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Lesley Manville 'always thought' she would be offered to play Queen Elizabeth II in 'The Crown'

Lesley Manville is starring as Princess Margaret, one of the world's most famous socialites, famed for her glamorous lifestyle and reputed romances
Lesley Manville as Princess Margaret in the upcoming season of Netflix's 'The Crown' (IMDb)
Lesley Manville as Princess Margaret in the upcoming season of Netflix's 'The Crown' (IMDb)

Lesley Manville is all set to star as one of the world's most celebrated socialites, famed for her glamorous lifestyle and reputed romances, Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowdon. The BAFTA-nominated actress, Lesley Manville has been seen starring in many fictional classic live-action movies like-  'A Christmas Carol' (2009), 'Maleficent' (2014), and 'Maleficent: Mistress of Evil' (2019). Before resuming acting in 2022, Manville was seen playing the villainous and intimidating matriarch of an 'off the grid' family in the neo-western thriller 'Let Him Go' opposite Diane Lane and Kevin Costner in 2020.

In 2022, Manville starred in the Anthony Horowitz murder mystery series, 'Magpie Murders,' alongside Daniel Mays, Alexandros Logothetis, Jude Hill, and Claire Rushbrook. Manville also played the role of the titular character in 'Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris.' However, for her upcoming Netflix featuring series which is also one of the highly anticipated series for the year, Manville had a small confusion when the series creator Peter Morgan asked to meet with her regarding her casting.


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During a recent interview with The Times, Manville told the outlet that she never thought of herself as a Margaret. Her immediate thought was she would be the final Queen of the series. The 'Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris' star went on to explain that she initially was unsure whether she could play the part of Princess Margaret - who was known for her lifestyle of partying and having a string of reputed romances - because she doesn't see herself as glamorous but was offered the part on the spot.

She said, "My agent said, ‘He wants to talk to you about playing Margaret.’ I thought, ‘Hang on a minute. Margaret? I can’t do Margaret.’ Because in my head I saw Margaret as young and glamorous when Vanessa [Kirby, of series one and two] played her, and glamorous and still quite young, but a bit older, when Helena [Bonham Carter, of series three and four] played her. I don’t see myself in that way, which is a problem with my own self-image. As soon as she said it, something in me was really chuffed that they thought of me as Margaret. So then I thought, ‘God, Margaret, Margaret, Margaret! OK. All right. They think I could be Margaret. Let’s go and meet Peter Morgan and see."

"Peter and I sat and chatted about it, the whole thing, and I remember Peter said to me, ‘Oh, you look younger than I thought you would look.’ And I immediately thought, ‘Well, that’s it. That’s blown it. I’m not going to get it now.’ But they said to me, there and then, ‘You know, it’s yours. Will you do it?’ No messing about. I said yes, of course."

However, one of the most famous love tales of Princess Margaret is when she reportedly fell in love in the early 1950s with Peter Townsend, a married RAF officer in the royal household. In 1952, her father died, her sister became queen and Townsend divorced his wife. He proposed to Margaret early in the following year but Margaret abandoned her plans with Townsend and married Antony Armstrong-Jones in 1960; before divorcing in 1978.

It is said that Margaret was a controversial member of the British royal family, as per reports. Her divorce received much negative publicity, and her private life was for many years the subject of speculation by media and royal watchers. She was reportedly a heavy smoker for most of her adult life as Manville will be seen enacting it in the upcoming two seasons of 'The Crown.'

Stream 'The Crown' Season 5 on November 9, 2022, only on Netflix.