The Bank of England has unveiled plans to keep a lasting legacy alive with the circulation of new banknotes featuring King Charles III in mid-2024.
The United Kingdom’s central bank made the first public announcement on the design in the days leading up to the royal coronation in May. Officials said the king’s picture would be added to the designs of all four of the polymer banknotes now in circulation in the country, including the five, ten, twenty, and fifty pound notes. It is the first time that the design has been revealed to the public.
Both the front of the banknotes, which are made of polymer plastic, and the see-through security window on the notes will have an image of the king.
The polymer plastic notes will also be transparent. The banknotes featuring Queen Elizabeth II will also continue to be legal currency and remain in circulation for the general population to be used as has been the norm up to now.
New notes will solely be produced to replace damaged banknotes and satisfy any general rise in demand. The Bank of England reported they have developed measures in accordance with guidelines from the royal household to minimize environmental and financial consequences of the move.
King Charles to be featured on a Bank of England UK note
King Charles III will be featured on a Bank of England UK note, making him the second monarch to be honored in such a way.
While the Bank of England has been printing paper currency since the late 1600s, it wasn’t until the introduction of the one pound note depicting Queen Elizabeth II in 1960 that the bank included a portrait of the queen on a bill for general circulation. Nonetheless, the monarch’s image has been depicted on coins for centuries.
Some Canadian twenty dollar banknotes, New Zealand coins, and currency from other Commonwealth countries all contain the Queen’s head.
Due to the increasing use of cards and contactless payments, the popularity of bills has been decreasing over the past several years. Still, there are about 4.7 billion Bank of England notes with Queen Elizabeth II out there. They are worth almost £82 billion.
Beginning with the launch of the five pound note depicting Winston Churchill on the reverse in 2016, paper banknotes have been phased out in favor of those printed on polymer, a thin and flexible plastic substance.
The Bank of England has announced that the new designs for its bills will include a new image of the monarch, but the reverse sides will remain the same.
Authors Jane Austen and J.M.W. Turner will continue to appear on ten pound notes while Alan Turing will continue to be featured on twenty and fifty pound bills. All other security measures, such as holograms and plastic windows, will remain in place as usual.
The introduction of the note, together with new coins, stamps, and the king’s CR monogram to be used on official documents and postboxes, will be among the most noticeable changes for royal symbols since the death of the Queen in September.