Andy Warhol prints of Queen Elizabeth heading to Windsor Castle

Four Andy Warhol portraits of Queen Elizabeth II have been acquired by Britain's Royal Collection.
Four Andy Warhol portraits of Queen Elizabeth II have been acquired by Britain’s Royal Collection.
(Andrew Matthews / Associated Press)

Britain’s royal family is acquiring a bit of Pop flavor in the form of screen-print portraits of Queen Elizabeth II by Andy Warhol, who once said “I want to be as famous as the Queen of England.”

On Monday, the Royal Collection Trust announced that it is purchasing four Warhol portraits to mark the queen’s Diamond Jubliee, the year-long celebration of her 60 years on the throne. The Royal Collection is among the art collections of the royal family.

The four portraits will be displayed in the exhibition “The Queen: Portraits of a Monarch” opening Nov. 23 at Windsor Castle in London. The show will feature various portraits of the queen, including official paintings and photographs.


Warhol’s depictions of the queen were created in 1985. They are approximately 3.3 feet by 2.6 feet each and are meant to be displayed close together.

The Warhol portraits were based on an existing photograph taken in 1975 by Peter Grugeon to mark the queen’s Silver Jubliee in 1977. The portraits have been sprinkled with a fine glass powder to make them sparkle like diamonds, according to the Royal Collection.

The Warhol screen prints were part of the artist’s series “Reigning Queens,” which also features portraits of Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands, Queen Margrethe of Denmark and Queen Ntombi Twala of Swaziland.

The November exhibition also will feature Lucian Freud’s 2001 oil painting of the queen as well as photographs by Annie Leibovitz, Cecil Beaton and Dorothy Wilding.


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