King Charles presented with new banknotes

King Charles presented with new banknotes

New £50 bank note. Credit: bankofengland/

In a historic moment, King Charles has become only the second British monarch to be pictured on a banknote.

The ceremonial unveiling happened at Buckingham Palace on Tuesday, April 9, where King Charles was presented with the inaugural issues of the £5, £10, £20, and £50 notes, featuring his portrait.

A tradition with a personal touch

King Charles has maintained a lower public profile following his cancer diagnosis, opting for private engagements. This event, hosted by Andrew Bailey, Governor of the Bank of England, marks a significant but intimate ceremony.

Bailey highlighted the novelty of this transition, noting, ‘this was the first time the Bank of England had had to change the monarch on the banknotes,’ as Queen Elizabeth II was the first monarch to grace all Bank of England notes.

The king was gifted a set of notes bearing the serial numbers 00001, and he remarked on the design, calling it ‘very elegant.’ The new polymer banknotes are engraved with an image of King Charles from 2013, noticeably without a crown, contrasting with his mother’s depiction.

Symbolising a new era

The introduction of these banknotes signifies one of the final stages in the transition to King Charles’s reign.

Before this, new stamps and coins bearing his image had already been circulated. The Bank of England announced a phased rollout of the notes beginning on June 5, with the existing Queen Elizabeth notes to remain valid until wear and tear requires their replacement.

Other changes

  • December 2022: A significant number of 50p coins displaying the King’s portrait were released into circulation.
  • March 2023: Royal Mail issued the premier King Charles stamps within a special collection. And April 2023 saw the launch of new regular first and second-class stamps, portraying the King.
  • July 2023: British passports started being issued under the name of ‘His Majesty.’
  • January 2024: Public establishments, such as municipal buildings and courts, received an official photograph of the monarch, taken at Windsor Castle.
  • February 2024: King Charles’s favoured Tudor crown design was adopted on the website and in official premises.
  • June 2024: The Bank of England is set to release £5, £10, £20, and £50 notes featuring the King’s portrait, based on a 2013 photograph.
  • Post boxes remain unchanged unless damaged or due for extensive repair, hence older examples from as far back as Queen Victoria’s era are still in use.

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Written by

John Ensor

Originally from Doncaster, Yorkshire, John now lives in Galicia, Northern Spain with his wife Nina. He is passionate about news, music, cycling and animals.