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British Royals

First image of King Charles III on coins revealed

King Charles III has appeared on a coin for the first time.

His Majesty’s likeness has been struck for a series of commemorative coins marking the life of his mother, Queen Elizabeth II.

The portrait has been created by renowned sculptor, Martin Jennings, whose other work includes the statue of George Orwell outside the BBC’s New Broadcasting House in central London.

Around it is written ‘Charles III D.G. Rex F.D. 2022” which denoting ‘Charles III, by the grace of God, King, Defender of the Faith, 2022”.

It will first be seen on a commemorative £5 coin, issued on October 3rd 2022. On its reverse is a design showing Queen Elizabeth II as a young woman and at the end of her reign along with her dates, 1926 – 2022. It is the work of John Bergdahl and the Royal Mint.

The Royal Mint

The collection also contains a 50p which will go into general circulation and become the first much used coin of his reign. Its reverse shows the four emblems of the four countries of the Untied Kingdom – the rose, the shamrock, the leek and the thistle and ‘2022’.

The King faces left on the coin, following a long established tradition. Monarchs always face in the opposite direction to their predecessor. Her Late Majesty faced right on every coin issued in the UK during her 70 year reign and so her son faces the other way.

Coins bearing the image of Queen Elizabeth II will remain legal tender for years. The King has already said he wants stocks of money bearing his mother’s image that have already been made but not issued to be put into circulation to avoid waste. It means that money with both King Charles III and Queen Elizabeth II will circulate together.

The coins were revealed just three weeks into the reign of The King. Charles III took the throne on September 8th 2022 on the death of his mother, Queen Elizabeth II.

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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.