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First set images reveal Helena Bonham Carter as Princess Margaret in The Crown

Was The Crown recreating Princess Margaret's visit to the US?

helena bonham carter the crown
Emmy Griffiths
Emmy GriffithsTV & Film Editor
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Helena Bonham Carter has been spotted in full costume as Princess Margaret while filming The Crown in Hylands Park, Essex last week. The Sweeney Todd actress took over the iconic role of the Queen's younger sister from Vanessa Kirby for seasons three and four of the hit show, and looked perfectly in character while wearing a red dress adorned with white flowers with her long brunette hair piled into a glamourous top knot. In the scene, Helena was filmed walking towards a car with her husband, Antony Armstrong Jones (Lord Snowdon), and could be seen touching his face. Ben Daniels took over the role of Lord Snowdon from Matthew Goode for the upcoming series, and looked smart in a tuxedo for the scene.

helena bonham carter the crown© Photo: Splash

Helena and Ben as Princess Margaret and Lord Snowdon

Which historical event were they filming?

Hylands Park was transformed into the White House in Washington DC for filming, suggesting that Helena and Ben were filming scenes based on Princess Margaret and Lord Snowdon's disastrous trip overseas in 1965. During their trip, the couple rubbed shoulders with Hollywood A-listers, and had a White House reception with President Lyndon B. Johnson and the First Lady, Lady Bird Johnson.

the crown set© Photo: Splash

The White House created at Hylands Park in Essex

Why was Princess Margaret banned from visiting the US following the tour?

According to the Telegraph, Margaret was barred from making another official visit to the US in the 1970s following the 1965 visit, Washington ambassador Lord Cromer stopped the trip to avoid a repeat of the couple's earlier visit, where Antony and Margaret were thought to have insulted several Hollywood A-listers. In a memo, the Vice-Marshal of the Diplomatic Service Lees Mayall wrote: "You will remember that Lord Cromer is not at all keen on having the Princess in the United States, possibly for some time to come. This is mainly due to the behaviour of some of HRH's friends, who tend to take such visits very lightly." The couple's official visit also drew criticism from the British public and press, who accused them of spending too much money to have fun on holiday, as the tour was thought to have cost around £30,000 which equals £350,000 in today's money.

margaret lord snowdon© Photo: Getty Images

The royal couple during the 1965 US visit

Why did Princess Margaret fall out with Judy Garland?

Princess Margaret was thought to have butted heads with Hollywood legend Judy Garland during her visit. While attending a party in Beverly Hills, an aide told the Wizard of Oz actress that the Princess wanted to hear her sing, to which Judy was said to reply: "Tell her I'll sing if she christens a ship first," and also called her "a nasty, rude little princess". At the same party, Princess Margaret was always thought to have told Grace Kelly that she didn't look like a movie star, to which she replied: "I wasn't born a movie star."

Why didn't the Queen meet President Johnson?

The Queen has met almost every single one of the Presidents of the United States during her 66-year rule, with just Lyndon B. Johnson as the exception. The Queen didn't travel to the US between the years of 1957-1976, while President Johnson similarly didn't travel to Europe on a scheduled trip during his presidency. However, Princess Margaret spent time with the President during her visit overseas, and the pair danced together during the state dinner.

helena bonham first looks

Helena took the role over from Vanessa Kirby