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HomeWorldBank of England unveils King Charles portrait on new banknotes

Bank of England unveils King Charles portrait on new banknotes

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Charles III, the King of England on Tuesday becomes only the second British monarch to appear on a banknote as the Bank of England unveiled his portrait for the series of banknotes.

The King’s portrait was taken from an original snap supplied by Buckingham Palace in 2013 – and then updated over the years since, as he aged.

King Charles, without a crown, will be on the front of all polymer notes – the £5, £10, £20 and £50 – with no other changes to existing designs.

The first note to carry her portrait – or that of any British monarch – was the £1 note issued in 1960.

The King’s image will appear on the front of the notes, as well as in the see-through security window.

The reverse of the banknotes, featuring historical figures, will remain unchanged, allowing them to be checked using existing security features.

In line with guidance from the Royal Household to minimise the environmental and financial impact of this change, new notes will only be printed to replace worn banknotes and to meet any overall increase in demand for banknotes.

Notes featuring both the late Queen and her son will, therefore, circulate together at the same time.

Speaking ahead of the release, Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey said: ‘I am very proud that the Bank is releasing the design of our new banknotes which will carry a portrait of King Charles III.

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‘This is a significant moment, as the King is only the second monarch to feature on our banknotes. People will be able to use these new notes as they start to enter circulation in 2024.’

The new portrait of Charles shows the King, wearing what appears to be his Garter Robes, facing the camera and looking slightly to the left.

The image of his late mother on banknotes showed her in a side profile looking to the right.

Tradition has each King or Queen facing in an opposite direction to their predecessor.

Banknotes have been produced by the Bank of England since the 17th century but – unlike coinage – did not feature a portrait of the monarch of the day until relatively recently, instead using a likeness of ‘Britannia’.

In 1956, the UK Treasury gave permission to the Bank of England to use the late Queen’s portrait in a new series of notes.

The first Bank of England note to feature her portrait was the £1 note issued in 1960. This was followed by a ten shilling note in 1961.

Both notes used the same portrait by banknote designer Robert Austin showing the late Queen wearing the Diamond Diadem, notable for featuring on many other banknotes and stamps.

It was a formal, regal image, and was criticised for being a severe and unrealistic likeness.

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