But certain moments called for the utmost trust in each other—and in the show itself.
Part one of The Crown‘s sixth season covers the 1997 death of Princess Diana in a car crash, an infamously precarious moment for the royal family after the queen initially assumed the public would expect her to be her usual reserved self—a rare miscalculation during her 70 years on the throne.
The whole cast knew going in that getting the depiction of those events right would be the trickiest of dances, and Morgan has said that he might have written around the tragedy if he hadn’t been able to get Elizabeth Debicki to play Diana, having envisioned the elegant Australian actress in the part of the ’90s-era Princess of Wales.
In the scene where the queen and Philip are first told about the accident in the middle of the night, “my instinct as an actor was to do as little as possible and absorb that information,” Pryce recalled. “I want the audience to make up their own minds about what I’m thinking.”
Plus, he added, “It would be more honest, because I know it was such a personal moment. I didn’t want to get it wrong somehow.”
And as someone who remembers all too well what it was like when Diana died 26 years ago, Pryce predicted that watching it unfold on The Crown would be “a shared emotional moment” for the audience, as it was for those on set when they filmed it.
“Because so many of us, in Britain anyway, had a huge reaction at the time,” he noted. “Even people like me, who didn’t think they would cry at the death of a member of the royal family.”
Part 1 of The Crown‘s sixth and final season is streaming on Netflix. Part 2 premieres Dec. 14.
Read on to see the stars vs. the real people they’re playing: