Casting News: Lesley Manville to Play Princess Margaret in Final Season of 'The Crown'

It's official: Lesley Manville has joined The Crown to portray Princess Margaret in the show's fifth and final season.

Following British newspaper reports overnight, the Netflix period drama confirmed the casting on Twitter today (July 2). Manville will play Margaret, Queen Elizabeth II's younger sister, opposite Imelda Staunton as the long-reigning British monarch.

She follows in the footsteps of Vanessa Kirby, who played Margaret in the show's first two seasons, and Helena Bonham Carter, who's taken over the role for seasons three and four.

"I could not be happier to be playing Princess Margaret," Manville said in a statement. "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."

Joining The Crown adds to a real purple patch for 64-year-old Manville, who was Oscar nominated for her performance opposite Daniel Day-Lewis in 2017's Phantom Thread and received BAFTA TV Award nominations in 2017 and 2019 for her work in the sitcom Mum.

During an interview with Anglophenia earlier this year, Manville discussed the way that people are now starting to refer to her as a "beloved British actress."

"Well, that’s nice. It’s not a horrible thing so I’ll take it!" she said. "I don’t walk around saying that myself, but it is something that nice people I do interviews with sometimes say to me now. But you know, I still go to [U.K. grocery chain] Morrison’s. Listen, I think it’s partly because I’ve been doing this for such a long time and I’m still being given all these wonderful choices and such a variety of roles."

The Crown's creator Peter Morgan confirmed in January that season five will be the show's last, telling Variety that the final episodes will take Queen Elizabeth into the early years of the 21st century. Manville is the second actor to be confirmed for season five following Staunton, who will take over from Claire Foy and Olivia Colman in the "top job."

Princess Margaret, who was at one point second in line to the British throne after her sister, suffered from poor health in the latter years of her life. She passed away in February 2002 at the age of 71 following a series of strokes.

Are you looking forward to seeing Lesley Manville as Princess Margaret?