The Crown Season 5 Casts Lesley Manville as Princess Margaret

Lesley Manville will take the role of Princess Margaret over from Helena Bonham Carter for season five of The Crown.

By Chris Harnick Jul 02, 2020 1:19 PMTags
Princess Margaret, Lesley ManvilleKip Rano/Shutterstock, Fred Duval for Getty Images

The Crown has found its final Princess Margaret in Lesley Manville.

For the fifth and final season, Manville will take over the role of Queen Elizabeth II's sister from Helena Bonham Carter who took it over from Vanessa Kirby.

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. Furthermore, to play siblings with my dear friend Imelda Staunton will be nothing short of a complete joy," Manville said in a statement released by Netflix.

Manville was nominated for an Oscar for Phantom Thread. Her other credits include Harlots, Another Year and Maleficent.

Meet The Crown Seasons 3 and 4 Cast

For The Crown's fifth season, Imelda Staunton will be playing Queen Elizabeth. Claire Foy originated the role and Olivia Colman took it on for seasons three and four. The Netflix drama from Peter Morgan follows Queen Elizabeth's reign.

The fourth season has not yet aired, but is set to star Colman, Bonham Carter, Tobias Menzies as Prince Philip, Ben Daniels as Antony Armstrong-Jones, Josh O'Connor as Prince Charles, Erin Doherty as Princess Anne and Gillian Anderson as Margaret Thatcher.

Originally planned for six seasons, Netflix announced The Crown will end with season five. "I'm absolutely thrilled to confirm Imelda Staunton as Her Majesty The Queen for the fifth and final season, taking The Crown into the 21st Century. Imelda is an astonishing talent and will be a fantastic successor to Claire Foy and Olivia Colman," Morgan, creator, writer and executive producer, said in a statement. "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. I'm grateful to Netflix and Sony for supporting me in this decision."

Watch: "The Crown" Season 4 Will Tell the Story of Princess Diana

Season four will also introduce Princess Diana.

"The first three seasons of The Crown defined an era, and I know the upcoming fourth season will build further on that success. It's a stunning example of award-winning entertainment, created in the UK and loved by millions of fans around the world. I fully support Peter Morgan's creative decision and am excited to see how he, Imelda Staunton and the cast and crew of season five, bring this landmark series to a fitting and spectacular end," Cindy Holland, vice president of original content at Netflix, said in a statement.

Get more info on season four below.

The Cast

The season three cast, including Olivia Colman, Helena Bonham Carter, Tobias Menzies, Josh O'Connor and Erin Doherty, will all return for the fourth season.

The Premiere Date

Seasons three and four were shot back-to-back and season three premiered November 17, 2019 with season four still in production at the end of 2019. The series traditionally drops at the end of the year, so the next installment could be the end of 2020.

The Return of Claire Foy?

Claire Foy, the Emmy-winning star of seasons one and two, was spotted filming season four. It appears to be a recreation of Queen Elizabeth's 1947 radio broadcast from South Africa on her 21st birthday.

Princess Diana

Season four will introduce Princess Diana and feature her 1981 wedding to Prince Charles.

"I have been glued to the show and to think I'm now joining this incredibly talented acting family is surreal," Corrin said. "Princess Diana was an icon and her effect on the world remains profound and inspiring. To explore her through Peter Morgan's writing is the most exceptional opportunity and I will strive to do her justice!"


A New Side of Prince Charles

Expect to see a different side of this royal. "I don't want to give anything away, but I'll say that hopefully, people will feel sorry for Charles in season three, and then, maybe, we'll change that in season four," Josh O'Connor told Town and Country. "Certainly, it feels like there's a definite shift being told in season three. And all across four, there's definitely a different side to Charles that we're going to see."


Prince William

Born in 1982, Prince William will make his first appearance in the series in season four. Emma Corrin and Josh O'Connor play his parents, Princess Diana and Prince Charles.

Gillian Anderson as Margaret Thatcher

Gillian Anderson will make her The Crown debut as Margaret Thatcher, the prime minister from 1979-1990. 

"I am so excited to be joining the cast and crew of The Crown and to have the opportunity to portray such a complicated and controversial woman. Thatcher was undoubtedly formidable but I am relishing exploring beneath the surface and, dare I say, falling in love with the icon who, whether love or despise, defined an era," Anderson said.

The Time Period

Season three was set between 1964 and 1977, and with Gillian Anderson playing Margaret Thatcher, the introduction of Princess Diana and birth of Prince William, we know the show goes into the 1980s in season four. Thatcher was prime minister until 1990.

The Crown season four will likely premiere at the end of 2020.