Claire Foy was paid less than Matt Smith for The Crown

Claire Foy was paid less than Matt Smith for The Crown

The revelation came during a panel discussion about the series at the INTV Conference in Jerusalem on Tuesday, when The Crown producers Suzanne Mackie and Andy Harries were asked whether series star Claire Foy was paid more than co-star Matt Smith, who played Queen Elizabeth's husband Prince Philip.

Even Queen Elizabeth herself, the human embodiment of poise and restraint, would likely find herself angry to discover that the actress who plays her on Netflix's The Crown earned less than her male counterpart during the first two seasons of the critically-acclaimed period drama.

Producers Suzanne Mackie and Andy Harries acknowledged to United States news outlet Variety that Smith's previous starring role in Doctor Who meant he was paid more than Foy - who had appeared in a number of smaller British dramas including the BBC's Wolf Hall prior to The Crown.

When The Crown premiered in 2016, Smith was the more recognizable star thanks to his 2010-2013 tenure as the 11th Doctor on Doctor Who. "Broadchurch" alum Olivia Coleman will play the queen, and Smith's replacement has yet to be named.

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This kind of embarrassing pay discrepancy won't happen again, producer Suzanne Mackie assured the panel audience: "Going forward, no one gets paid more than the Queen".

To be fair, Smith also received many award nominations for his work on the show, though it wasn't as resonant a performance as it was for Foy.

Foy, 33, won't reap the benefits of the show's new policy, however, as "The Crown" has re-cast the roles of the royal family for seasons three and four. Foy's salary for her two-season run was only $40,000 an episode.

Netflix's The Crown may be one of the most expensive series ever made, but whoever crafted the budget clearly wasn't thinking about the optics of paying the queen less than her male co-star. "It's daunting but exciting and I hope it'll keep the series fresh and really of interest to people".

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