Monday, October 3, 2022



The first British coins to feature the image of King Charles have been unveiled by the Royal Mint.

The new image will appear on 50 pence coins, which will begin circulating in the coming months, and also on a commemorative five-pound coin, which also features two new portraits of Elizabeth on its reverse side.

Charles appears on the new 50 pence coin and the new Stg5 commemorative coin.

Charles’ image is surrounded by a Latin inscription which translates as "King Charles III, by the Grace of God, Defender of the Faith".


Charles’ portrait faces the opposite direction to his late mother Queen Elizabeth in keeping with tradition.

Since the monarchy was restored in 1660 following the 10-year republic of Oliver Cromwell, it has become traditional for the monarch to face in the opposite direction to their predecessor on coins.


Following the death of Queen Elizabeth II, Australian coins will soon start to bear the new monarch's face. The Royal Australian Mint has confirmed it will begin minting coins with the effigy of King Charles III next year and coins will come into circulation with King Charles III's effigy from 2023.

All earlier coins will still remain accepted as legal tender.

According to a regulation of the 1965 Currency Act, the face of Queen Elizabeth II must be on all Australian coins.

The protocol of switching the direction of the effigy faces will also apply in Australia. However, because our coins depict Queen Elizabeth II facing to the right, King Charles III will face to the left.

The Royal Australian Mint has said minting will begin as soon as an effigy, endorsed by Buckingham Palace, has been received and tested.

A special coin released in 2018 by the Royal Mint in the United Kingdom to mark Prince Charles's 70th birthday. As King, he will face the other way on Australian coins.


From the TV series House:

Dr House: “I’m assuming that ‘minimalist at best’ is your British stiff upper lip way of saying ‘no chance in hell.’ “

Dr Chase: “I’m Australian.”

Dr House: “You put the Queen on your money, you’re British.”


As with previous British kings, and unlike the Queen, King Charles III wears no crown on the new coins that feature his portrait.

That's because it is tradition that only female monarchs wear a crown on their coins.

Queen Elizabeth II wore a crown on her coins, but her father King George VI didn't. Similarly, coins featuring Queen Victoria showed her wearing a crown whilst her predecessor, King William IV, wore no crown on his coins.


It’s a shame that Oz won’t take the opportunity, and indeed Buck Palace would not approve, a more casual image with Charlie's headdress for the new coins. There are plenty of images to choose from . . . 

Charlie, age 2

. . .  and my personal favourite for the new Australian coins . . . 

. . . wearing the fox hat.

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