Lesley Manville will star opposite Imelda Staunton, who will play Queen Elizabeth in season 5

By Georgia Slater
July 02, 2020 09:00 AM
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The Crown has found their next Princess Margaret.

On Thursday, the Netflix series announced that Lesley Manville will star as Princess Margaret, Queen Elizabeth II's younger sister, in the fifth and final season of the show.

The Oscar-nominated actress will take over from Helena Bonham-Carter, who played the role in season 3 and the upcoming season 4, and Vanessa Kirby from seasons 1 and 2.

"I could not be happier to be playing Princess Margaret. The baton is being passed on from two formidable actresses and I really don't want to let the side down," Manville, 64, said in a quote shared on The Crown's Twitter account.

"Furthermore, to play siblings with my dear friend Imelda Staunton will be nothing short of a complete joy," the actress added.

Manville is best known for her work in Phantom Thread in 2017, for which she scored a Best Supporting Actress Oscar nomination, and her role as the lead in the BBC comedy Mum.

In January, the series announced that they also cast their final Queen Elizabeth — Imelda Staunton will succeed Claire Foy (seasons 1 and 2) and Olivia Colman (seasons 3 and 4) in the royal role.

Sophie Mutevelian/Netflix

“At the outset I had imagined The Crown running for six seasons but now that we have begun work on the stories for season five it has become clear to me that this is the perfect time and place to stop,” said creator Peter Morgan of ending the show after five seasons. “I’m grateful to Netflix and Sony for supporting me in this decision.”

The award-winning series finished filming its fourth season early, despite the coronavirus pandemic, Entertainment Weekly reported in March.

Colman will return as Queen Elizabeth in season 4, along with Tobias Menzies as Prince Philip, Carter as Princess Margaret, Erin Doherty as Princess Anne and Josh O’Connor as Prince Charles. The upcoming season will also introduce newcomer Emma Corrin, who plays Princess Diana.

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Though an official release date has not yet been revealed — only that the fourth season will premiere this year — there are rumors that it will drop in November or December.

Although Meghan Markle and Prince Harry‘s exit from royal life and the scandal surrounding Prince Andrew’s friendship with Jeffrey Epstein have dominated headlines in recent months, the storylines will not make it to The Crown — and it was never the intention to cover the royal family up to the modern era.