The queen’s main role in popular culture

Queen Elizabeth has spent her life living by strict rules and protocol. But his often serious outward appearance and stiff upper lip haven’t stopped others from using him as inspiration for their art projects.

While she may not have enjoyed all of the performances, Queen being Queen, one would never know for sure.

Here are some of his most memorable pop culture moments.

The London Olympics

The Queen’s role at the opening ceremony of the 2012 London Olympics was one for the ages.

Director Danny Boyle convinced her to appear in a film – his beloved corgis in tow – in which James Bond (Daniel Craig) meets the Queen at Buckingham Palace, then escorts her to an overhead helicopter London to the stadium.

The Queen then ‘parachuted’ under a canopy adorned with the Union Jack flag into the case before appearing, along with her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh, as well as IOC President Jacques Rogge, in the box royal.

His good-humored performance was universally praised. She even won a British Academy Film Award (BAFTA) as the « Most Memorable Bond Girl to Date ».

The Queen

Helen Mirren received an Oscar as well as praise from Elizabeth herself for her portrayal of the Queen in this 2006 film. Mirren was invited to Buckingham Palace for dinner, but was unable to attend due to previous filming commitments.

The film focuses on the aftermath of the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, and the reaction at the time of the Queen, who believed the family’s grief should be private. The media reflected the way Britons saw his behavior – as cold and indifferent.

The film offered a sort of behind-the-scenes look at what caused the Queen to change course and speak publicly about Diana’s death and the grief felt by people around the world.

game of thrones

Who knew the Queen was a fan?

Well, maybe she wasn’t (we’ll never know for sure), but she and Prince Philip passed through the studios in Northern Ireland where the series was partially filmed, prompting some much speculation that they were secretly as addicted to the show as the rest of the world.

Elizabeth watches the Iron Throne next to Game of Thrones cast members Kit Harington, second right, Conleth Hill, centre, and Lena Headey, left, on set of the TV series in Belfast’s Titanic Quarter , Northern Ireland, June 24, 2014. (Jonathan Porter/Reuters)

The simpsons

The Queen demands Homer Simpson be executed after he almost kills her in the 15th season episode, « The Regina Monologues ».

While visiting London. Homer corners the family in a roundabout for hours before finally swerving, through the gates of Buckingham Palace and straight into the Queen’s car.

You can watch him play here:

The naked gun

The Queen – played by actress Jeanette Charles – was a central figure in the 1988 slapstick comedy by the late Canadian actor Leslie Nielsen, The Naked Gun: From Police Squad Files!

In fact, Nielsen’s character spends most of the movie trying to save her from assassination.

Spitting image

The series featuring life-size puppets and biting satire was a mainstay of British television from 1984 to 1996. No one was off limits to creators, including the Queen.

Co-creator Peter Law told the Daily Mail the Queen never complained about how she was portrayed – but the show heard from royal family lawyers after portraying Prince Andrew as a central playboy .

reigning queens

Andy Warhol once said, « I want to be as famous as the Queen of England. » And in 1985 he created a series of serigraphs titled « Reigning Queens », which featured, among other things, four depictions of Elizabeth.

The prints were auctioned in 2012 and were acquired by the Royal Collection just in time for display as part of its Golden Jubilee.

They were displayed at Windsor Castle as part of an exhibition called The Queen: Portraits of a Monarch.

Screen prints of Queen Elizabeth by Andy Warhol were part of an exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery in London in 2012. (Stefan Wermuth/Reuters)

God Save the Queen

Not exactly a tribute in any way, shape or form, the Sex Pistols released their rant in 1977 to coincide with the Queen’s Silver Jubilee. It was banned by the BBC and made the band members the target of angry Britons who found the lyrics disrespectful and insulting.

His Majesty

At just 23 seconds, the Beatles tune is decidedly sweeter than the Pistols’ offering. It appeared as the final track on Abbey Road but did not appear in the original track listing, prompting some to call it the first example of a hidden track in rock music.

Paul McCartney later told biographer Barry Miles, « It was kind of funny because it’s basically monarchist, with a slightly disrespectful tone, but it’s very ironic. It’s almost like a love song à la queen. »

funko pop

Finally, if you’re a fan of collectibles, you know Funko Pop dolls. Well, the queen was immortalized in 2018 with her very own Funko Pop doll.

funko pop royal doll


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