"I can only repeat what I have always said," series creator Peter Morgan told the New York Times ahead of the release of the Emmy-winning series' final six episodes Dec. 14. "Some of it is necessarily fiction. But I try to make everything truthful even if you can't know if it's accurate."
And taking creative license isn't the same as getting it wrong.
"These are not inaccuracies," the show's head of research Annie Sulzberger told Variety of the devices Morgan has used to unpeel the royal onion in a believable but entertaining fashion. "They were decisions to deviate from history."
And Morgan, who wrote all 60 episodes of The Crown, had to read between the lines of history especially closely to get at the heart of the events covered in season six, so much of it news that the world was fully aware of but yet could only know so much about.
There are the obviously fantastical scenes, such as when Prince Charles (Dominic West) and Queen Elizabeth II (Imelda Staunton) have conversations with Princess Diana (Elizabeth Debicki) after her death, or when Mohamed Al-Fayed (Salim Daw) converses with his late son Dodi Fayed (Khalid Abdalla).
So, there's lots of communing with ghosts as the series comes to an end.
But ever since The Crown kicked off with still-Princess Elizabeth getting ready to marry Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark in 1947, what's been most fascinating is how much of the action is true—Diana roller-skating through the halls of Buckingham Palace, anyone?—or inspired by true events.
So when The Crown ponders what might have happened—Dodi and Diana's tender final moments together, Kate Middleton (Meg Bellamy) texting Prince William (Ed McVey) to urge him to stay at university, young Elizabeth cutting loose on VE Day in 1945—the historically accurate context makes those parts all the more believable.
With the entirety of The Crown now streaming on Netflix, here's a guide to the facts and the fiction that unfolds in season six: