The Crown star Claire Foy paid less than Matt Smith

The Crown star Claire Foy paid less than Matt Smith

It has yet to be announced who will replace Matt Smith. Smith joined "The Crown", where he played Prince Philip for two seasons after featuring for three seasons on "Doctor Who" as the protagonist.

Actors Claire Foy, who plays Queen Elizabeth II, and Matt Smith who plays Philip Duke of Edinburgh, attend the premiere of "The Crown" Season 2 in London, Britain, November 21, 2017.

However, critics say this could only explain the first season - before Foy won a host of awards and nominations for the role. Executive producers Andy Harries and Suzanne Mackie also told Deadline that future seasons of the show could include a visit from current USA leader Donald Trump and Prince Harry's romance with actress Meghan Markle.

Producers point to Smith's starring role in "Doctor Who" - he played the sci-fi hit's Eleventh Doctor from 2010 to 2014 - as the reason for him making more than Foy.

Pay equality in media and show business has become a hot topic recently. In January, it was revealed that Michelle Williams earned 1% of what costar Mark Wahlberg received for re-shooting "All The Money" without Kevin Spacey.

Still, the show's cast will change for the upcoming third season, with award-winning, critically-acclaimed British actress Olivia Colman (The Office, Broadchurch) taking over the role of Queen Elizabeth. "I want to see an episode where Trump comes to Buckingham Palace", she said, and then mused about casting Harry and Meghan, who will Wednesday in May (18): "She could play herself", Mackie smiled.

Which means Colman might still be benefiting from the fame-centered thinking that gave Smith his bigger paycheck, even as The Crown's producers make sure no one rises above their monarch again.

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