Lesley Manville admits she feels “pressure” taking over as Princess Margaret on The Crown

The Maleficent star has revealed how she's been preparing for the upcoming role of Princess Margaret in The Crown's fifth season.

Lesley Manville

Academy Award-nominee Lesley Manville has opened up about the “pressure” of playing Princess Margaret in The Crown‘s fifth series following Vanessa Kirby and Helen Bonham Carter’s performances in the role.


The Talking Heads star told Variety: “Of course I feel pressure! No pressure? All the pressure in the world,” she said.

“Everyone loves comparing, don’t they? ‘Oh no, she’s not as good as Helena. no well, she’s not as good as Vanessa.’ I think every time a new series begins, you have to go, ‘Oh OK, so that’s the face now of the queen, is it? OK, that the face of Margaret.’ And I think you very quickly do that.

“We all know about…the pomp and the pageantry and this malarky and the monarchy and dressing up and having to do all the stuff they endlessly have to do, the face that they have to wear,” she added.

“But the brilliant thing about The Crown is that so much of it is about the face that they don’t have to wear, and that’s why it’s so interesting,” she continued. “It is phenomenally well shot. Look at the casting for the final two seasons. It’s well-beaten.”

Netflix confirmed back in July that Manville would be portraying Princess Margaret across the final decade of her life in series five and six of The Crown, alongside Imelda Staunton (Queen Elizabeth II) and Jonathan Pryce (Prince Philip).

The star of sitcom Mum recently revealed that she’d already been preparing for the coveted role, telling Vanity Fair that she was “reading all the books” and rewatching the Netflix series.

“I’m now rewatching The Crown because, ultimately, yes I’ll read the books, yes I’ll listen to Margaret talking, yes I’ll look at endless footage of her,” she said. “But at the end of the day, I have to look at what Vanessa did, look at what Helena has done, and pick up the baton of those two great actresses and carry on being that Margaret.”

Season five of The Crown won’t be airing until 2022, with the show reportedly taking a production hiatus before its final cast change.


Season 4 of The Crown arrives on Netflix on 15th November. Looking for something else to watch? Check out our guide to the best series on Netflix and best movies on Netflix, visit our TV Guide, or find out about upcoming new TV shows 2020.