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Monkey (Queen)


Monkey Queen is one of Banksy’s earliest, controversial screen prints in colour, originally released as an unsigned edition of 600 in 2003.

One of the most iconic and controversial of Banksy’s original prints, Monkey Queen quite literally embodies much of what the artist stands for in his depiction of world leaders and their tendency to simply act like monkeys – humans in their earliest primate state of being. The piece is made to replicate an official image of the Queen, replacing her face with that of a monkey.


Medium: Screen Print
Format: Unsigned Print
Year: 2003
Size: H 50cm x W 35cm
Framing details: Not framed
Edition size: 600
Signed: No
Condition: Excellent
Provenance: Pest Control COA


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The Story Behind Banksy’s Monkey Queen

A lot of Banksy’s art is designed to poke fun at and create satirical portraits of figures in positions of power – with the monkey used regularly to demonstrate the ineptitude of these individuals. In this piece, the Queen falls foul of Banksy’s dark humour, as he creates a piece which spotlights her role as being one of birthright rather than ability and authenticity.

In fact, to accompany this piece, Banksy himself said “Celebrate the fact the highest position in British society is not a reward for talent or hard work, but simply handed out with the accident of birth. God Save The Queen.”

For those Banksy buyers familiar with the artist’s work, this piece is just one in a series of works that place monkeys at the heart of the image. In all of these works, monkeys represent humanity or certain individuals in humanity, showing how we as humans are constantly giving power to those who treat us as if we were all the same. Not only that, but by showing humanity as monkeys, Banksy touches on and knocks down our human confidence that we are better than the animal kingdom and its creatures.

All in all, it’s not just humanity as a whole that Banksy is frustrated with – as this piece shows, that frustration runs to the individuals who run our world as well.

The History of this Piece

This piece was immediately presented as an affordable signed print that the public could purchase to memorialise the occasion.

This particular piece is an unsigned original print, with the Banksy buyer market constantly looking for pieces which reflect and represent the artist’s take on monkeys and other members of the animal kingdom as part and parcel of our society. While this was created as a standalone piece, it can be easily grouped together with those pieces which showcase monkeys in the place of parliamentary figures, and the famous ‘Laugh Now’ which acts as a warning for the future stability of society and our nation.

Sell your Banksy Monkey Queen

Monkey Queen is an iconic piece which has become increasingly popular as the Queen has neared and reached her Platinum jubilee. If you have an original signed or unsigned print and wish to ensure the best possible sale price, getting a formal valuation is key to ensuring that you receive the right price for your art.

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