The Bank of England have unveiled the obverse portrait of HM King Charles III which will be depicted on banknotes from 2024. The portrait of His Majesty shows him dressed in the robes of the Order of the Garter with a greater portion of the collar and robes being included as the denomination of the banknotes are increased from £5 to £50. His Majesty’s portrait is placed to the right side as was the portrait of Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, along with his Royal cypher or monogram which includes the letters C and R with the Roman numeral III. As well as the printed portrait, his image also appears as a cameo in the see-through security window.
King Charles III acceded to the British throne upon the death of his mother the late Queen Elizabeth II who reigned for seventy years, from February 1952 until September 2022, passing away at the age of ninety six years. At the beginning of October, a new effigy to be included on all new coinage in the United Kingdom was unveiled as well as the King’s new monogram or, cypher. HM King Charles III is only the second British monarch to have their image included on Bank of England banknotes, the practice was introduced in 1960 with the introduction of the A series consisting of ten shilling and one pound denominations. The most recent G series was introduced from 2016 to 2021 and as part of the Bank of England’s transition to a polymer substrate. The reverse designs on the Series G polymer banknotes will not be changed nor will the color schemes or dimensions. Currently, the personalities shown on the reverse sides are:
- £5 – Winston Churchill – released 2016
- £10 – Jane Austen – released 2017
- £20 JMW Turner – released 2020
- £50 – Alan Turing – released 2021
The Bank of England have advised the new banknotes are to enter circulation in mid-2024 and will only be printed and distributed to replace those current banknotes that are unfit for circulation and to meet any overall increase in demand for banknotes. The Bank’s approach is in line with guidance from the Royal Household to minimize the environmental and financial impact of the change of design. The revised banknotes will also co-circulate with those that depict the image of the Late Queen and will remain legal tender.
This article was written by Michael Alexander, President of the London Banknote and Monetary Research Centre.
For additional information on the new series, please visit the Bank of England website.
Read more about the changeover in British coins and banknotes in an article by Michael Alexander.
Have a look how Queen Elizabeth II was featured on England’s banknotes.