The Crown star Lesley Manville almost met her character Princess Margaret

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Illness meant the actress had to turn down the chance to spend an evening as a guest of the Queen’s late sister at her house on Mustique. Asked on Radio 4 if she had prepared for her Netflix role by visiting the Caribbean island, Lesley, 65, said: “I have actually been to Mustique a very long time ago and I missed meeting Princess Margaret by one night.

“I had mastitis and I had to fly home… and apparently that night she was playing the drums. I mean, really…” she said.

Lesley, who was in Channel 4’s I Am Maria last night, has begun filming for the fifth and sixth series of The Crown, taking over from Vanessa Kirby and Helena Bonham Carter.

She said: “I’ve read all the books. Then you start to listen to [Margaret] in the more recent history, which is when I will be playing her.” The fifth series covers the Royals’ stormy 1990s.

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