How the U.K.'s Currency and Stamps Will Change Following Queen Elizabeth's Death

·2 min read

In the aftermath of the death of Queen Elizabeth on Thursday, changes to the U.K.'s currency and stamps are expected.

Following the announcement of the monarch's death, The Bank of England — which is the central bank of the United Kingdom — announced plans for banknotes featuring the image of the Queen.

"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," the statement read. "Current banknotes featuring the image of Her Majesty The Queen will continue to be legal tender."

The statement continued, "A further announcement regarding existing Bank of England banknotes will be made once the period of mourning has been observed."

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The portrait of Her Majesty The Queen Elizabeth II on the current five pound note (top) is positioned next to an original one pound note issued on March 17, 1960, which was the first banknote to carry a portrait of the Queen, in the Bank of England Museum on March 16, 2010 in London, England. The Bank of England Museum is opening a new exhibition tracing the development of the portrait of the Queen on Bank of England notes. The display features five different portraits of the Queen since 1960 alongside their preliminary sketches and printing plates.
The portrait of Her Majesty The Queen Elizabeth II on the current five pound note (top) is positioned next to an original one pound note issued on March 17, 1960, which was the first banknote to carry a portrait of the Queen, in the Bank of England Museum on March 16, 2010 in London, England. The Bank of England Museum is opening a new exhibition tracing the development of the portrait of the Queen on Bank of England notes. The display features five different portraits of the Queen since 1960 alongside their preliminary sketches and printing plates.

Oli Scarff/Getty

The first £1 note featuring the Queen's likeness was issued by the Bank of England in 1960, The Washington Post reports.

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The Queen also appears on bills in Canada, coins in New Zealand and money from the Eastern Caribbean central bank, according to The Guardian.

In this photo illustration banknotes of the pound sterling, The Bank of England £20 notes with the image of Queen Elizabeth II and various coins of the pound sterling are seen displayed.
In this photo illustration banknotes of the pound sterling, The Bank of England £20 notes with the image of Queen Elizabeth II and various coins of the pound sterling are seen displayed.

Karol Serewis/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty

Replacing the banknotes could take at least two years while coins could take longer, the publication notes.

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CANADA - JUNE 15: 1 dollar coin, 1993, obverse, queen Elizabeth II (1926-). Canada, 20th century.
CANADA - JUNE 15: 1 dollar coin, 1993, obverse, queen Elizabeth II (1926-). Canada, 20th century.

DeAgostini/Getty

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In addition to currency, it is also expected that stamps featuring the image of the Queen will be replaced with the new monarch, King Charles III, per The Guardian.

However, the more than 100,000 Royal Mail post boxes — bearing Queen Elizabeth's Royal Cypher ERII — are likely to remain in place, Sky News reports.

New postal boxes will feature the new monarch's Royal Cypher, according to the outlet.

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Queen Elizabeth died at age 96 on Thursday afternoon. Buckingham Palace announced in a statement that she passed "peacefully at Balmoral," adding: "The King and The Queen Consort will remain at Balmoral this evening and will return to London tomorrow."

Her death follows her husband of 73 years, Prince Philip, who died at age 99 in June 2021. She is succeeded immediately by her eldest son, King Charles III, 73, who is now the monarch.