later Lord Snowdon), and the two even discussed marriage. The engagement would only be announced in February 1960, and Margaret and Tony swiftly married. Tony was actually the first non-aristocrat to marry into the Royal Family in 400 years, and the wedding was as controversial as anything in Margaret's life. Unfortunately, it was also a doomed romance. Season 3 will surely continue Margaret's story, and feature her wedding. It will likely also sow the seeds for the marriage's failure, which ended in divorce in 1978.
Appropriately enough, Carter has a number of subtle connections to the Royal Family. Her home in Oxfordshire, Mill House, was previously owned by Margaret's former lady-in-waiting. What's more, Carter is actually a distant relative of Kate Windsor, who married Prince William in 2011. Netflix will be delighted to have an Oscar-nominated actress in the running for a major part in The Crown.
Seasons 3 and 4 of The Crown are reportedly in the early stages of pre-production, which explains why recasting is still ongoing. Two of the three most important roles now appear to have been assigned; Colman is signed up as Elizabeth, and Carter is in final talks for Margaret. The real question, though, is who will replace Matt Smith as Prince Philip. It's safe to assume that there will be more news shortly.
Sources: Entertainment Weekly