Andy Warhol's pop art Queen Elizabeth II goes on sale to mark Platinum Jubilee

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Andy Warhol's world famous portrait of the Queen will be sold to the public as part of the monarch's upcoming Platinum Jubilee celebrations.

The 'Elizabeth II' screenprint (1985) has been acquired by Showpiece.com and will enter into fractional ownership - a scheme which allows members of the public to buy shares for just £100.

The pop-art masterpiece was based on a photo by Peter Grugeon which was released in 1977 to mark the Queen's Silver Jubilee.

Ironically, this was the very same photo the Sex Pistols defaced on the sleeve of their hit single 'God Save the Queen', which itself is going back on sale in the summer. In stark contrast, Warhol wanted to celebrate the Queen, seeing her as a symbol of beauty and power in the celebrity age.

The American artist admitted he was in awe of his subject, declaring it his ambition to one day be "as famous as the Queen of England".

Royal enthusiasts will be able to register their interest from Monday at Showpiece.com, with the sale going live in July.

A secondary market where shareholders can sell their shares is expected to open later in the year after the general sale closes. In 2012, the Queen herself bought four of the portraits for The Royal Collection Trust to mark her Diamond Jubilee.

Showpiece.com is dividing ownership into 3500 pieces - or shares - which people will be able to purchase for £100. In recent years, fractional ownership has transformed the world of fine art and iconic collectables.

Dan Carter, co-founder of Showpiece.com, commented: "This is a moment in history and we wanted to mark the Queen's milestone of 70 years on the throne with an offering which would appeal to the many, not just the few.

"No one was more passionate than Andy Warhol about making art accessible to a broad audience, which is why it's great that you don't need a big chequebook anymore to own and enjoy one of his works."

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