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

Lesley Manville cast as Princess Margaret in final season of The Crown
© Reuters
Lesley Manville is cast as The Queen's sister Princess Margaret in the final season of The Crown.

Phantom Thread actress Lesley Manville has joined the cast of The Crown for its fifth and final season.

The 64-year-old will replace Helena Bonham Carter as Princess Margaret in the epic Netflix drama, which charts the life of The Queen, England and the UK's longest-serving monarch.

The fourth season is expected to be released later this year and will be set in the 1980s, during the premiership of Margaret Thatcher, while the fifth season will follow The Queen's reign into the early 21st Century.

"Lesley is hugely respected by the creators of The Crown and was their first choice to play Princess Margaret this time," a source told The Sun.

"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.

"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.

"Although several big names are in the frame, producers have only signed up Lesley and Imelda Staunton, who will play the Queen."

The drama was originally intended to run for six seasons but for reasons unknown has been curtailed at five and will stop at some point in the early noughties.

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