Queen Elizabeth is featured on several currencies. Now what?

Queen Elizabeth is featured on several currencies. Now what?

LONDON – Queen Elizabeth I has been depicted for decades on British banknotes. In a reminder of the British empire’s colonial reach, her portrait has also been featured on currency in dozens of other countries.

What happens next this week after her death? It will take time for the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and other countries to swap out the monarchs on their money.

Here’s a look at what is next for the paper cash featuring the late queen:


The queen’s portrait on British notes and coins is expected to be replaced by a likeness of the new King Charles III, but it won’t be immediate.

“Current banknotes featuring the image of Her Majesty The Queen will continue to be legal tender,” the Bank of England said. An announcement on existing paper money issued by the U.K.’s central bank will be made after the official 10-day mourning period has ended, it said.

The official British coin maker, the Royal Mint, stated that all coins bearing her portrait “remain legal and in circulation” with more information to follow.

” “As we respect this time of respectful mourning we continue to strike coins like usual,” the Royal Mint stated on its website.

With 4.7 billion U.K. banknotes worth 82 billion pounds ($95 billion) in circulation and about 29 billion coins, British money bearing the queen’s image will likely be in circulation for years. The process of handing in all current coins and notes will be gradual and many coins featuring portraits by Queen Elizabeth II will continue to circulate for many years,” says Coin Expert, a British website that studies coins.

After Charles receives the crown at his coronation ceremony, a new portrait of Queen Elizabeth II will be required to be used on the newly designed notes and coins.

Coins featuring him will show him facing to the left, replacing the queen’s rightward gaze in line with tradition dating to the 17th century. It is important that monarchs are shown in profile and in the opposite direction of their predecessors.


Other currencies featuring the queen — from Australian and Canadian dollars — will also be updated with the new monarch. However, the Coin Expert website stated that it is easier to enforce a new design within the country where it originated than in countries where different jurisdictions may exist.

The Bank of Canada said its current $20 banknote, made of synthetic polymer, is designed “to circulate for years to come.”

“There is no legislative requirement to change the design within a prescribed period when the Monarch changes,” the Bank of Canada said. The bank stated that when a new portrait subject has been chosen for Canadian money, the process starts with the creation of a new design and the new note is ready to issue “a few years later.”

The Reserve Bank of New Zealand stated that it will issue all of the coins in its collection depicting the queen before any new ones are issued with Charles’ image. The queen also is featured on the $20 bill, which is made “infrequently” and there is no “plan to destroy stock or shorten the life of existing banknotes just because they show the Queen,” the bank said.

“It will be several years before we need to introduce coins featuring King Charles the Third, and longer until stocks of $20 notes are exhausted,” it added.


She first appeared on money when she was still a princess. That was in 1935, when Canada’s $20 bill featured 8-year-old Princess Elizabeth, whose grandfather King George V was then the monarch, as part of a new series of notes.

Canadian $20 bills were updated with a new portrait of the queen in 1954, a year after her coronation, and her portrait also started appearing on other currencies around the world, mainly British colonies and Commonwealth countries.

British bills did not get her image until 1960, seven years after her coronation. The Bank of England was granted permission to use her image on paper money. It started with the 1-pound note. However, the formal and regal image was criticised for being too harsh and unrealistic.

She was the first monarch to appear on British banknotes. British coins, meanwhile, have featured kings and queens for more than 1,000 years.


At one time, Queen Elizabeth II appeared on at least 33 different currencies, more than any other monarch, an achievement noted by Guinness World Records. Her image can still be found on money in countries where she is a loved figure, such Canada. Other flags, including New Zealand and Australia, continue to include the Union Jack.

She can also be found on coins and notes issued by the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank. This is the monetary authority for small countries like Antigua and Barbuda and Dominica, Grenada and Montserrat.

Other countries have stopped using her face on their currency for a long time. After Jamaica gained independence in 1962,, its central bank replaced her face on paper notes with portraits and stories of national heroes like Marcus Garvey.

Notes from the Seychelles now show local wildlife, instead of the queen. The same was done for Bermuda, although the queen still holds a minor place on bills. After becoming a republic, Trinidad and Tobago adopted a coat of arms.

Hong Kong dollar issued after Britain returned its colony to Beijing in 1997 have Chinese dragons and skyscrapers that dominate the skyline of the Asian financial centre.


Follow AP coverage of Queen Elizabeth II at https://apnews.com/hub/queen-elizabeth-ii

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