We're mere days away from the release of The Crown season 5 and getting to see the new cast in action, including Imelda Staunton as the Queen, Jonathan Pryce as Prince Philip and Lesley Manville as Princess Margaret.


In season 5, Margaret is set to come face to face again with her old flame Peter Townsend, who Elizabeth forbade her from marrying in season 1 of the Netflix series where he was played by Ben Miles.

Townsend is played by former James Bond star Timothy Dalton in the new season, and Manville has now explained why she thinks audiences will find there to be "something quite delicious" about the casting.

Manville said: "I had met Timothy a few times over the years, just socially, and when I knew they were going to have a Peter Townsend, I did actually suggest him so I’m really pleased that came to fruition."

Lesley Manville as Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowdon in The Crown season 5
Lesley Manville as Princess Margaret in The Crown season 5. Netflix/Keith Bernstein

Manville continued: "He was quite a bit older than Margaret. He was 16 years older. So, you’re looking for somebody in their 70s who is still looking dashing, and I just thought he ticked the box absolutely. He came over from LA, and he kept saying to me, 'I’m only doing this because of you.' It's nice, because we’re friends now, we phone each other up.

"But I felt this enormous pressure to make it a nice time for him. Luckily, he had a lovely time. He could have done without the dancing, and I’m saying no more on that! As it happens, he did it beautifully in the end and it looks marvellous. He was really lovely to work with."

The actress added: "I know this is a naughty thing to say, but there’s something quite delicious about the audience thinking that Margaret’s ex-lover was once James Bond. You can’t help but think that, because Timothy is so linked to that role, and he’s very happy to be linked to that role. It’s very Margaret, isn’t it, to be dancing with James Bond? She’d have loved it."

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Manville previously said that she thought Dalton was "spot-on" as Townsend, while she also explained earlier this year why The Crown is such a "fantastic series to work on".

She said: "Every department is people at their best – costumes, hair and make-up, writing, directors, actors. It's a fantastic series to be involved in."

The Crown season 5 will be released on Netflix on Wednesday 9th November 2022, while seasons 1-4 are available now. Sign up for Netflix from £6.99 a month. Netflix is also available on Sky Glass and Virgin Media Stream.

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