Claire Foy was paid less than Matt Smith for 'The Crown'

The Crown- SD11-Episode 208 Scenes 36 & 37

Matt Smith's portrayal of a young Duke of Edinburgh earned him more than Foy's Golden Globe-winning performance as Queen Elizabeth in the Netflix drama.

The creators of The Crown have admitted Claire Foy - who portrays the Queen - was paid less than her male counterpart. Foy was mostly unknown when she was cast and became a breakout actress because of the show's success. They cited Smith's previous starring role in Doctor Who as justification for the higher rate, but apparently didn't specify the actors' actual salaries.

While The Crown's first two seasons featured a pay gap between Foy and Smith, Mackie assured the audience at INTV that the gap would no longer be in effect as the show moves into Season 3. Foy and Smith will be replaced in upcoming seasons of The Crown as it follows the lives of Queen Elizabeth and the royal family chronologically.

There has been no official confirmation yet about who will be playing Prince Phillip, who has been played by Matt Smith for the last two seasons.

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"Going forward, no one gets paid more than the Queen", said Suzanne Mackie, one of the show's British producers, in comments reported by Variety. For his role, Smith was nominated at the SAG awards in 2017, and has previously been nominated for a BAFTA for his role as "Doctor Who".

According to Variety, Elisabeth Moss earned $200,000 per episode on The Handmaid's Tale after racking up six Emmy nominations during her time on Mad Men.

It should be noted that Claire Foy will not get the chance to earn a fairer paycheck on The Crown since every role is being recast for the period drama's third season, which will begin filming in July and jump ahead to the 1970s. Foy not getting equal pay on a show where her character and Smith's are constantly fighting about him feeling emasculated by her power is so deliciously poetic I could nearly laugh.

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.

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