Despite the rise and fall of Ziggy Stardust (and the spiders from Mars), the iconic imagery associated with this fictional character — the brainchild of glam rock star David Bowie — has remained celebrated in today’s pop culture. The most recent example of this being a recent work of Queen Elizabeth II by famed graffiti artist Banksy, who honored her majesty’s Diamond Jubilee fete with a large stencil of the queen with Stardust’s “Aladdin Sane” face paint. Situated on London’s Upper Maudlin st., the painting serves as Banksy’s third work to appear at the site which previously housed the artist’s depiction of a sniper and child, as well as one which displayed the UK’s Prime Minister David Cameron and British Conservative Party politician Boris Johnson rioting.
While the irony should not be lost in this imagery, as the Queen isn’t exactly an archetype of rebellion, this isn’t the first time she’s gotten mixed up in rock n’ roll. After all, she has knighted Sir Paul McCartney, Sir Elton John, and even the previous poster child for anarchy, Sir Mick Jagger. And who could forget 2003′s ‘Party the Palace’? The celebration was hosted by her majesty, and began with Queen guitarist Brian May performing the Sex Pistols’ “God Save the Queen” on the roof of Buckingham Palace. If that’s not royally awe-inspiring, I’m not sure what is.
All in all, while many a conservative may find Banky’s image to be outright ludicrous, I can’t help but think it’s exemplary of just how modernized the monarchy has become thanks to our Queen.