The Bank of England has announced possible changes to the pound sterling banknotes and stamps with the face of Queen Elizabeth II, who died on Thursday at the age of 96.
“As the first monarch to appear on Bank of England notes, the Queen’s iconic portraits are synonymous with some of the most important work we do.”
“The current banknotes depicting Her Majesty the Queen will continue to be legal tender.”
According to Thursday’s statement, a new announcement on the existing notes will be made after the mourning period. There are 4.5 billion banknotes in circulation with the queen’s face, totaling 80 billion pounds (about R$ 480.51 billion), according to the body.
Banknotes and stamps with the image of the queen are expected to be replaced by that of her eldest son, now King Charles III, her successor. According to The Guardian, the change should take at least two years.
The first 1 pound note bearing the image of the Queen was issued by the Bank of England in 1960, designed by Robert Austin, eight years after she assumed the crown.
Since then, the banknotes have had the face of the monarch on one side and personalities from British history on the other.
Today’s banknotes use the same portrait of the Queen since 1990. Instead of a watermark, they feature a transparent window containing a smaller but clearly defined version of the portrait.
For the Bank of England, the familiarity of this portrait helped create a sense of continuity when the banknotes moved to polymer printing in 2016.
The Queen’s face also appears on Canadian and New Zealand money. Other parts of the Commonwealth also have an image of Elizabeth II on their banknotes.
At each Queen’s Jubilee, the Bank of England also released commemorative coins. Elizabeth II was the first British monarch to celebrate the date six times. The last one, from Platinum, marked his 70 years on the throne.
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