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31 October 2019 00:36

"The less effort the better, which is very high-status," said Bonham Carter.

Female ageing and Hollywood historically have never been great allies, and yet Helena Bonham Carter says that her fifties has been the best period of her life. Despite her misconceptions, the 53-year-old actress says she's enjoying highs both personally and professionally. At yesterday's Harper's Bazaar Women of the Year Awards, she was crowned British Icon, an honour presented by Dominic West. "When I turned 50, I worried it was downhill all the way," she said in the December issue of Harper's Bazaar. "But it's been quite the opposite.

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Helena Bonham Carter: The joy of being in your 50s

I don't think I've ever been happier or more fulfilled. This huge blooming of television means character-driven stories, so there's a lot of choice and a lot of work. When I was young, you were considered 'older' over 30." Bonham Carter stars as Princess Margaret in season three of The Crown, a role that she researched extensively, not only reading numerous biographies but also interviewing the royal's friends and ladies-in-waiting. One of these, Lady Glenconner, told the actress that Margaret had been instructed that, as her job was to be seen by as many people as possible, that she should always move slowly. "The less effort the better, which is very high-status," said Bonham Carter. "And she always wore a corset because she felt vulnerable; it was her emotional armour - she said herself that her confidence was enamel thin." The December issue of Harper's Bazaar is out now.