Lesley Manville to play Princess Margaret in final season of The Crown – report

Lesley Manville has reportedly been cast to play Princess Margaret in the final season of hit series The Crown.

The 64-year-old actress will reportedly replace Helena Bonham Carter as the Queen’s sister on the fifth season of the show, while Imelda Staunton has already been confirmed to play Queen Elizabeth II, picking up the royal role from Olivia Colman.

“Lesley is hugely respected by the creators of The Crown and was their first choice to play Princess Margaret this time,” a TV insider told Britain’s The Sun newspaper. “They wanted a star who could tackle the difficult role of a royal entering one of the darkest periods of her life, when the Windsors faced endless scandals and she was dogged by ill health.

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“That’s why Lesley was one of the first actors they approached to join the new cast, and remains one of the few who has fully committed to The Crown.”

The younger Princess Margaret was portrayed by Vanessa Kirby in series one and two, while the younger Elizabeth was portrayed by Claire Foy.

Manville and Staunton are old acting colleagues, having appeared alongside each other in Vera Drake and the Maleficent films for Disney, while Manville has also won acclaim for her recent roles in Phantom Thread and Hampstead and TV show Mum.

The Crown’s fourth season is expected to air on Netflix later this year, but there’s no fixed production start date or release for season five.

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