Queen Elizabeth II in pop culture


In the announcement of the Royal Family on September 8th, 2022, ‘The Queen died peacefully at Balmoral this afternoon’ at the age of 96, ending the longest monarch in the UK’s history of seven decades. Queen Elizabeth II influenced pop culture from entertainment to the arts, even showing up for cameo roles such as her famous appearance for the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games with James Bond, played by Daniel Craig, and her recent Platinum Party with Paddington Bear at the Royale Palace.


The Queen also appeared in the American animated sitcom ‘The Simpsons’ where in one of the episodes, she got in a car crash accident. For decades, Queen Elizabeth II was a recognizable icon around the world regardless of the industry. Pop culture served as a means to amplify the iconography of the Queen, her name and image even appearing in some of the known pop and rock songs and albums in the past years.

Queen Elizabeth II
screenshot from ‘The Simpsons’, Season 15, Episode 4



Portrayals in music, TV, and movies


Paul McCartney wrote the song ‘Her Majesty’ (1969) as a tribute to the Queen, a 26-second, a hidden track included on the Beatles’ Abbey Road album.  In 2002, he even performed the song at Buckingham Palace Gardens for Golden Jubilee concert of the Queen. The Sex Pistol’s single ‘God Save The Queen’ turned into an icon in the punk movement with the Queen’s eyes and mouth covered with pasted words of the song’s title and the band’s name.


In TV and movies, Helen Mirren won the Oscars for her role as Queen Elizabeth II in Stephen Frears’ 2006 film ‘The Queen’ while TV-series ‘The Crown’ – which follows a depiction of the Royal Family’s lives – has had award-winning actresses playing the role of Queen Elizabeth II such as Olivia Coleman and Claire Foy.

Queen Elizabeth II
image courtesy of Sex Pistols, via Facebook | Single cover of ‘God Save the Queen’ by Sex Pistols



Queen Elizabeth II in art and architecture


In the arts field, pop artist Andy Warhol celebrates the Queen through his silkscreen technique and series ‘Reigning Queens’ (1985). In this portfolio, the American artist features 16 colorful prints of the four ruling queens at the time he created the series, including Queen Elizabeth II of England. Warhol took his inspiration from the Queen’s picture taken in 1977 for her Silver Jubilee.


In the fields of design and architecture, the legacy of Queen Elizabeth II can spring from her inauguration of several of the UK’s establishments and buildings including The Queen’s Building (1955) in Heathrow and The Commonwealth Institute (1962) and the Royal National Theatre (1976) in London.

video courtesy of Olympics


video courtesy of The Royal Family