Journalism of Courage

Queen Elizabeth II’s passing: Britain to transit to King Charles money after the nation’s mourning period

The Bank of England confirmed in a statement that cash and coins will continue to be legal tender - for the time being - but will announce more plans for the transition to King Charles money after the nation's mourning period.

The passing of Queen Elizabeth II on Thursday has left the United Kingdom with an imminent raft of changes starting with its money and postal stamps which carry the portrait of the monarch.

Money and stamps are two of the day-to-day items which carry Queen Elizabeth II’s face, and both of them will have to be replaced soon.

The changes will be happening for the first time in a lifetime, a report said on Friday.

The Bank of England confirmed in a statement that cash and coins will continue to be legal tender – for the time being – but will announce more plans for the transition to King Charles money after the nation’s mourning period.

“The Bank of England’s staff wish to express their heartfelt condolences to the Royal Family, following news of the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.’’

Governor Andrew Bailey said: “It was with profound sadness that I learned of the death of Her Majesty The Queen. On behalf of everyone at the Bank I would like to pass on my deepest condolences to the Royal Family.

“For most of us, she is the only head of state we have ever known, and will be remembered as an inspirational figure for our country and the Commonwealth.”

The building at Threadneedle Street will fly a flag at half-mast as a mark of respect.

“As the first monarch to feature on Bank of England banknotes, the Queen’s iconic portraits are synonymous with some of the most important work we do.

“Current banknotes featuring the image of Her Majesty The Queen will continue to be legal tender. A further announcement regarding existing Bank of England banknotes will be made once the period of mourning has been observed.

Although the Bank of England has not yet confirmed the date that the coins and cash will change, there is likely to be a significant transition phase between The Queen notes and our new King Charles cash.

Plans have been in place for this for a long time and the new cash will be produced and distributed into general circulation with the old money gradually being phased out.

However, it’s not just in the UK, where the Queen’s face is used on the currency. It is also used in countries, such as Canada, Australia and New Zealand – and they too will eventually phase out cash with her image on.

In the UK, there is currently £80 billion of money in circulation featuring Queen Elizabeth II on the reverse.

When old imperial money was phased out in the UK in 1972 and replaced with metric money – i.e old farthings, ha’penny and sixpence made way for 100p in £1 – it was announced that there would be an 18-month transition between the old and new money.

For the stamps, Royal Mail has yet to announce when the stamps will be changed to the King, but it is likely to follow a similar transition period as cash.

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