The Crown's Matt Smith Makes A Bold Claim About The Queen's Feelings Toward The Show

Netflix's "The Crown" is the royalty of TV dramas. The hit series follows a fictionalized version of Queen Elizabeth II's life on the throne in her 20s and digs deeper into what went behind the scenes as she assumed her royal duties and the heavy burden that comes with them after the death of her father, King George VI.

Nine times out of 10, every character that has graced the show has aced their imitation of the person they played. Actress Claire Foy stuns as the queen in the series' early seasons, and her portrayal of Her Majesty instantly makes her a fan favorite. But one hidden truth about "The Crown" that stirred a lot of controversy and backlash was the fact that Foy, the heart of the show, originally made significantly less than her co-star and on-screen husband, Matt Smith, per The Guardian. Smith, who played the queen's one true love, Prince Phillip, was paid more because of his star power, though the creators promised to right this wrong.

Queen Elizabeth II's impact on the show went beyond their dramatized account of the start of her record-breaking 70-year reign. Queen Elizabeth's death was felt around the world, and consequently, the first season of the popular historical drama hit Netflix's top 10 immediately after, The Wrap reported. After a brief pause in production to honor Her Majesty's memory, filming for the show is back on, according to the New York Post. The gesture was fitting as the show had a special place in Queen Elizabeth II's heart.

In a move no one saw coming, Queen Elizabeth II was an avid viewer of The Crown

The royals are just like us. In a September 15, 2022, interview with Today, Matt Smith revealed that the queen was a fan of "The Crown" and regularly kept up with the comings and goings of her fictional persona. How she watched the show was full of her signature charm. "I heard the queen had watched it," he explained. "And she used to watch it on a projector on a Sunday night apparently."

Since his portrayal, Smith's interactions with the royal family have been very friendly. During a November 2016 appearance on "The Graham Norton Show," Smith recounted his pleasant experience meeting William, the Prince of Wales right after he was cast in "The Crown." Though the royal family has apparently binge-watched the show, not everyone is a fan. Smith told the news outlet that Prince Phillip, the real-life inspiration behind his Emmy-nominated role, wasn't as impressed with the series and probably skipped movie night. 

"I know that Philip definitely didn't [watch]," Smith added. "A friend of mine sat next to him at dinner and asked. Actually, I think Philip asked my friend if he made 'The Crown.' ... My friend couldn't resist by the end of the meal ... [and asked] 'Have you watched The Crown?' [Philip] turned around and said, 'Don't be ridiculous.'" Nevertheless, Queen Elizabeth enjoyed the series, and it's the only stamp of approval we need.