The Crown series five: Lesley Manville cast as Princess Margaret

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The Crown series five: Lesley Manville cast as Princess Margaret

Lesley Manville has been cast as Princess Margaret in The Crown.The actress, 64, is slated to be taking the reins from current star Helena Bonham C

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Lesley Manville has been cast as Princess Margaret in The Crown.

The actress, 64, is slated to be taking the reins from current star Helena Bonham Carter for the fifth and final series of the Netflix hit, according to The Sun.

The star, who is believed to have been producers first choice for the role, is set to play the Queen’s younger sister during one of the ‘darkest periods of her life’.

Congrats! Lesley Manville has reportedly been cast as Princess Margaret in The Crown

Congrats! Lesley Manville has reportedly been cast as Princess Margaret in The Crown

A source told the publication: ‘Lesley is hugely respected by the creators of The Crown and was their first choice to play Princess Margaret this time.

‘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.

Portrayal: The star, who is believed to have been producers first choice for the role, is set to play the Queen's younger sister during one of the 'darkest periods of her life' (pictured 1995)

Portrayal: The star, who is believed to have been producers first choice for the role, is set to play the Queen’s younger sister during one of the ‘darkest periods of her life’ (pictured 1995)

Taking over: The actress, 64, is slated to take the reins from current star Helena Bonham Carter for the fifth and final series of the Netflix hit, according to The Sun

Taking over: The actress, 64, is slated to take the reins from current star Helena Bonham Carter for the fifth and final series of the Netflix hit, according to The Sun

MailOnline have contacted representatives for further comment. 

The insider revealed that several A-list actors are currently in the running to be signed for the fifth series, but only Lesley and Imelda Staunton have signed so far.

Lesley, who recently played the lead in BBC sitcom Mum, has previously starred in Vera Drake and Maleficent alongside Imelda.

The role of Princess Margaret was first taken on by Vanessa Kirby, who portrayed the Royal in her twenties during her love affair with Peter Townsend.

Lined up: The insider revealed that several A-list actors are currently in the running to be signed for the fifth series, but only Lesley and Imelda Staunton have signed so far (pictured in February 2020)

Lined up: The insider revealed that several A-list actors are currently in the running to be signed for the fifth series, but only Lesley and Imelda Staunton have signed so far (pictured in February 2020)

Starring roles: Lesley, who recently played the lead in BBC sitcom Mum, has previously starred in Vera Drake and Maleficent alongside Imelda

Starring roles: Lesley, who recently played the lead in BBC sitcom Mum, has previously starred in Vera Drake and Maleficent alongside Imelda

It is believed that the final instalment of the royal drama will pick up in the 1990s when Princess Margaret was 60. 

Helena, who has won critical acclaim for her characterisation Princess Margaret, recently admitted bosses thought she was ‘insulting’ them when she didn’t immediately agree to the part.

Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, she said: ‘With Margaret, I was very conscious that I was inheriting a hit. I was conscious that Vanessa [Kirby] had just won a BAFTA. At the beginning, the first two weeks, everyone was terrified. Then you relax.

Apprehensive: Helena admitted The Crown bosses thought she was 'insulting' them when she didn't immediately agree to play Princess Margaret

Apprehensive: Helena admitted The Crown bosses thought she was ‘insulting’ them when she didn’t immediately agree to play Princess Margaret

Big shoes to fill: Helena admitted she was apprehensive about taking on the role of Princess Margaret following Vanessa's inspiring performance

Big shoes to fill: Helena admitted she was apprehensive about taking on the role of Princess Margaret following Vanessa’s inspiring performance

‘But the other thing was I have to see a script and have to respond to the words. People were shocked that I wouldn’t just take it.

‘I think [creator Peter] Morgan thought I was insulting them, and I wasn’t. I just needed to know whether I could do it.’

However, Helena agreed to do the show after she was sent the script for the last episode of the series where she felt she ‘connected’ with Margaret.

The film star added that she took so long to say yes, not because of a lack of faith in the project, but because of a lack of faith in herself. 

Helena has thrown herself wholeheartedly into the series and said she goes to ‘extreme’ lengths in order to get into character. 

Unsure: The actress plays the royal in series three and four of the hit Netflix drama but she was initially apprehensive about taking on the part

Unsure: The actress plays the royal in series three and four of the hit Netflix drama but she was initially apprehensive about taking on the part 

Helena said: 'I was conscious that Vanessa [Kirby] had just won a BAFTA. At the beginning, the first two weeks, everyone was terrified. Then you relax'

Helena said: ‘I was conscious that Vanessa [Kirby] had just won a BAFTA. At the beginning, the first two weeks, everyone was terrified. Then you relax’

Role: The film star added that she took so long to say yes, not because of a lack of faith in the project, but because of a lack of faith in herself

Role: The film star added that she took so long to say yes, not because of a lack of faith in the project, but because of a lack of faith in herself 

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