Following the death of Queen Elizabeth II, bank notes, coins, stamps and other national symbols are set to change in the coming years. Reports suggest that the Bank of England will slowly replace all bank notes and coins featuring Queen Elizabeth II’s portrait with new ones, bearing the image of King Charles III.
The Guardian says there are 4.5 billion sterling bank notes in circulation, totalling £80 billion (over $92 billion) and the replacement process is expected to take about two years. When Queen Elizabeth II took the throne in 1952, it wasn’t until 1960 that her face began to appear on £1 notes.
Current notes will continue to be legal tender till the changes are brought about.
“As the first monarch to feature on Bank of England banknotes, the Queen’s iconic portraits are synonymous with some of the most important work we do. Current banknotes featuring the image of Her Majesty The Queen will continue to be legal tender,” Bank of England said on Thursday.
“A further announcement regarding existing Bank of England banknotes will be made once the period of mourning has been observed.”
Other Commonwealth realms formally governed by the British monarchy and having currency with Elizabeth II’s portrait are expected to introduce similar changes. Some $20 banknotes in Canada, coins in New Zealand, and the currency issued by the Central Bank of the Eastern Caribbean have the Queen’s head on them.
The new portrait
King Charles III is expected to sit for a new portrait after he takes the throne. The Royal Mint, which is in charge of manufacturing and issuing the UK’s coins, will send recommendations to the Chancellor and obtain royal approval before publishing it.
The King will be shown facing the left on new notes as a royal tradition dictates that monarchs are depicted on coins facing the opposite way as their predecessor.
Britain’s national anthem will also change to “God Save the King” from “God Save the Queen.” However, people might take a long time to get accustomed to it since it is being sung since 1952. It is also a national anthem in New Zealand and the royal anthem in Australia and Canada.
British passports are also likely to see a change in wording as the inside cover reads “Her Britannic Majesty’s Secretary of State Requests and requires in the Name of Her Majesty…” Australian, Canadian and New Zealand passports are also issued in the name of the Crown.
(With inputs from agencies)