Making It Reign: King Charles first banknotes unveiled

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The reign of King Charles III is gradually underway ahead of his big coronation on May 6 next year.

The Bank of England has revealed a first look at the banknotes featuring King Charles. The notes will enter circulation from mid-2024 and will eventually replace those featuring Queen Elizabeth II’s face as those notes wear out and are retired from circulation.

The 5, 10, 20 and 50 banknotes made from polymer include a portrait of Charles on the front and another of him in a transparent window.

“I am very proud that the bank is releasing the design of our new banknotes, which will carry a portrait of King Charles III,” said Andrew Bailey, governor of the Bank of England.

“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,” he added.

In 1960, Queen Elizabeth made her debut on the Bank of England’s banknotes, seven years after her coronation in 1953. She was the first monarch to appear on the country’s banknotes.

On Dec. 8, the first coin featuring King Charles’ portrait started circulating. He appears on a 50 pence coin with his profile turned to the left, in contrast to the queen’s, which faced the opposite way.

Regarding the new coins, 4.9 million 50 pence coins will enter circulation at 9,452 different branches across the country.

Coins with the queen’s face are likely to remain in circulation as there are around 27 billion in exis-tence.

“Today marks a new era for UK coinage, with the effigy of King Charles III appearing on 50ps in circulation. It’s a fantastic opportunity for coin col-lectors to add to their collections, or start one for the first time,” said Rebecca Morgan, director of collector services at the Royal Mint.—Agencies