With a new monarch of the United Kingdom comes a series of revamped national symbols, including currency. Bank notes have long featured a portrait of whoever is wearing the crown, and on Tuesday, the Bank of England announced when King Charles III's own likeness will make its debut.
The bank said that the king's portraits will make their way onto bank notes by the end of 2022 and will be featured on the front of all four polymer notes, including the £5, £10, £20 and £50. They will enter circulation by mid-2024, the Bank of England said in a statement.
Since 1960, bank notes have featured the portraits of Charles' mother,, who died this month at the age of 96. But they aren't getting out of the system just yet.
"They will co-circulate with those featuring HM King Charles III," the Bank of England said.
The move is being made "in line with guidance from the Royal Household and to minimize the environmental and financial impact" of the changing monarch, the bank said, adding that the new currency will continue to be put into circulation. New money will only be made to replace those that are too worn for use or to meet changing demand, the bank said.
Polymer bank notes featuring the royal images are replacing those made of paper. Paper £20 and £50 notes will be withdrawn from legal tender after September 30, the Bank of England has said, adding that people should either use them or deposit them before that time. Starting October 1, the paper currency will no longer be able to be used to pay businesses, although many banks in the U.K. will accept them as deposits.
The Royal Mint has confirmed that coins featuring Charles' portrait will also be co-circulated with those depicting the late queen. There are roughly 27 billion coins in circulation that depict her image.
Co-circulation, the Royal Mint said, is commonly done as it "ensures a smooth transition, with minimal environmental impact and cost."
"The first coins bearing the effigy of His Majesty King Charles III will enter circulation in line with demand from banks and post offices," the Royal Mint said. "This means the coinage of King Charles III and Queen Elizabeth II will co-circulate in the UK for many years to come."
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