Bank notes, coins, stamps and more: How will these change?
Both the United Kingdom, and people across the world, are still reeling from the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II on 8th September 2022. As the nation mourns the loss of our beloved royal and Britain’s longest reigning monarch, her son Charles, formerly the Prince of Wales, has been sworn in as our new King.
The death of her majesty has left many people feeling lost and out of sorts. For most people in the UK, Queen Elizabeth is all they have ever known. Our deepest condolences are with the Royal Family at this sad time.
Many questions have been raised regarding coins, stamps and more. How will these items change in light of Her Majesty’s passing?
One such question we have seen time and time again is in regard to our money – our bank notes and coins. How will her majesty’s passing impact our legal tender?
Current bank notes and coins featuring the Queen can continue to be spent until new notes and coins are designed and start to be printed. The Bank of England has said the current money with her majesty’s profile on it is still legal tender. It is expected there will be another announcement made by the Bank of England after the period of public mourning has been observed.
Queen Elizabeth II was the first monarch to appear on British bank notes, marking a monumental change for the Bank of England. King Charles will indeed appear on our coins and notes in the future; however, they may not appear in general circulation for a while. This is due to the long process of designing and creating this new money.
Any designs need to be sent to the chancellor and royal approval must be obtained before being selected and created. The current currency will be gradually phased out when new currencies are printed and distributed. It cannot be said when new bank notes and coins could come into circulation.
Another question which has arisen after the Queen’s passing is about stamps. When will postage stamps change?
Stamps are another iconic piece with the Queen’s image on them. The Royal Mail will see widespread change after King Charles’ accession. Of course, stamps will change. Post boxes with Queen Elizabeth II’s markings on them have also been speculated about.
The Royal Mail have said all stamps featuring the Queen will remain valid for use. However, stamps are already in the process of undergoing changes, to feature a barcode on them. All stamps without a barcode on them are valid until January 2023.
Royal Mail have said they will not make any further announcements until after the funeral of her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. The Post Office, however, have suggested all existing post boxes will remain unchanged.
Her Majesty’s Passport Office, soon to be known as His Majesty’s Passport Office, will be in charge of all passport changes.
Currently, on the first pages of British passports the following words appear: “Her Britannic Majesty’s Secretary of State requests and requires in the name of Her Majesty all those whom it may concern allow the bearer to pass freely without let or hindrance and to afford the bearer such assistance and protection as may be necessary.”
This, of course, will be changed to reflect King Charles as the new head of state. The passport office operates under the home office. There has been no word as of yet regarding when changes will start to be made.
The Royal Cypher
The Royal Cypher crops up regularly in many parts of everyday life. It is currently on post boxes and on government signage across the nation. The Royal Cypher is also seen on police and military uniforms. It also appears, of course, on royal and state documents. The current cypher will be altered to reflect the new King.
You will likely have seen the Royal Cypher before, without even realising what it is. Currently, Queen Elizabeth’s cypher – ER II – is included as the Royal cypher. The crown shown on the cypher will likely change, also. This is due to Queens using the St Edward’s crown as the centrepiece and Kings traditionally using a more rounded Tudor crown.
The legal system
All members of the Queen’s Counsel automatically had their titles changed after the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth. They are now known as members of the King’s Counsel. Additionally, the Queen’s Bench Division of the High Court will change to the King’s Bench Division.
Similarly, within courts across the United Kingdom, Barristers have been informed case names will be changed from ‘Regina’ – Latin for Queen – to ‘Rex’, the Latin word for King. However, there will be no urgency to do this immediately.
On Friday 9th September 2022, the day after the passing of Her Majesty, the Old Bailey court in London heart the first case in the name of the King since 1952. This is the first time in 70 years the court has heard the words “God save the King” during the opening of a case.