Since news broke yesterday evening that Queen Elizabeth II has died (September 8) many have been wondering: What will happen to our coins and banknotes? During her reign, five different portraits of the Queen have featured on our currency. But will she suddenly disappear from our money overnight and is the cash in our wallets suddenly worthless?
Well don’t stress yet, your money’s still good here.
What will happen to the UK’s currency?
Not much to begin with. Firstly, a new portrait of King Charles III will have to be commissioned before anything else can happen. This can take time as recommendations for new coins will need to obtain royal approval.
Once it does, however, millions of pounds worth of new notes and coins will be printed by the Royal Mint and distributed across the UK.
This won’t happen overnight either. All money and coins currently in circulation will be phased out and replaced with tender featuring the face of Charles. Any of your cash still featuring Queen Elizabeth will still be legal for use though.
This new currency will slowly replace any featuring the Queen’s image and it is expected to be a gradual process. We may still be seeing the late monarch on bank notes and coins for months, maybe years, to come.
What about other countries?
Queen Elizabeth II has appeared more times on money than any other person, with her face featured on at least 33 currencies. These include countries such as Australia, New Zealand, Jamaica and New Zealand, where she appears due to her position as head of the Commonwealth.
It’s expected that all these countries will also have to undergo changes. But this process will be down to individual nations to decide. So if you’ve got some old travel cash knocking around, it will be worth checking out what you need to do with it.
What about stamps?
It won’t be just our national anthem or currency in need of a change. But our stamps too.
But much like our money, stamps will also take time to replace with the face of King Charles III. Any current stamps you have at home will still be legal and useable. So keep sending those letters without worry.