King Charles III is the new face of the UK currency

LONDON — In recent months, as Britain has cooled off mourning its queen, the beginnings of a new dynasty have begun to appear in the country’s everyday life.

England’s World Cup team sang “God Save the King.” For the first time in decades, a king welcomes a new prime minister. Now, as Britons prepare to celebrate their first Christmas without a traditional Queen Elizabeth II message, the Bank of England has announced another big change.

On Monday, it unveiled new banknotes featuring King Charles III’s portrait, which are expected to go into circulation in mid-2024.

New £5, £10, £20 and £50 notes will only be printed to replace the old currency or to meet any increase in demand, so the banknotes have Images of the late queen and current king will be circulated around the world. simultaneous.

This announcement marks a new page in British history, with King Charles succeeding his mother to the throne and in ceremonies and symbols testifying to the royal family’s presence in everyday life.

“This is a pivotal moment,” the bank’s governor, Andrew Bailey, said in a statement, adding that King Charles was only the second monarch to be printed on the pound.

Banknotes were first issued in the late 17th century, but British sovereignty has only been printed on them since 1960, with Queen Elizabeth II as the first monarch to appear. Early notes featured a portrait of the family’s diamond crowned queen.

According to the Bank of England: “It is a solemn, regal image and has been criticized as harshly and unrealistically similar.

According to the bank, a second portrait of another designer was better received because people thought the portrait was more realistic and she looked more “comfortable”. Other portraits were introduced later, but the one most familiar to most Britons was that of a more mature queen, painted in 1990. Similar portraits continued to appear year after year. 2016, when banknotes began to be printed on plastic instead of paper.

Since the 17th century, kings have been shown on coins facing the opposite direction of their direct predecessors, so King Charles faced left, while his mother faced right. .

The notes do not seem to follow the same tradition, as the sovereigns are depicted from the front.

In recent years, Britain has honored a number of prestigious national figures by introducing coins featuring former Prime Minister Winston Churchill, novelist Jane Austen, painter JMW Turner and mathematician Alan Turing .

The Royal Mint, the official British coin maker, also announced the creation of £5 and 50p coins bearing the king’s effigy, created by sculptor Martin Jennings. The Royal Mint said it would not replace Queen Elizabeth’s coin to “minimize the environmental and financial impact of changing monarchs”.


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