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The Crown's Claire Foy breaks silence on pay gap controversy

Creative director Suzanne Mackie confirmed that Matt Smith, who plays Prince Philip, was given a better wage

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The Crown actress Claire Foy has finally addressed the media storm surrounding the pay disparity between herself and her co-star, Matt Smith. Claire, who played the Queen, was paid less than her male co-star, the show's creative director confirmed earlier this month. Speaking in a new interview, Claire said: "I'm surprised because I'm at the centre of it, and anything that I'm at the centre of like that is very, very odd, and feels very, very out of the ordinary."

She added to Entertainment Weekly: "But I'm not (surprised about the interest in the story) in the sense that it was a female-led drama. I'm not surprised that people saw (the story) and went, 'Oh, that's a bit odd.'" She continued: "I know that Matt feels the same that I do, that it's odd to find yourself at the centre (of a story) that you didn't particularly ask for."

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Claire Foy was paid less than her co-star Matt Smith

Earlier this month, producers of the Netflix drama confirmed that Claire, 33, was paid less than her co-star Matt, 35. Speaking at an INTV conference, creative director Suzanne Mackie said that Matt was given a better wage due to his popularity following Doctor Who, while Claire was a relatively unknown actress ahead of the show. She added that this will change in the future, saying: "Going forward, no one gets paid more than the Queen."

MORE: Viewers spot major historical error in The Crown

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"I know that Matt feels the same that I do," said Claire

Claire rose to fame after playing Her Majesty in the first two series of The Crown. The newly single actress, who announced her split from her husband Stephen Campbell Moore in February, won a Golden Globe award and two SAG awards for her consistently stellar performance. Claire will be replaced by Olivia Colman for the third series.

MORE: Matt Smith admits he feels sorry for Meghan Markle

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Speaking previously to HELLO! in November, Claire said she was "delighted" to hand over the reins to the acclaimed Broadchurch actress. "She's a genius, a wonderful human being. I can't offer anything to her, just admiration," said Claire. When asked if she had any pearls of wisdom for her successor, she replied: "Absolutely not, she needs no tips from me."