The Crown: Matt Smith was paid more than Claire Foy, producers vow it won’t happen again

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The hugely expensive, and incredibly successful, Netflix series The Crown has, for its first two seasons, cast Claire Foy as the Queen and Matt Smith in the role of Prince Philip. The pair’s stint on the show is done, as the drama moves onto another period of time.

Foy has been the lead in the show, though, which makes it all the more disappointing that it turns out she was paid less than her co-star to be in it.

The news came via Suzanne Mackie of production company The Left Bank, who dropped the revelation during a Q&A session. She confirmed that Smith had been paid more, as a consequence of his higher profile thanks to Doctor Who. But also that “going forward, no one gets paid more than the Queen”.

It’s staggering that it ever happened in the first place, not least because the show’s creator, Peter Morgan, wasn’t even keen on casting Matt Smith, albeit was persuaded when he saw the chemistry between Smith and Foy. Furthermore, Foy is clearly the lead in the show. Did this disparity continue into her second season too? It seems so. Sigh.

Whilst the confirmation that such a pay disparity won’t happen on the show again is a good thing, it’s too late for Foy herself. Olivia Colman takes on the role of Queen Elizabeth II for season three.