Queens Death: Changes To Expect from Cash, stamps and Anthem

Written by on September 9, 2022

The death of Queen Elizabeth II marks a monumental and disruptive moment in the history of the nation.

For many decades, there has been one consistent face on all over stamps, coins and notes, and her initials adorn postboxes, uniforms and government signage all across the UK.

Thus, changing all this will be a huge and costly task, one likely to take several years if not decades, and indeed, one that may never be completed.

National anthem

The change in the UK’s head of state is a massive upheaval which will change so many things from the national anthem.

Obviously, the words of the national anthem will be switched from “God save our gracious Queen” to “God save our gracious King” – although it may take time before large crowds sing the new version with confidence.

Bank notes and coins

However, one of the biggest changes people will notice in their daily lives is what will happen to the money in their pocket in the years following the Queen’s death.

Now that the Queen has died, new currency bearing Charles’ image will eventually enter circulation – slowly but steadily replacing the notes and coins bearing his late mother’s face.

The first step in this transition is the selection of designs for coins and notes bearing a portrait of the new King, a process which will take time.

Money with the Queen’s image on it will still be legal tender, so the cash you have on hand isn’t going to suddenly become worthless.

Once the image of King Charles III that will be on the money has been chosen, it will start to be printed on coins and notes.

From that point onwards there will be a steady and gradual change as new coins and notes with the King on them enter circulation.

Meanwhile, the Bank of England says current banknotes featuring the image of The Queen will continue to be legal tender in the United Kingdom for now. A further announcement regarding existing banknotes will be made once the period of mourning has been observed according to the bank.

Royal arms

The familiar royal arms, which feature a lion and a unicorn rampant against a shield, are used widely on government premises and stationery, and any change would be costly, but it may not be necessary. It would need to change if the new monarch decided to represent Wales on the shield in line with any change to the royal standard.

Flags

From the flags that fly outside police stations across the UK to the standard used on a naval ship when a general is onboard, thousands of flags emblazoned with EIIR will need to be replaced. Military regiments fly “Queen’s colours”, many of which are studded with a golden embroidered EIIR; the fire service ensign includes her initials and countries where the Queen remains head of state, including Australia, Canada and New Zealand, have what flag experts call “E flags” – personal flags for the Queen that are used when she is visiting.

Royal cypher

A royal usually appears on government buildings, uniforms, royal or state documents and royal-affiliated items.

It is unique to each reigning monarch and consists of their name and title.

However, now that the Queen has died, ER could be swapped for CR.

Though the second letter may not change because the R can stand for either Rex or Regina, the Latin for King and Queen.

However, the next royal cypher is not confirmed yet.

Post boxes and stamps

Royal Mail postboxes are marked with ERII, which stands for Elizabeth Regina II.

Royal Mail postboxes bearing Queen Elizabeth’s royal cypher, ER, are unlikely to be removed.

Some with King George VI’s GR cypher remain in use today, 70 years on. The Post Office, however, will change stamps, with a profile image of the new monarch being used.


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