Producers of Netflix series The Crown admitted on Tuesday, at the INTV Conference in Jerusalem, that Claire Foy, who stars as Elizabeth II, was paid less than her show husband Matt Smith (Prince Philip), who works in a supporting actor capacity.
When asked whether Smith had made more money than Foy in the show’s first two seasons, the producers admitted that he had, pointing to his Doctor Who fame as the reason, to which Left Bank creative director Suzanne Mackie added that, “going forward, no one gets paid more than the Queen.” Variety reported that Left Bank CEO Andy Harries and its production designer Martin Childs were the other two members of that panel.
This brief exchange of course leaves much unanswered. For instance, while it’s true that Foy was cast to star in The Crown while still relatively unknown (she had, however, appeared in the acclaimed 2015 BBC mini-series Wolf Hall), it’s not clear why she wasn’t paid at least as much as Smith once the first season of The Crown gave her success and an undeniable reputation.
Besides, Left Bank’s promise to pay the Queen the most in subsequent seasons is hardly a boon for Foy personally since the show’s third season will feature an entirely new cast as the story time-jumps a couple decades into the future.
Variety reported in August that Foy was paid $40,000 per episode, which sounds less generous when one considers the show’s budget is at least $7 million per episode. Smith’s salary has not been disclosed.