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

Claire Foy and Matt Smith in The Crown

The Crown's producers said Smith commanded more money because he had played Doctor Who Credit Robert Viglasky Netflix

The Crown, Netflix's sumptuous, historically-based period piece starring Claire Foy as Queen Elizabeth II, moves at roughly the pace of a state dinner, and every so often, Matt Smith's Prince Philip whines to his wife about the diminished sense of importance he feels playing second banana to the sovereign. Mackie acknowledged that Smith's experience on Doctor Who fueled the salary disparity. The Crown has been recast and the Queen will be played by Olivia Colman in series three.

While the series will lose Foy and Smith, they've picked up Helena Bonham Carter to play Princess Margaret.

According to Vanity Fair, The Crown is one of television's most expensive shows with a per-episode budget of at least $7 million.

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".

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The English actress, 33, played the lead role of Queen Elizabeth while Smith, 35 played her husband, Prince Philip.

The gender wage gap has been a trending topic of conversation in entertainment circles dating back to the Sony hacks, when it was revealed that Jennifer Lawrence was paid significantly less than her American Hustle male co-stars; the roiling #MeToo revolution and Time's Up initiative have put it squarely back into the spotlight over the past year. She received nominations at the BAFTA and Primetime Emmy Awards.

She earned a Golden Globe Award and a Screen Actor's Guild Awards for best actress following the first season.

Oh, dear: Even the Queen of England has difficulty getting paid as much as her male counterpart. The same report approximated that This Is Us breakout Chrissy Metz, like Foy, also made $40,000 per episode, but The Crown filmed 10 episodes its first season versus This Is Us's 18. The showrunners are expected to make more announcements soon concerning who will be cast in major roles.

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