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UK Currency Is Set to Change After the Queen's Death. So Will the National Anthem, British Passports

By: News Desk

News18.com

Last Updated: September 09, 2022, 08:26 IST

London

A Union Jack themed Visa credit card is seen amongst British currency in this photo illustration taken in Manchester, Britain March 13, 2017. Reuters

A Union Jack themed Visa credit card is seen amongst British currency in this photo illustration taken in Manchester, Britain March 13, 2017. Reuters

The new monarch's effigy will begin to appear on coins and banknotes in the United Kingdom and around the world. But it will take some time for that to happen

Many aspects of life in Britain and beyond will change with the accession of Charles to the throne, including the national anthem, notes, coins, stamps, postboxes, and passports. The death of Queen Elizabeth II has resulted in changes to the names of institutions throughout the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth realms. Meanwhile, the new king’s effigy and cypher will replace hers on currency and insignia.

News18 Explains how these changes will come about:

How the Currency Change Will Come About

The new monarch’s effigy will begin to appear on coins and banknotes in the United Kingdom and around the world. It will appear on several currencies, including the obverse of East Caribbean dollar coins, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.

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There are 4.5 billion sterling bank notes in circulation with the Queen’s face on them, totaling £80 billion, according to a report by the Guardian.

Replacing them with alternatives featuring the new monarch’s head is expected to take at least two years. When the most recent synthetic £50 notes were issued, the Bank of England took 16 months to recall and replace them.

When the Queen ascended to the throne in 1952, she was not depicted on banknotes. That changed in 1960, when Elizabeth II’s face began to appear on £1 notes in an image designed by banknote designer Robert Austin, which some criticised as being too severe.

So, the Buckingham Palace would first agree on a portrait of the new monarch. The Queen’s head also appears on some $20 banknotes in Canada, coins in New Zealand, and all coins and notes issued by the Central Bank of the Eastern Caribbean, as well as other Commonwealth countries.

All British stamps and coins feature the monarch’s head facing the opposite direction as the previous sovereign.

From ‘God Save the Queen’ to ‘God Save the King’

Britain’s national anthem switches to “God Save the King", with male-version lyrics that may initially catch many people out as they have not been sung since 1952. It is also a national anthem in New Zealand and the royal anthem in Australia and Canada.

British Passports Up for a Rehaul

The wording on the inside cover of British passports will have to be updated, as they are issued in the name of the crown.

They read: “Her Britannic Majesty’s Secretary of State Requests and requires in the Name of Her Majesty all those whom it may concern to allow the bearer to pass freely without let or hindrance, and to afford the bearer such assistance and protection as may be necessary."

Similar text appears inside Australian, Canadian and New Zealand passports.

The loyal toast to the head of state, said at formal gatherings, changes from simply “The Queen" to “The King".

In the Channel Islands, the unofficial toast of “La reine, notre duc" — said in French and toasting the monarch as the duke of Normandy — changes to “le roi, notre duc".

Other Big Changes

The names of Her Majesty’s government, Treasury and Customs and Excise will have to change. The state opening of parliament will feature the king’s speech from the throne, outlining the government’s agenda.

In the military, new recruits will no longer metaphorically take the queen’s shilling to sign up, adhere to the queen’s regulations once in the ranks or board one of Her Majesty’s ships.

The Queen’s Guard, typically seen posted outside Buckingham Palace, changes its name. The police will no longer be preserving the queen’s peace.

In law, senior lawyers will change from being a QC (Queen’s Counsel) to a KC, while the Queen’s Bench Division of the High Court also reverts to the king.

Suspects who admit guilt and testify against their accomplices in return for a lenient sentence will be turning king’s evidence rather than turning the queen’s.

Prisoners initially may be relieved to learn they are no longer being detained at Her Majesty’s pleasure but any joy will be short-lived as they continue their jail terms at His Majesty’s pleasure instead.

Her Majesty’s Theatre in London’s West End, where “The Phantom of the Opera" has been running since 1986, will revert to becoming His Majesty’s.

And speakers of Received Pronunciation, the poshest and most socially prestigious accent, will have to aspire to Charles’s vowels and diphthongs once the Queen’s English becomes the King’s English.

However, the Queen’s English itself changed over time. Comparisons of Queen Elizabeth’s earlier speeches with ones decades later showed that her accent became less plummy over time.

With inputs from AFP, agencies

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first published:September 09, 2022, 08:26 IST
last updated:September 09, 2022, 08:26 IST