The new bills are expected to enter circulation in 2024.
The Bank of England announced Tuesday that the current banknotes featuring the image of Charles’ late mother, Queen Elizabeth II, will remain legal tender, and “new notes will only be printed to replace worn banknotes and to meet any overall increase in demand.”
This means that bills “featuring HM Queen Elizabeth II and King Charles III will therefore co-circulate.”
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The decision was made in conjunction with the Royal Family, who wish to minimize any negative environmental or financial impact associated with the change.
Apart from the change in monarch, the Bank of England said that the design of the new bills will remain the same — with Winston Churchill on the £5 bill, Jane Austen on the £10 bill, JMW Turner on the £20 and Alan Turing on the £50.
King Charles’ portrait will appear on the front of the bill and in the see-through security window.
Queen Elizabeth was the first monarch to appear on Bank of England bills in 1960, though British royals have adorned the nation’s coins for centuries. Banknotes in Scotland and Northern Ireland do not feature portraits of the monarch.
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Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey said he was “proud” of the momentous occasion.
“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,” he said in a press release.
There are about 4.5 billion Bank of England notes currently circulating with the queen’s image. The BBC estimates that this represents about £80 billion or $132 billion in value.
Coins with the King’s profile have already entered circulation in England with the arrival of the new 50 pence coin on Dec. 8. Much like the banknotes, coins featuring the queen will still be accepted as legal tender.
It remains to be seen if and when the Government of Canada will roll out new bills and coins with Charles’ image.
In an email to Global News, the Royal Canadian Mint reiterated that the government has “not yet announced how it plans to change the obverse (heads side) of our coins.”
“In the meantime, we have a team in place, ready to implement this change in a timely manner, once a decision is announced,” said Alex Reeves, senior manager of public affairs for the Mint.
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The Bank of Canada told Global News that the “current polymer $20 bank note is intended to circulate for years to come,” with the image of Queen Elizabeth II.
“There is no legislative requirement to change the design within a prescribed period when the monarch changes,” said Amélie Ferron-Craig, a media relations consultant for the Bank of Canada.
Charles became King in September following the death of Queen Elizabeth II, who reigned over the Commonwealth for 70 years.
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