Meghan Markle’s entry into the Royal Family made history. As a woman of colour and an American divorcee, her royal wedding to Prince Harry shifted the image of British royalty, opening up the monarchy to a slew of new fans. Vanessa Kirby recently opened up to Marie Claire about her role as Princess Margaret on The Crown, and how the late royal helped shape the family that Meghan has joined today and pave a path for the former actress.
Princess Margaret was known for breaking away from royal rules. Steadfast in her decisions, as Vanessa depicted for two seasons as the royal on the hit TV show, Margaret was determined to marry according to her heart. And Vanessa believes that this bucking of royal tradition helped pave the way for Meghan. “It’s interesting, isn’t it. I can’t help but think that she did,” the British actress mused. “Margaret knew when she got involved with Peter Townsend that her family wouldn’t approve, and yet she wasn’t going to give up. I think she was trying to modernize the royal family from the inside and make it better for people later on.”
The star continued: “I heard she was still very bitter about it 20 years on. That really informed how I wanted to play her because if you’re bitter [years later] about somebody else being able to marry [a divorcee], it suggests your wound is very deep.”
Now that season two has come to a close, Helena Bonham Carter is taking on the role of Margaret for a fast-forwarded season of the show. “She’s magic … and she loves Margaret as much as I do,” the star gushed, showing off a selfie Helena sent of herself with Olivia Colman, who is set to take over for Claire Foy as the older Queen Elizabeth. While giving up her on-screen royal title must be bittersweet, Vanessa has a friend in Helena. “[This] just encapsulates Helena, because she’s hilarious, gracious and thoughtful about knowing how it must feel for me, you know?”