The first note to bear a portrait of the queen was the one pound note in 1960
After 70 years on the throne, Queen Elizabeth II had become an intrinsic part of life in the UK. The British are used to seeing her portrait, profile and coat of arms of her on letters, coins and on cereal boxes. So what will change now?
The 29,000 million coins in circulation in the country have the image of the queen’s head. The most recent design of hers dates back to 2015, when she was 88 years old. It was the fifth coin portrait created during her reign.
The Royal Mint (the government mint that produces coins for the UK) does not say how or when it will start issuing coins with the face of King Charles III, but the queen’s coins are likely to remain in circulation for many years and that the process to replace them be gradual.
Before all British coins were upgraded to decimalisation in 1971, it was quite normal to find multiple monarchs on them.
While it is not known what the king’s coin portrait will look like, a coin issued in 2018 by the Royal Mint to commemorate his 70th birthday gave a hint. And one thing that seems certain is that he will be shown looking the other way, to the left.
Tradition dictates that the direction the monarch faces on coins should be alternated for each new monarch.
Once approved by the government, the new designs will be manufactured at the Royal Mint in Llantrisant, South Wales.
The queen has appeared on all Bank of England notes since 1960 (notes issued by Scottish and Northern Irish banks do not depict the monarch).
There are around 4.5 billion individual Bank of England notes worth about £80 billion (about $93 billion) in circulation right now and, as with coins, these will be phased out.
All bills and coins will remain legal tender. The Bank of England will give plenty of warning if that is going to change.
Stamps and mailboxes
Since 1967, all stamps issued by the British Post Office (Royal Mail) have featured an embossed silhouette of Queen Elizabeth II’s side profile.
The post office will now stop producing Queen Elizabeth II stamps, though they can still be used on letters and packages, and will begin the process of creating new ones.
The new king has appeared on stamps before, but Royal Mail is yet to say what the new designs will look like with him.
As well as putting the monarch on the stamps, Royal Mail puts royal figures on many post boxes.
More than 60% of the 115,000 mailboxes in the UK bear the EIIR mark of Queen Elizabeth II: E for Elizabeth (Elizabeth) and R for Regina, meaning queen. In Scotland, they have the Scottish crown.
Outside of Scotland, all new mailboxes will now feature the King’s Key, but as the number of new mailboxes installed is quite low, it might be a while before you come across one of these.
Royal Seal of Approval
From ketchup to cereal packets and perfumes, many products bear the royal arms along with the words “By appointment to Her Majesty the Queen” (something like “Con cita previous con Su Majestad la Reina”, in Spanish).
These are products that have been granted a Royal Certificate, which means that the company that manufactures them periodically supplies the Royal Houses. For the last century or so, the monarch, his consort and his heir have each issued their own security rights, making them grantors, and there are now around 900 royal warrants held by 800 companies.
When a grantor dies, any security rights they have issued are nullified and the company has two years to stop using the royal seal. (Unusually, the orders issued by the queen mother were maintained for five years after her death.)
The guarantees that Charles has issued as Prince of Wales will continue now that he is king because they go with the royal house, not with the title.
There is an expectation that the new king will now give his son and heir, Prince William, the ability to issue his own guarantees.
Passports will remain valid
But it’s not just money, stamps and warranties that need to be upgraded.
All British passports are issued in the name of Her Majesty and remain valid for travel, but for new passports the wording on the inside front cover will be updated to His Majesty. English).
Police forces in England and Wales will have to change Queen Elizabeth II’s royal key in the center of their helmet plates.
Barristers and solicitors who have been appointed by the monarch to be Queen’s Counsel will now be known as King’s Counsel with immediate effect.
And finally, the national anthem will change its words from “Dios Salve a la Reina” (“God Save the Queen”).
After Charles is officially proclaimed king in a formal ceremony, a public announcement will be made from the balcony of St. James’s Palace, which will include the call: “God Save the King.”
Then the national anthem will be played with those words sung for the first time since 1952.