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An affair and an overdose: The truth about Princess Margaret's scenes in The Crown.

This post deals with suicide and might be triggering for some readers.

Season three of Netflix’s The Crown has resurfaced the spectacles and secrets that have entangled the British monarchy for decades. And as it brings viewers behind the walls of Buckingham Palace, it portrays new events never before known to the public.

Whilst still, of course, a fictional television series, its meticulously researched plots well align with the true events that form part of the British monarchy’s history.

Watch the trailer for The Crown Season 3 here. Post continues below. 

Video by Netflix

Season three has had a particular focus on Queen Elizabeth’s sister, Princess Margaret.

Known as the royal rule-breaking rebel, Princess Margaret seems to be going through a particularly tough time in season three as her affair with her gardener, Roddy Llewellyn, becomes public knowledge and subsequently spells the end to her marriage with Anthony Armstrong-Jones. It marked the first royal divorce in over 400 years.

As the stress seems to overwhelm the royal who is struggling to navigate the dichotomy of her public duty and private downfall, viewers of The Crown are led to believe the princess attempts suicide by consuming too many sleeping pills.

But did Princess Margaret actually overdose in real life?

roddy llewellyn princess margaret
Princess Margaret and Roddy Llewellyn. Image: Getty.
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The truth is not clear, though whispers of Princess Margaret trying to end her life amidst the breakdown of her marriage have existed for decades.

In 2002, following Princess Margaret's death, The Telegraph reported that: "At the height of her distress, and unable to sleep, she took a handful of Mogadon tablets and anxious staff found they were unable to wake her. Friends have always denied that it was an attempt at suicide."

The article adds that Princess Margaret herself addressed the claims, explaining: "I was so exhausted because of everything that all I wanted to do was sleep... and I did, right through to the following afternoon."

According to The Guardiana biography on the Queen similarly states that in 1974 Princess Margaret attempted to die by suicide during her divorce.

did princess margaret overdose
Princess Margaret in The Crown Season 3. Image: Netflix.

Despite the hearsay, it has never been confirmed.

However Helena Bonham Carter, who plays Princess Margaret in The Crown season three, has said she "didn't think they [the writers] would have put it in if there wasn't enough [proof]."

Speaking to Hollywood Reporter, the actress said: "I think she suffered from real depression, Margaret. I think her friends pretty much confirmed that.

"She had a total breakdown when her marriage went bust, and I think she took the sleeping pills. I don't think she particularly was thinking straight... What she wanted was the pain to stop because she was in such a dark place. It is shocking to know that, but I think it's a real admission of vulnerability. People who are that conspicuous are as vulnerable as anybody."

Feature Image: Netflix.

All three seasons of The Crown are streaming on Netflix now.

If you think you may be experiencing depression or another mental health problem, please contact your general practitioner. If you're based in Australia, please contact Lifeline 13 11 14 for support or beyondblue 1300 22 4636.

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