After 70 years on the throne, Queen Elizabeth II has become an integral part of our daily lives. We’re used to seeing her portrait, profile and coat of arms in letters, on pennies and on cereal boxes – so what would be different now?
All 29 billion coins in circulation in the UK feature the head of the Queen. The last design dates back to 2015 when she was 88 years old. This is the fifth coin portrait made during her reign.
The Royal Mint would not say how or when they would start issuing coins with King Charles III’s head. will begin, but it is likely that the Queen’s coins will remain in circulation for years to come, with gradual replacement.
Before all British coins were updated to decimal in 1971, it was quite common to find several kings on your change.
While we don’t know what the portrait of the king’s coin looks like, a coin issued by the Royal Mint in 2018 to commemorate its 70th birthday has given us a clue. And one thing seems certain that he will be directed the other way – to the left. Tradition holds that the direction the king faces on the coin changes for each new king.
Following government approval, the new design will be produced at the Royal Mint in Llantrisant, South Wales.
The queen has appeared on all Bank of England banknotes since 1960 (banknotes issued by Scottish and Northern Irish banks do not feature a monarch). There are currently around 4.5 billion individual Bank of England notes worth around £80 billion. and like coins, they will leak.
All banknotes and coins remain legal as means of payment. Should this change, the Bank of England will provide timely notice.
Postage and mailbox
Since 1967 all stamps issued by the Royal Mail have featured an embossed side-profile silhouette of Queen Elizabeth II.
Royal Mail will now stop production of Queen Elizabeth II stamps – although they can still be used for letters and parcels – and start making new stamps.
The new king has featured on stamps before, but the Royal Mail hasn’t said how the new design will feature it.
In addition to placing the king on postage stamps, Royal Mail also placed the royal code on many post boxes.
More than 60% of Britain’s 115,000 mailboxes have Queen Elizabeth II’s EIIR markings – E for Elizabeth and R for Regina, which means Queen. In Scotland, they represent the Crown of Scotland.
Outside of Scotland, all new mailboxes now include Royal Cipher – but since the number of newly installed mailboxes is quite small, it may take a while before you see them.
Royal Seal of Approval
From ketchup to cereal boxes to perfume, chances are you’ve seen the royal coat of arms next to the words “By Her Majesty the Queen” on some groceries or other items in your home. This is a product that has received a Royal Warrant, meaning the company that makes it supplies the needs of the royal household on a regular basis.
Over the past century or so, kings, their spouses, and their heirs have each issued their own royal warrants – making them guardians – and today there are about 900 royal warrants held by 800 companies.
If a donor dies, the Royal Warrants they have issued are void and the Company has two years to stop using the Royal Arms. (Unless a warrant issued by the Queen Mother is valid for five years after her death.)
The order that Charles issued as Prince of Wales, even now that he is king, applies because it belongs to a household, not a title.
The new king is now expected to give his son and heir, Prince William, the power to issue his own orders.
Passport is still valid
But it’s not just money, stamps and power of attorney that need to be renewed.
All UK passports are issued in Her Majesty’s name and are still valid for travel, but new passports will have the inscription on the inside front cover updated for Your Majesty’s reading.
Police forces in England and Wales have had to change Queen Elizabeth II’s royal code in the center of their helmet plates. Lawyers and attorneys appointed by the king as Counselors to the Queen will soon be referred to as Counselors to the King.
Finally, the words of the national anthem were changed from “God Save the Queen”.
After Charles was officially proclaimed king in a formal ceremony, public announcements were made from the balcony of St James’s Palace, including the chant: “God save the King”.
With these words, the national anthem was sung for the first time since 1952.