Queen Elizabeth’s death: From national anthem to currency, changes UK can expect
Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II, the longest-serving monarch of the UK, died on Thursday, aged 96. Her son King Charles will now be the next King of Britain and will be known as King Charles III, it was announced. With Queen’s death, decades of symbols in Queen Elizabeth II’s honour will likely see a shift. While there has not been any official confirmation but history has shown that when a new monarch emerges so the tributes appear in their honour.
Here are the expected changes that Britain will see as the 73-year-old Prince of Wales becomes the new monarch:
Royal Mint has always issued currency depicting the reigning monarch for more than 1,100 years and Queen Elizabeth was no different – with her portraits gracing coins in Britain and throughout the Commonwealth since she took the throne. New coins had been designed in her honor about once a decade.
Now with King Charles III taking over the throne, the British currency will see major changes. It can be assumed that any newly minted coins with King Charles III will have a photo of him on the left side of the notes and coins. That’s because Queen Elizabeth was always depicted facing toward the right, so Charles will face left. The changing direction is a tradition that has lasted for more than 300 years, according to the Royal Mint Museum, where each king or queen faces in the opposite direction as their predecessor.
The Queen’s father – and King Charles III’s grandfather – George VI faced left on his coins.
Queen Elizabeth II was also the first monarch to be featured on banknotes from the Bank of England, when, in 1956, the U.K. Treasury granted permission for her portrait to be used.
‘God saves the Queen’ national anthem could now get changed. The national anthem has been the song of the land in Britain for 70 years. The national anthem was around long before Elizabeth II ascended to the throne in 1952.
Before that, the song was “God Save the King.” It was first performed in honor of then-Prince Charles Edward Stuart after he defeated King George II’s army, according to the royal family.
The words used in the song today are the same as those sung at that time, but with “Queen” and she/her pronouns used where needed. The first verse of the song will now be recited as, “God save our gracious King! Long live our noble King! God save the King! Send him victorious, Happy and glorious, Long to reign over us, God save the King.”
King Charles III could also get a new personal flag, which the queen did in 1960. Elizabeth’s was a gold “E” with the royal crown on a blue background, surrounded by roses. Charles currently has a personal flag exclusively for use in Wales.
Postal system symbols:
Queen Elizabeth’s head appears on all of the UK’s postage stamps and her cypher. They show the queen wearing the Diamond Diadem, a crown that was made in 1820 for King George IV that has since been worn by every queen and queen consort since Queen Adelaide.
Several iterations of the Queen’s portrait have been displayed on British stamps ever since.
The most recent stamps were issued in February for the queen’s Platinum Jubilee. The stamp showed eight different photographs of Her Majesty throughout her reign.
It’s expected that new stamps will be printed depicting King Charles III.
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