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A producer of hit royal drama The Crown says Claire Foy, who played the central role of Queen Elizabeth II, was paid less than her on-screen husband.

The Netflix series traces Elizabeth’s journey from princess to queen, beginning in the 1950s.

Trade publication Variety quoted producer Suzanne Mackie as confirming Foy was paid less than Matt Smith, who played Prince Philip in two seasons of the series. She made the reported comment at an industry event in Jerusalem.

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She said this was because Smith was better-known after starring in sci-fi series Doctor Who. Mackie said the gap would be closed with the forthcoming third series, saying “going forward, no one gets paid more than the queen.”

Foy’s agent did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Wednesday.

Neither Foy nor Smith will appear in the third series, which will star Olivia Colman as the middle-aged monarch.

The gender pay gap has become a big issue in Hollywood after revelations that many female stars were paid less than their male counterparts.

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