5 Jun 2012

Steve Bell: the Queen through my eyes

To mark the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, Channel 4 News asks a cartoonist, a sculptor, an actress and a photographer to describe their view of her majesty.

Steve Bell is a an award-winning cartoonist who has drawn images for everything from children’s comics Whoopee and Jackpot, to magazines including Private Eye and newspapers such as the Guardian.

One of his most memorable cartoons showed Tony Blair with a Margaret Thatcher-esque rogue eyeball.

He told Channel 4 News he thinks the royal family are a “gross anachronism”.

“They are a terible sign of a lack of maturity of our democratic process,” he said

“I think the support is fairly shallow as this episode over Diana’s death showed that actually people aren’t nearly as reverential or supportive of the monarchy as they used to be.

“A lot of people think it’s fair enough – it is a reasonable institution and doesn’t do too much damage.

“What always gets me is that the monarch has real power. She could dismiss the government, she’s head of the armed forces, MPs have to swear allegiance.

“Why should this upper-class person, there simply to fact of birth, be there?

“Why should we swear fealty to her – it strikes me as nonsensical?”

Hew Locke Steve Bell Susan Jameson John Scannel