The UK's Currency Is Going To Look A Lot Different After Charles Becomes King

The summer of 2022 was a special one for Queen Elizabeth II, as she celebrated 70 years spent on the throne during her Platinum Jubilee festivities. The event marked the first of its kind, being the only Platinum Jubilee to ever take place in the United Kingdom (via the BBC). After the Jubilee celebrations, her majesty enjoyed a much-deserved vacation at her traditional getaway spot, Balmoral Castle, according to People, and she'll soon be welcoming Prince William and Kate Middleton as neighbors close to her Windsor residence, per CNN

Even though things appear to be business as usual for the monarch now, Britons and international onlookers alike have long been bracing themselves for the unfortunate day when the queen dies. Both Buckingham Palace and the British government have been planning for her death for decades, arranging everything from her funeral to the pausing of the stock markets, Insider explains. And the country's currency is set to undergo a major change after the queen passes and Prince Charles becomes king.

The UK's currency will change dramatically following the queen's death

Though many Britons may never have the opportunity to see Queen Elizabeth in person, they see her likeness every day on currency notes and coins. But once the queen dies, the UK's currency will change to reflect the new monarch, the queen's eldest son Prince Charles (via Insider). According to My London, a new currency with the king's image will be produced, replacing the old currency. Coins and notes with the queen's image will still be valid and legal tender until a specific date to be revealed later.

Express notes that Charles is likely to have already taken the portrait photos that will be used on the new currency. Once he becomes king, which happens right after Elizabeth's death, the Bank of England will immediately begin printing new money with his likeness. However, it's expected to take years before the new currency design replaces the old currency featuring the queen.

Other countries may also update their currency

While a new face on official banknotes may not seem like a big deal, it will be for the UK. The Bank of England points out that Queen Elizabeth II has been on every kind of British currency note produced since 1960. Her portrait has changed over the years, but her presence on the coins and notes has remained.

Elizabeth doesn't only appear on the UK currency. Her image has also been featured on notes and coins used in at least 33 different countries, The Sydney Morning Herald says. These countries include Australia, Jersey, The Bahamas, and Canada, where she first made her debut on a banknote at the tender age of eight. After the queen's death, countries that still use her likeness on their currency will have to decide whether to change their currency to honor the king or replace the queen's image with something unrelated to the British monarchy. Regardless of each country's decision, it's clear that the queen's death, when it happens, will have a monumental impact on nations and people around the world.