Press

Andy Warhol's Royal Edition of the Reigning Queens

20 June 2024

In a rare outing, the Paleis Het Loo in The Netherlands will exhibit Andy Warhol's entire 1985 diamond dusted 'Royal Edition' series portraying all four reigning Queens across the world at that moment in time.

Today, the Paleis Het Loo is the only museum in Europe to hold all sixteen prints of Warhol’s 'Royal Edition' in its collection and one of the few complete museum collections worldwide, having purchased the series in 1986 just one year after its creation. Warhol produced two editions of this series: a normal edition of forty copies and this 'Royal Edition' of thirty, diamond dusted copies.

The 'Reigning Queens' series consists of sixteen screen prints of four queens. In addition to Queen Beatrix of The Netherlands, the series includes Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom, Queen Margrethe II of Denmark and Queen Ntombi Tfwala of Eswatini, formerly Swaziland. These four queens were the only reigning queens in the world at that time. 

Only at the end of his life did Warhol have the idea to ​​portray the four queens. Amongst them, the portraits of Queen Beatrix stand out: according to Warhol, hers was “the best looking one of the whole bunch!”.

The 'royal' screen prints differ from those in other editions of ‘Reigning Queens’ because of Warhol's decision to accentuate their contour lines with a layer of 'diamond dust': finely ground pieces of glass that make each portrait glitter. Warhol made four portraits of each queen, each differing in colour scheme and in the squares and rectangles distributed over them.

Warhol's work is so popular that many screen prints have been sold off separately, breaking up many of his previously complete series. Because of their inherent fragility, the exhibition Queens by Andy Warhol offers the last chance to  admire the complete diamond dust sixteen screen prints as a complete series before it is put away for a longer period of time.

Throughout his life Warhol (1928 - 1987) was fascinated by royal figures: “I want to be as famous as the Queen of England” he said as a young artist.

Warhol's ‘Reigning Queens’ series is characteristic of his work as a pioneer of the American art Pop Art movement, elevating everyday subjects to art. Warhol achieved this with the screen printing technique which made it possible to reproduce the same image in large quantities. In his studio The Factory in New York, Warhol used photographs to create portraits of celebrities which he repeatedly reproduced in different colour combinations: portrait series' such as those of Marilyn Monroe, Jackie Kennedy and Elvis Presley are today legendary.

Queens by Andy Warhol can be seen from October 12, 2024 to January 1, 2025 at Paleis Het Loo.

Ntombi Tfwala van Eswatini (Swaziland),Reigning Queens, Andy Warhol, 1985.

© The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. c/o Pictoright/ Paleis Het Loo, Apeldoorn

*Cannot be used royalty-free

For the last time

The exhibition Queens by Andy Warhol offers the last chance to see the complete pop art series Reigning Queens again before it is put away for a longer period of time.

Queens by Andy Warhol can be seen from October 12, 2024 to January 1, 2025 at Paleis Het Loo.

Copyright*

The artworks by Andy Warhol are not free of copyright. Please contact the copyright organization in your country when applicable for rights clearance before publishing. Or you may contact Pictoright Amsterdam for further information. info@pictoright.nl