The nation has become accustomed to the Queen’s face adorning our bank notes, pound coins and stamps.
But as the country now mourns her passing, many have wondered what will happen to the iconic symbol of the monarch on our coins; whether her face will continue to be printed on the currency, and whether indeed it will continue to be valid as currency at all.
The Bank of England yesterday confirmed that banknotes and coins with the Queen’s face will remain legal tender, and an official announcement will be made on the future of the nation’s currency after the official period of mourning has ended – seven days after the Queen’s funeral.
In a statement yesterday, the Bank of England noted that the Queen was the first monarch to feature on Bank of England banknotes, and said 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. A further announcement regarding existing Bank of England banknotes will be made once the period of mourning has been observed,” the statement added.
A new official portrait of King Charles III will now be commissioned and designs for new currency are likely to be drawn up in the weeks ahead.
The Royal Mint advisory committee must first reportedly send recommendations for new coins to the Chancellor and obtain royal approval.
However, it is expected to be some time before coins featuring the new King’s profile appear, and currency with the Queen’s likeness is likely to remain in circulation for months and years to come.
According to tradition from the 17th Century to alternate the way the monarchs are facing, the King’s profile will face to the left. The Queen currently appears facing to the right.