Princess Diaries: The Crown’s Vanessa Kirby Is A Woman You Should Meet

Vanessa Kirby is no stranger to period dramas. The 28-year-old British actress has made a name for herself disappearing into different time periods, from the heady days of 1950s broadcast news (The Hour) to Dickensian melodrama (Great Expectations) to the early days of Elizabeth II’s reign. Which she loves, mostly because each series is a learning opportunity.

“I’m learning new things all the time,” she says. “I’ve got shelves of books at home about the royal family now. People who didn’t know me might think my apartment belongs to some sort of granny.”

So what was the biggest takeaway from her latest role as the Queen’s misbehaving sister Margaret?

“She’s one of a kind, really,” she says. “And I have huge amounts of compassion and empathy for the family now.”