Lesley Manville cast as Princess Margaret in final season of 'The Crown'

Tom Beasley
·Contributor
·2-min read
Lesley Manville attends a career retrospective conversation at SAG-AFTRA Foundation on February 18, 2020. (Photo by Noam Galai/Getty Images)
Lesley Manville attends a career retrospective conversation at SAG-AFTRA Foundation on February 18, 2020. (Photo by Noam Galai/Getty Images)

Lesley Manville will take over from Helena Bonham Carter in the role of Princess Margaret for the fifth and final season of The Crown on Netflix.

Oscar nominee Manville will portray the Queen’s sister in the show’s climactic run, with Imelda Staunton due to take over the lead role from Olivia Colman.

Read more: Helena Bonham Carter reveals royal sleepover at Windsor

In a statement, Manville said she “could not be happier” to be playing Princess Margaret.

The 64-year-old added: “The baton is being passed on from two formidable actresses and I really don’t want to let the side down.

“Furthermore, to play siblings with my dear friend Imelda Staunton will be nothing short of a complete joy.”

Bonham Carter played Margaret in the third season of The Crown and will reprise the role in the fourth season alongside Colman’s Queen.

Read more: Bonham Carter reveals Margaret advice she received via psychic

She took over the royal role from Vanessa Kirby, who played the Margaret to Claire Foy’s take on the Queen in the first two seasons.

Princess Margaret and Prince Charles watch the Queen Mother during her 90th birthday tribute in London. (Photo by PA Images via Getty Images)
Princess Margaret and Prince Charles watch the Queen Mother during her 90th birthday tribute in London. (Photo by PA Images via Getty Images)

Manville has recently been seen in drama Ordinary Love, Miss World comedy Misbehaviour and Paul Thomas Anderson’s beguiling Phantom Thread, for which she received her first Oscar nomination.

Read more: Keira Knightley says Misbehaviour “felt like a conversation”

The fifth season of The Crown is expected to take the show into the 21st century, with Margaret’s death in 2002 likely to be covered.

It has been announced, however, that current royal events and controversies are unlikely to feature.

Helena Bonham Carter as Princess Margaret in the third season of 'The Crown'. (Credit: Netflix/Sophie Mutevelian)
Helena Bonham Carter as Princess Margaret in the third season of 'The Crown'. (Credit: Netflix/Sophie Mutevelian)

Filming had reportedly been 99% completed on season four prior to the coronavirus-enforced shutdown of production, with stars reportedly sending additional dialogue work to producers via their smartphones.

The show also received several nominations for the BAFTA Television Awards last month, including for Bonham Carter as Best Supporting Actress.

Read more: 2021 awards ceremonies postponed

The release date for the fourth season of The Crown has not yet been announced, but it is expected to air on Netflix in November or December.