But the pay disparity between Smith and Foy - despite Foy's newcomer status before the show debuted, as the production company noted - sparked outrage from viewers who noted she was the star of the show and deserved better compensation compared to Smith.
The producers said they've fixed it going into the future, and from now on no one will earn more than the actress playing the queen.. "Going forward", Mackie said Tuesday, "no one gets paid more than the Queen".
With season three set to swap out the entire main cast and time jump ahead, we have time to look back at the show's start.
Olivia Colman will play the Queen, while the role of Philip has not yet been announced. Claire, 33, famously played a young Queen Elizabeth on the series - a role for which she won a Best Actress Golden Globe - while Matt, 35, portrayed the Queen's longtime husband, Prince Philip.
They didn't explain why Foy continued to earn less than Smith in the second season, after she eclipsed his fame with her award-winning performance. While Foy and Smith depicted the royal couple from the beginning of Queen Elizabeth's reign until the mid-1960s, their characters have been recast for the third and fourth seasons.
If there is a lesson to take away from the first two seasons of "The Crown, " it is that no sane person would dare cross Queen Elizabeth II.
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. For his role, Smith was nominated at the SAG awards in 2017, and has previously been nominated for a BAFTA for his role as "Doctor Who".