King Charles III made his official debut on UK money, with the Bank of England unveiling its first banknotes featuring the new monarch on Tuesday.
The revised currency featuring the king’s likeness will come into circulation from mid-2024 and will gradually replace the portrait of his mother, Queen Elizabeth II.
Charles became king in September following the death of Queen Elizabeth at the age of 96 after 70 years on the throne.
The new five, 10, 20 and 50 pound polymer banknotes feature a portrait of Charles on the obverse, as well as a cameo of him in the banknotes’ see-through security window, but are otherwise unchanged from their existing designs.
The reverse side of the money will also remain unchanged, with portraits of Prime Minister Winston Churchill on the £5 note, author Jane Austen on the £10 note, artist JMW Turner and computer scientist Alan Turing on the £20 note. 50 pound note.
“This is a momentous moment, as the King is only the second monarch to feature on our bank notes,” Andrew Bailey, governor of the Bank of England, said in a statement.
Queen Elizabeth became the first monarch in British history to appear on Bank of England notes in 1960, the reverse of which featured tall images of the country’s rulers.
Britain’s Royal Mint began issuing the first coins for general circulation depicting Charles’ profile on 8 December.
Banknotes featuring Queen Elizabeth would not be withdrawn from circulation until they were worn out, so the two types of notes would remain in use for years to come.
The Bank of England said, “To minimize the environmental and financial impact of this change, only new notes will be printed to replace old notes and to meet any overall increase in demand for banknotes.”
There are currently around 4.5 billion individual Bank of England notes worth around £80 billion in circulation.
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