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Royal News

A royal first for Charles III as a king plays catch up to a queen

The first bank notes to feature the image of King Charles III have entered circulation.

The notes join existing money already in use that features the image of his mother, Queen Elizabeth II.

Charles III is the first king to have his image on bank notes in the UK. The Monarch’s portrait was only added to paper money in 1960 with Elizabeth II becoming the first to be seen on notes.

Now, over 60 years later, a male Monarch is also portrayed on British banknotes for the first time.

The £5, £10, £20 and £50 notes will circulate along with existing notes.

Bank of England/ Flickr

Money featuring Queen Elizabeth II remains legal tender.

At the time of The King’s accession, Buckingham Palace said that new money would only be issued to replace existing currency that was worn or when there was a demand for an increase in banknotes. This was to minimise the environmental and financial impact of the change.

As well as marking the first time a king has appeared on British banknotes, this is also the first time that the Bank of England has overseen a change in the royal portrait used on its money.

Andrew Bailey, the Governor of the Bank of England, said ”We’re very pleased to be issuing the new King Charles banknotes. This is a historic moment, as it’s the first time we’ve changed the sovereign on our notes.”

He also noted that ”“We know that cash is important for many people, and we are committed to providing banknotes for as long as the public demand them. Bringing these new notes into circulation is a demonstration of that commitment.”

About author

Lydia Starbuck is Jubilee and Associate Editor at Royal Central and the main producer and presenter of the Royal Central Podcast and Royal Central Extra. Lydia is also a pen name of June Woolerton who is a journalist and writer with over twenty years experience in TV, radio, print and online. Her latest book, A History of British Royal Jubilees, is out now. Her new book, The Mysterious Death of Katherine Parr, will be published in March 2024. June is an award winning reporter, producer and editor. She's appeared on outlets including BBC 5 Live, BBC Radio Ulster and BBC Local Radio and has also helped set up a commercial radio station. June is also an accomplished writer with a wide range of material published online and in print. She is the author of two novels, published as e-books. She is also a marriage registrar and ceremony celebrant.