Helena Bonham Carter ‘spoke to Princess Margaret’s ghost’ before The Crown

Helena Bonham Carter sought the help of a medium to speak to the Queen's sister, who died in 2002.

Famously eccentric Helena is playing the Queen's only sister in the third series of The Crown on Netflix .

And if she had not received permission from Princess Margaret from beyond the grave, she would not have taken on the part.

A source close to the 52-year-old actress said she met Princess Margaret in real life at a movie premiere and found her "pretty scary".

The source told the Sun : "Helena was just a fledgling movie star when they met at a royal movie premiere and the fact she made such an impact on her made it especially important to get her blessing.

“But she got much more, including little acting tips such as using her cigarette and cigarette holder to express herself in The Crown just as she did in real life.

“She even passed on her advice to cast and crew on set whenever there was a query regarding the princess. Helena would reassure them, ‘Margaret says that’s all right.'"

Helena reportedly held seances in her dressing room during breaks from filming, where she would seek advice from the late princess.

She told The Guardian the first time she contacted Margaret was during a session with a medium, who told her: "Oh yes, Margaret's here, fingering her pearls."

Helena undertook a lot of research to try to capture the princess's essence, meeting her former hairdresser, who had kept a lock of her hair, and speaking to her friends and former lover, Roddy Llewellyn.

Helena will star opposite Olivia Coleman, who plays Queen Elizabeth, in the third series of the hit show, which starts in November.

Olivia has taken over the role from Claire Foy.

The Queen of England herself has reportedy been watching the show and enjoying, although she found one scene "particularly annoying".

A senior courtier told the Express the Queen was "reasonably entertained" by The Crown once she finally agreed to give it a go.

But she was "upset" at a scene which depicted her son, Prince Charles, attending Gordonstoun in Scotland where he was bullied.

When Charles tells his father, Prince Phillip (played by Matt Smith) that he is being picked on, Phillip shows little sympathy.

The courtier explained "The Queen realises that many who watch The Crown take it as an accurate portrayal of the Royal Family and she cannot change that.

"But she was upset by the way Prince Philip is depicted as being a father insensitive to his son's wellbeing.

"She was particularly annoyed at a scene in which Philip has no sympathy for a plainly upset Charles while he is flying him home from Scotland. That simply did not happen."

*Series three of The Crown launches on Netflix on November 19.

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