The actor stars as the late Prince Philip in seasons five and six of Netflix’s royal drama, which came to an end earlier this month as the second half of season six arrived on the streamer.
Before he was cast in The Crown, Pryce met many members of the royal family. He received a CBE in 2009, and was knighted by Princess Anne in 2021.
In a new interview with Times Radio, however, the 76-year-old revealed that he took the opportunity to apologise to the royal for playing her father on the show.
“When I was made a knight and went to Windsor, and it was Princess Anne who dubbed me, and I was in the middle of playing her father, there’d been intimations that she’d seen some of it,” Pryce recalled.
“And so she put the sword lightly on the shoulder, and I stood up and I said – thinking she was thinking, you know – I said, ‘Oh, I don’t know what to say to you… um… sorry?’ And she said, ‘Why? It’s done now.’”
Pryce added: “Now, whether she meant I was saying sorry for being here tonight, or sorry for, y’know, you’ve played my father and it’s done the way you’ve done it, whatever. It was quite an amusing moment, for me at least.”
The Game of Thrones star said that while he didn’t know if any of the royals had officially seen The Crown, “one of our cast met one of the royal family who intimated that they watched it”.
While few royals have not commented on the show, palace officials released a statement in 2019 making it clear that the royal family has nothing to do with how its members are portrayed in the series.
In an interview, Olivia Colman – who was the second actor to portray Queen Elizabeth II, recalled a somewhat awkward encounter with Prince William just after her casting was announced.
“I met Prince William at a dinner and he asked what I was doing at the moment before he quickly added, ‘Actually, I know what you’re doing,’” she said. “I was so excited and asked, ‘Have you watched it?’ His answer was a firm, ‘No.’ But he was very charming and very lovely.”
Pryce isn’t the only member of The Crown’s final cast to receive royal honours. His co-stars Imelda Staunton and Lesley Manville both received CBEs before they appeared on the show.
One cast member convinced he’s unlikely to be the recipient of an honour, however, is Dominic West. The Wire star, who plays the then-Prince Charles opposite Pryce in seasons five and six, admitted this week that he knew taking on the role would mean “having to forgo the British Empire Medal that I might have got for services to acting”.
West explained that he’d met Charles before being cast as the royal, saying: “I have. I’ve done a bit of stuff for the Prince’s Trust so I’ve stood in line and shook his hand a couple of times, so not particularly intimate.”
However, West said that after taking on the role, “those invitations dried up”.
Despite this, the 53-year-old said that he was drawn to the role of Charles because it was such a challenge.
“Someone like me can’t turn down a part like Charles. He’s so interesting. He’s so complex,” he said. “I did agonise for a while about it, but my wife tells me the result was always inevitable.”
The Crown is on Netflix now.