Queen Elizabeth II’s passing last week has brought about abrupt changes for many aspects of British life and what her passing means for the United Kingdom (UK) and Commonwealth countries. With the passing of the monarchy to now King Charles III many changes will come over the weeks and months – changes that haven’t happened since Queen Elizabeth became monarch in 1952.
Changing the Face of Cash
The likeness of Queen Elizabeth II was used on stamps and her monogram was placed on post boxes around the UK. Eventually, those will all need to be changed to reflect the new monarch.
Additionally, the likeness of Elizabeth can be found on British currency and that of 33 different Commonwealth countries, including Australia, New Zealand, and Canada. According to Time Magazine, “Over the years, 26 different portraits of Elizabeth have been used in the U.K. and its current and former colonies, dominions and territories — most of which were commissioned with the direct purpose of putting them on banknotes.”
With the change of monarch, all of the cash in the UK will need to change to bear the likeness of King Charles III. This won’t happen immediately as the Royal Mint will need time to create and replace existing Queen Elizabeth II coins. Thankfully, the Royal Mint has stated that all legal tender with the likeness of Queen Elizabeth II will remain legal and in circulation until further notice.
An interesting item of note is that when King Charles’ likeness is placed on British coins, his depiction will face to the left, which is the opposite of the direction that Queen Elizabeth’s faced. The change of profile direction on coins is a tradition that has dated back to the 17th century.