Bank of England unveils design of King Charles banknotes

The Bank of England on Tuesday unveiled the design of banknotes featuring King Charles III.

In a statement, the central bank said the portrait of the King will appear on existing designs of all four polymer banknotes (5, 10, 20 and 50 pounds), with no other changes to the existing designs.

The King’s image will appear on the front of the banknotes, as well as in cameo in the see-through security window.

The new notes are expected to enter circulation by mid-2024.

All polymer banknotes carrying a portrait of the late Queen Elizabeth II remain legal tender, and the public can continue to use these as normal, the statement said.

“In line with guidance from the Royal Household, to minimise the environmental and financial impact of this change, new notes will only be printed to replace worn banknotes and to meet any overall increase in demand for banknotes.

“Notes featuring Queen Elizabeth II and King Charles III will therefore co-circulate,” it added.

Speaking ahead of the release, Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey said: “I am very proud that the Bank is releasing the design of our new banknotes which will carry a portrait of King Charles III. This is a significant moment, as the King is only the second monarch to feature on our banknotes. People will be able to use these new notes as they start to enter circulation in 2024.”

Queen Elizabeth was the first and only monarch to appear on circulating Bank of England banknotes, starting in 1960.

Notes issued by Scottish and Northern Irish banks do not depict the monarch.

There are about 4.5 billion individual Bank of England notes worth about 80 billion pounds in circulation at present.

Meanwhile, 50 pence coins bearing the image of King Charles III have already entered circulation via post offices across the country.

An estimated 4.9 million of the new coins are being distributed to post offices — about half of the total number earmarked for circulation — to be given in change to customers.

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