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Monkey Queen, 2003


Monkey Queen, 2004
Edition: 750 (150 signed)

‘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.’

Monkey Queen
portrays a monkey wearing all the ornamentation of a Queen in front of a background made of red, white, blue, a clear not to the colors of the Union Jack. Painted on the occasion of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee to honor her 60 years on the throne, Monkey Queen superimposes the black and white stenciled face of a monkey directly onto Queen Elizabeth II’s iconic bust.

“Deride and Conquer”

Banksy, Banging Your Head Against a Brick Wall, November 2001
In another iconic work, Laugh Now, Banksy depicts a monkey wearing a sandwich board that predicts, one day, society will run by our primate cousins – despite the fact that we humans are millions of years “ahead” of them from an evolutionary perspective. Perhaps, the artist suggests, we are not that much different and/or more sophisticated than they are. It’s a depressing outlook, and a damning statement about the state of affairs that we find ourselves in. This controversial, deliberately offensive imagery forces people to wrestle with how comfortable we truly are with the right to freedom of speech and expression, while simultaneously questioning the logic of having some of the world’s most powerful leaders born into the role.
Monkey Queen epitomizes Banksy’s artistic identity. The satirical image overtly criticizes the British leaders. Aligning the Queen with a primitive animal, the artist, in no uncertain terms, says that he believes the country is being run by apes. Along with the rat, the monkey is one of Banksy’s most frequently used animal characters. Satirizing the nature of humankind, Banksy uses these animals as didactic figures in his critical social commentary. The most expensive work of Banksy sold at auction is no other than Devolved Parliament, a giant painting depicting the British Parliament run by monkeys… From Laugh Now, to Keep It Real, or Monkey Detonator, monkeys are also a way for Banksy to express his own frustrations with human-kind.
Monkey Queen, 2003
Oil and emulsion on canvas, 92×92 cm
The use of monkeys is nothing new in the context of art history. In a contemporary take on ”Singerie”, a visual arts genre popular among French artists in the early 18th century which depicted comical scenes of monkeys aping human behavior, Banksy’s chimps too, are often presented in ironic juxtapositions that provide a tongue-in-cheek satirizing of society which so often thinks of itself as “above” the animal kingdom.
Monkey Queen was released at a price of GBP 150 for a signed version and GBP 59.99 for an unsigned version.


Monkey Queen

Year: 2003
Medium: Screen-print in colors on wove paper
Size: 50×35 cm (19 1/2 x 13 5/8 inches)
Publisher: Pictures on Walls


Total Edition: 750 (of which 150 signed)

Signature and Numbering

Numbered /750 in pencil, either lower right, or lower left
Signed in black ink or pencil, either left or right

Some with, others without publisher’s blindstamp


Updated as of 15 March 2023


1. Monkey Queen (unsigned)


Monkey Queen (unsigned), 2003
Numbered 429/750 in pencil, lower right
Christie’s online: 14 March 2023
Estimated: GBP 15,000 – 25,000
GBP 13,860 / USD 17,048

Monkey Queen (unsigned), 2003
Numbered 262/750 in pencil, lower right
Bonhams London: 7 December 2022
GBP 12,750 / USD 15,546

Monkey Queen (unsigned), 2003
Numbered 343/750 in pencil, lower right
Christie’s online: 21 September 2022
Estimated: GBP 20,000 – 30,000
GBP 32,760 / USD 39,312

Monkey Queen (unsigned), 2003
Numbered 351/750 in pencil, lower right
Sotheby’s online: 26 April 2022

GBP 27,720 / USD 34,927

Monkey Queen (unsigned), 2003
Numbered 77/750 in pencil, lower right
Sotheby’s online: 17 September 2021

GBP 35,280 / USD 49,039

Monkey Queen (unsigned), 2003
Numbered 441/750 in pencil, lower right
Sotheby’s online: 25 February 2021
GBP 47,880 / USD 66,553

2. Monkey Queen (signed)



Monkey Queen (signed), 2003
Signed and numbered 77/750 in pencil, lower right
Bonhams online: 29 June 2021
GBP 62,750 / USD 86,793