Coins and banknotes set for once-in-a-generation change after Queens death

The Queen’s face became one of the most well recognised in the Western world during her 70 years on the throne.

No small part of that was due to the fact every Brit and visitor to these isles was likely to have had a coin or banknote with her face imprinted upon it.

Having been appointed to the throne in 1952, there are millions of coins and notes baring her resemblance in circulation.

But with her death, what will change and how long will the country have to wait until images of the new king are printed on the UK’s money?

It's not just the UK's physical monetary system that faces upheaval but also the Commonwealth countries that continue to use her image on their coins and notes.

What happens to coins and banknotes now the Queen has died?

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New coins and notes will need to be designed and minted or printed, but are not likely to appear in general circulation for some time following the Queen's passing.

The Royal Mint advisory committee needs to send recommendations for new coins to the chancellor and obtain royal approval.

Designs are then chosen and the final choices approved by the chancellor and then Charles, the Queen's oldest son and the new king.

The Queen’s coins did not appear until 1953 – the year after her accession – with banknote designs coming even later.

The Bank of England will reportedly announce plans on bank notes after the period of national mourning is over.

What happens to the old banknotes and coins with the Queen's face on?

Elizabeth II’s coins are expected to stay in circulation until they are gradually replaced.

Given the lengthy duration of her rule, the coins and notes could remain in use for years following her death as it takes time to take them out of the public's pockets.

According to the Coin Expert website, rather than all of the current coins and notes being handed in, the process will be a gradual one.

Banks and Post Offices will issue newly designed coins and notes, and collect the older versions with Queen Elizabeth’s branding, easing the country into the new designs.

There is likely to be a date set for when the Elizabethan notes are no longer considered to be legal tender.

Will the money featuring 'King Charles' be any different?

It is a tradition from the 17th century to alternate the way successive monarchs are facing.

Coins featuring the new king will show him facing to the left — the opposite to his mother’s effigy, which faces to the right.

It is widely speculated that King Charles III sat for portraits that will be used on the new currency before his mother passed.

Will other countries have to change their money following the Queen’s death?

As head of the Commonwealth, the Queen’s image has been widely used by member states.

In fact, the Guinness World Records said that the monarch had appeared on 33 different currencies — more than any other monarch while she was alive.

Among notes to brandish her image include the Canadian $20 bill, the Australian $5 and New Zealand’s $20 note.

The switch to different currency designs are also set to be gradual in these countries, according to Coin Expert.

There could potentially be calls to scrap the image of the monarch altogether, with regular debates in Commonwealth countries about the role of the British monarch in their 21st century societies.


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