British coins, banknotes and stamps will remain valid after accession

British coins and banknotes depicting Queen Elizabeth II remain in circulation despite the monarch’s death, the Royal Mint said.

The UK’s official coin maker and oldest manufacturer said money bearing the image of the late Queen would remain legal tender, alongside coins and notes featuring the Queen and figures such as the author Jane Austen and former Prime Minister Winston Churchill.

Coins depicting the Queen will gradually disappear and be replaced by coins depicting King Charles III, Britain’s new monarch. A new portrait of the king will be commissioned and new currency will be printed by the Royal Mint and distributed all over the country.

The Royal Mint worked with the Queen throughout her 70-year reign, describing her journey from new monarch to respected head of state through five coin portraits, ensuring that each new coin received its personal seal of approval.

“The remarkable legacy of Britain’s longest serving monarch will live on for many years to come,” said Anne Jessopp, chief executive of the Royal Mint. “Queen Elizabeth II ruled with heart and devotion and will be sorely missed by all of us at the Royal Mint and by millions of people around the world.”

The Royal Mint is responsible for the production and distribution of British coins, and as the world’s leading export mint also makes coins and medals for other countries. For over 300 years, one of the functions of the Bank of England has been to commission and issue banknotes.

The Queen’s head appears on one side of all British coins and her current portrait, dating from 2015, is the work of the designer Jody Clark. He is only the fifth portrait of the Queen to appear on coins issued during her reign. The first portrait – depicting the young queen wearing a wreath – was created by the sculptor Mary Gillick and appeared on coins from 1953.

For the decimal coins, the first of which came into circulation in 1968, a new portrait was created by the artist Arnold Machin. This portrait survived until 1985 when the third portrait was designed by sculptor Raphael Maklouf. Her fourth portrait, dating from 1998, was the work of sculptor Ian Rank-Broadley.

The queen is always shown to the right, in line with a tradition dating back to the 17th century of successive monarchs looking on coins in alternate directions. If this tradition is followed, King Charles will be shown to the left.

Like the coins, new stamps with the portrait of the king will also come into circulation in the coming months. In the meantime, stamps with the head of the queen remain valid.

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