October 10, 2013 – The only official United Kingdom coins being struck to commemorate the christening of HRH Prince George of Cambridge have gone into production on October 8, 2013 at The Royal Mint in Llantrisant, South Wales.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge with Prince George outside the Lindo Wing of St Mary’s Hospital. Photo: Christopher Neve / http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/deed.en
This is the first time that new UK coins have been produced to mark the christening of a member of the Royal family.
Approved by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Her Majesty the Queen and the Chancellor of the Exchequer, the coins feature the lily font that plays an important role in Royal christenings. Swags of lilies ornament the inscription, which is flanked by two harp-playing cherubs to balance the design perfectly. The motto at the foot of the coin is the traditional DIEU ET MON DROIT or ‘God and my right’ which is the motto of Prince George’s great grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II.
The 5GBP BU coin.
The new design will feature on the £5 coin which will be available in silver – because the crossing of a baby’s palm with silver is a long-established tradition, conferring good health and prosperity to newborns – and gold – to mark the Royal celebration. In addition, the £5 coin will also be made to Brilliant Uncirculated standard making it more widely affordable. There will be a more intricate version of the design on the new 5oz and Kilo coins as these have a larger area which allow for more detail.
The coins have been designed by sculptor, John Bergdahl who has undertaken a number of prestigious commissions from The Royal Mint, including the Kilo coin for the 60th anniversary of the Queen’s Coronation.
The 1,000GBP Gold Proof Kilo coin.
Commenting on his design John Bergdahl said: “It’s a tremendous honour and privilege to have been chosen to design the first ever Royal christening coin. The design is baroque, a style that has been reborn many times and often featured in Royal artwork and traditions.
“One element that I knew I wanted to incorporate was the lily font from the Tower of London, which is a strong tradition in christenings for the Royal family. The motto is traditional and sums up the expectation carried by a young child, born to reign – regardless of gender – for the first time ever.”
Because of the coin’s official status, The Royal Mint has already received thousands of pre-orders from both within the UK and around the world.
Shane Bissett, Director of Commemorative Coin at The Royal Mint said: “The Royal Mint has celebrated moments of national significance for over 1,000 years and it was felt appropriate to produce the first-ever set of Royal christening coins to mark the christening of our future king.
“The classic design of these coins was inspired by the symbols and images from the silver gilt lily font, which has traditionally been used for every Royal christening since 1841. Silver is closely associated with new born babies, as crossing the palm of a new born baby with silver is a way to wish them wealth and good health throughout their life”.
For more information on the official UK coin to commemorate the christening of HRH Prince George of Cambridge please visit the website of The Royal Mint.
The BBC has reported details of the christening that will take place on October 23, 2013.