Princess Margaret was the Queen of Shade.
Often rude, cantankerous, and certainly snooty, Margaret had the ultimate put-down when asked by a host if they wanted to see some new photographs of the family’s children. It was a moment that tickled actress Vanessa Kirby, who again plays Queen Elizabeth’s younger sister in The Crown, which begins streaming its second season on Netflix on Dec. 8.
“Margaret said, ‘Why on earth would I want to see that?’ It’s just perfect that she didn’t give a crap about someone else’s kids, but the fact that she always says what she means – amazing,” Kirby tells PEOPLE in this week’s issue.
“She is so unique, and wonderful and vivid and entirely herself,” adds Kirby, 29. “Somebody who is that vibrant, you can’t help but know you are going to have fun! I think the naughty ones and the underdogs are always the best people to play and to watch.”
For much more on The Crown, pick up this week’s issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday
After her doomed romance with first love Group Capt. Peter Townsend ended in season one (his previous marriage was frowned upon by both Elizabeth and the Church of England), Margaret now has a new love interest: society photographer Tony Armstrong-Jones, played by Downton Abbey‘s Matthew Goode.
“It always rang true that if you waited for somebody for that long, especially when you could have had many different people and marriage was that important to you, I can’t imagine that it wouldn’t hurt forever really,” says Kirby.
“And then [Townsend] married someone else who was 18 and very beautiful and it must really hurt. Plus, they had a pact not to remarry, and he does. So what does she go and do? Goes and does it herself!”
Mindful that Margaret was banned from marrying divorce Townsend, Kirby sees that Prince Harry is lucky he didn’t face the same obstacles with Meghan Markle that curtailed Margaret’s path to happiness. “The Peter Townsend story was the event of the century, front-page news of a nation gripped by it all, and the tragedy that Harry doesn’t have today.”