When Netflix debuted The Crown in 2016, fans figured that the royal affair could go on forever since the series followed the lives of the British royal family. However, all good things must come to an end, and the show's' fifth season will be its very last — but not before dabbling into the current events of The Firm. The final chapter of The Crown will be set in the here and now, and British star Leslie Manville has been scouted to join the royals.
Manville has been confirmed for the role of Princess Margaret, the younger sister of Queen Elizabeth II and the Countess of Snowdon, in the upcoming fifth season. The part was initially played by Vanessa Kirby for the first two seasons, and Helen Bonham Carter replaced her for season three.
The character of Princess Margaret has provided some of The Crown's most interesting storylines. As the story unfolded over the years, we watched the consequences of standing in her sister's shadow manifest in heartache, disappointment, and disdain. Manville's take as the royal will likely touch on her final years, which were marked by controversies related to her love life and her failing health. The princess suffered several strokes before passing away in 2002.
Netflix announced that Manville will be portraying the controversial figure in last years of her life alongside Imelda Staunton, who will play the Queen. The 64-year-old theatre-trained actress is the perfect fit for the role, having amassed a devoted following in her years onstage and onscreen. In addition to starring in acclaimed stage productions for the Royal Shakespeare Company's Warehouse and the National theatre, Manville has also dominated British television and film for decades. Her most recent role in the period drama Phantom Thread — with Daniel Day-Lewis and Vicky Krieps — earned her a BAFTA award as well and an Oscar nod.
“The baton is being passed from two formidable actresses, and I really don’t want to let the side down," said Manville in an official statement about her casting on The Crown. "To pay siblings with my dear friend Imelda Staunton will be nothing short of a complete joy."
We're a ways off from seeing exactly how Manville plays into this royal story, but you can always follow Princess Margaret's timeline by checking out our helpful Binge Club of The Crown's third season. You're going to need the refresher by the time season five finally drops.