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Fact check: Is the viral picture of Queen Elizabeth II dressed as Freddie Mercury by Banksy?

Is the viral picture in which Queen Elizabeth is dressed up as Freddie Mercury made by Banksy? Truth Explored. (Image via Twitter)
Is the viral picture in which Queen Elizabeth is dressed up as Freddie Mercury made by Banksy? Truth Explored. (Image via Twitter)
Srishti Marwah

Soon after Queen Elizabeth’s demise on September 8, 2022, a picture of her was making the rounds online. Many netizens have now claimed that the picture is made by the popular England-based street artist Banksy.

With touching poems, speeches, and instances about the Queen, this picture by an artist where the Queen is seen dressed up as Freddie Mercury, has caught the attention of netizens. One user shared it on social media, saying:

“Love this #Banksy.”

So is the picture really drawn by Banksy?


Viral picture of Queen Elizabeth II dressed as Freddie Mercury is not made by Banksy

While reading plenty of tributes for the Queen, who passed away on Thursday, users also came across a picture, an artwork combining the Queen with Freddie Mercury.

#banksy I think our beautiful Queen would have loved this 🥰 https://t.co/3WTrfmTQfg

The picture, that has a Freddie Mercury-like figure, wearing his iconic yellow jacket with white trousers, has the face of Queen Elizabeth. Hence, the artist has tried to combine the legends into one person. However, the news that Banksy, the famous British street artist, has created this portrait is not true at all.

In reality, this portrait was made by an artist, Anat Zehavi, who was born and brought up in Tel Aviv, but now resides in the Netherlands. Selling most of her work online on Facebook, she reposted this old painting after the Queen tragically passed away. She first posted this picture with a message that said:

“RIP”

Later, she was more expressive, as the next caption on the picture read:

“Defintely she was a rockstar on her own stage! Its MY Queen! I love her, and that is why I painted her. If you love to have it, visit my shop.”

Basically, the reason why the artist chose this particular Freddie’s attire is because this was the outfit that he wore during a concert at Wembley Stadium in 1986. Moreover, this was the performance, one year after which the popular musician passed away.


Who is Anat Zehavi? Details about the artist who painted the Queen Elizabeth artwork

Anat Zehavi, who created the portrait of Queen Elizabeth and Freddie Mercury amalgamated into a single person, mentions on her website that she has been an avid painter since the time she was a young girl.

Anat Zehavi, the creator of the Queen Elizabeth-Freddie Mercury painting that is going viral on social media. (Image via Anat Zehavi)
Anat Zehavi, the creator of the Queen Elizabeth-Freddie Mercury painting that is going viral on social media. (Image via Anat Zehavi)

She also talked about selling her artwork in a gallery called Schilderkundig Genootschap Pulchri Studio, The Hague.

Banksy, on the other hand, is a British graffiti artist who was born in the year 1974 in England. His notable works include highly recognizable images, such as rats and policemen.

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His paintings about the bodies of live pigs and works on the walls of major museums like the New York City Museum, London Museum and Metropolitan Museum of Art brought him the most success.


Edited by Prem Deshpande

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