The Death of an Icon


Rachel Yoon

More than a Monarch: Queen Elizabeth II was a pop culture icon that inspired many artistic individuals.

Christian Festin and Zoharys Jaen

A treasured muse and remarkable pop culture icon, Queen Elizabeth II was more than England’s longest-ruling monarch. Though she is known for her unwavering dedication to her people, the queen has had various highlights in pop culture that have captured the attention of individuals worldwide.


1969: Tribute from The Beatles

Queen Elizabeth II was the subject of the 26-second song “Her Majesty,” written by The Beatles. The short tune, included as a hidden track on the Beatles’ most popular album “Abbey Road,” expresses admiration for the queen, and is one of her earliest appearances in pop culture.


1977: Crown Controversy with The Sex Pistols

The monarch was the topic of another song titled “God Save the Queen,” written by The Sex Pistols. Unlike the reverent message of “Her Majesty,” this punk-rock track harshly criticized the queen and her perceived indifference towards British citizens. The anti-monarchy song became a major anthem for young Britons who felt isolated from Queen Elizabeth II, whom they viewed as an aloof and overly traditional ruler.


2014: Ironic Appearance at the Iron Throne

Queen Elizabeth II surprised modern audiences by making an appearance at the Iron Throne in a P.R.-boosting trip to the Games of Thrones set. Many assumed that the monarch had seen the popular series, though her lack of knowledge of the show was revealed when she asked actors on set about the show’s premise. Rather than connecting with citizens and the global community over a shared interest in the show, the queen’s appearance at the Iron Throne came off as a blatant publicity stunt.


2018: London Fashion Week

The monarch made an eminent appearance at London Fashion Week, sitting in the front row beside Vogue Editor-in-Chief, Anna Wintour. At the event, Queen Elizabeth II presented the Queen Elizabeth II Award for British Design to fashion designer Richard Quinn and displayed an authentic passion for innovations in British fashion. In doing so, the monarch shared with the public a more genuine, personable side, detailing her own opinions on fashion and inspiring designers in the process.


With her passing on Sept. 8, 2022, the renowned icon leaves behind a legacy of pop culture inspiration, both positive and negative, for a number of creations during her lifetime. The death of Queen Elizabeth II marks the end of an influential era, and the start of a new reign, with Charles II ascending the throne.