Netflix's 'The Crown' Paid Its Queen Less Than Its Prince

Lula Sharp
March 13, 2018

Producers of the Netflix series "The Crown" admitted during an INTV conference panel that the show's lead, Claire Foy, was paid less than Matt Smith, the actor playing her on-screen husband.

Oh, dear: Even the Queen of England has difficulty getting paid as much as her male counterpart.

She also acknowledged that Matt's experience on Doctor Who is what fueled the initial salary disparity.

The Crown chronicles Queen Elizabeth II's accession to the present day. Olivia Colman (Golden Globe victor for AMC's The Night Manager) will take over for Foy as Queen Elizabeth, while the new Prince Philip has yet to be cast.

Last year, Variety reported that, compared to Foy, more established female television stars like _Elizabeth Moss of The Handmaid's Tale-who earned seven Emmy nominations during her Mad Men run-commanded a reported $200,000 per episode. Beyond being the main character in the series, Foy's critically-acclaimed performance has won prestigious awards.

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"Going forward, no one gets paid more than the Queen", said Left Bank creative director Suzanne Mackie, per Variety.

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. 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.

Mackie said that going forward, all actresses to tackle the royal role will take home a fatter paycheck, though it's too late for Foy, who has been recast, along with the rest of her co-stars, going into Season 3. The showrunners are expected to make more announcements soon concerning who will be cast in major roles.

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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