Oscar-nominated actress Lesley Manville has been cast as Princess Margaret in the fifth and final season of The Crown, the streaming giant confirmed Thursday morning. Manville will take over the role from Helena Bonham Carter, who took over for Vanessa Kirby, who portrayed the princess in Seasons 1 and 2 and will join Imelda Staunton, who will take on the final version of Queen Elizabeth.
In a quote published on The Crown's Twitter account, Manville said that she "could not be happier" to be joining the cast of the popular historical drama. She added that she is taking over for "two formidable actresses and I really don't want to let the side down." Manville also expressed her excitement at co-starring with Staunton, stating, "to play siblings with my dear friend Imelda Staunton will be nothing short of a complete joy."
Lesley Manville will play Princess Margaret in the fifth season of The Crown. pic.twitter.com/R5aZEBOW0t— The Crown (@TheCrownNetflix) July 2, 2020
At this time, details of the fifth season remain unclear, though it will continue the trend of covering a decade of the Queen's reign over a number of episodes. The series had been given a Season 5 renewal in January of this year, with showrunner Peter Morgan stating that while he had initially planned for the series to run for a total of six seasons, it became clear as production on Season 4 began "that this is the perfect time and place to stop." Season 5 is expected to begin filming next year. Season 4 is expected to debut later this year. It had managed to wrap filming just before coronavirus-related shutdowns, which had forced a halt on a number of productions, including multiple Netflix original series and films. According to reports at the time, those working on The Crown had opted to speed up production, which was already nearing an end, when the shutdowns began so that it could be released in a timelier manner.
Premiering on the streaming platform in November of 2016, The Crown tells the story of Queen Elizabeth's reign. Due to the nature of the series, with each season covering a full decade, the series features a revolving cast, with actors being switched out every two seasons.
The Crown won three Golden Globes, including Best Television Series - Drama in 2017. Claire Foy, who played Elizabeth in the first two seasons, won a Golden Globe in 2017, while Colman picked up the show's third earlier this year. The series also won five Emmys in 2018, including Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series for Foy and Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series for Stephen Daldry.
The first three seasons of The Crown are available for streaming on Netflix. Season 4 does not yet have a release date, though it is expected to air sometime in 2020. Stay tuned to PopCulture.com for the latest information.