Lesley Manville will join The Crown season 5 as Princess Margaret

Lesley Manville The Crown
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Helena Bonham Carter will leave the role next season.

The Crown has cast Mum (opens in new tab) star Lesley Manville as the Queen's sister.

She will be taking over from Helena Bonham Carter, who is currently in the role for seasons 3 and 4.

Lesley Manville as Cathy in Mum

Lesley Manville as Cathy in hit BBC2 comedy Mum (Image credit: BBC/Big Talk Productions/Mark Jo)

Lesley's version of Princess Margaret will continue into the 1980s for the fifth and final season.

This exciting news was announced on Twitter, with The Crown's official account sharing a statement.

They wrote, "Lesley Manville will play Princess Margaret in the fifth season of The Crown."

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Lesley said, "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."

The Crown has changed cast members to reflect the passing of time, with each key role being "aged up".

Queen Elizabeth was first played by Claire Foy, where we saw her marriage, coronation, and key events from early in her reign.

The baton was passed to Olivia Colman (opens in new tab), who played the Queen as she experienced events such as the 1969 moon landing and the Aberfan disaster.

As for Princess Margaret, Lesley will be taking over from Vanessa Kirby and Helena Bonham Carter.

Lesley won't be on our screens until season 5, which hasn't yet filmed as a result of COVID-19.

Season 4 is expected to arrive at the end of the year, but a release date has not been confirmed.

However, we do know that there's some fantastic additions to the cast.

The X-Files star Gillian Anderson will join as the UK's first female Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher.

And Emma Corrin will take on the role of Princess Diana.

The Crown seasons 1 - 3 are available on Netflix.

Lucy Buglass
Senior Staff Writer

Lucy joined the WhatToWatch.com team in 2021, where she writes series guides for must-watch programmes, reviews and the latest TV news. Originally from Northumberland, she graduated from Oxford Brookes University with a degree in Film Studies and moved to London to begin a career writing about entertainment.


She is a Rotten Tomatoes approved film critic and has a huge passion for cinema. She especially loves horror, thriller and anything crime-related. Her favourite TV programmes include Inside No 9, American Horror Story, Stranger Things and Black Mirror but she is also partial to a quiz show or a bit of Say Yes to the Dress