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Royal revision: What will happen to coins, banknotes and passports?

Pound coin

Introduction

On the 20th September 2022, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II was laid to rest. After 70 years on the throne and having stood as a powerful symbol of Britain, we are united in remembering her life and dedication to the public services. The nation has been accustomed to seeing her portrait on stamps, loose change and even letters. The question we now ask ourselves is, what will change?

Change

There are 5 different portraits of Queen Elizabeth (who is facing right) on our coins. With the most recent design dating back to 2015, when the Queen was 88 years old, it is likely that these coins will be circulated for many years and witness a gradual roll-out process. As a result, all notes and coins will remain legal tender, yet if this does change sooner than expected the Bank of England will provide plenty of notice. According to historic tradition, the direction in which the monarch faces on coins alternates for each new monarch. Thus, King Charles III will face left. Once the design has been decided, the currency will be manufactured at the Royal Mint in Llantrisant, south Wales.

Did you know?

The first banknote to feature a portrait of the Queen was the one pound banknote from the 1960s.

Stamps and postboxes

According to BBC News, the Royal Mail will now stop producing Queen Elizabeth II stamps. However, these can still be used on letters and parcels – and will begin the process to create new ones. The design is yet to be decided. With more than 60% of postboxes in the UK declaring the EIIR royal mark of Queen Elizabeth II, outside Scotland, new postboxes will feature the King’s cypher. However, it has been suggested that as the number of new postboxes to be installed is relatively small, it could be some time before we are able to spot one of these.

Passports

Passports will also need to eventually be updated. All British passports issued (in the name of Her Majesty) are still valid for travel. However, new passports will require a change in wording on the inside of the front cover – to declare His Majesty.

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