New coins featuring King Charles’ portrait unveiled

Photo: Reuters

New coins featuring the portrait of King Charles have been revealed, with a 50p carrying his image entering general circulation within weeks.

The coins follow centuries of tradition with the monarch now facing left, the opposite way to his predecessor. As with previous British kings, and unlike the Queen, he wears no crown.

The coins will be in circulation well before next year, they will co-circulate with coins featuring the late Queen, so those 27 billion coins will still be accepted in shops. Seeing that coins generally last for around 20 years, Queen Elizabeth and King Charles coins will be in circulation together for many years to come.

From the start of next year, coins from the 1p to the £2, which we use in day-to-day life, will be minted carrying the same image of King Charles. They will be sent out when needed to replace damaged and worn older coins and to cover any extra demand.

The official portrait was designed to give an accessible look to the King, and the same is true of the inscription. Previous British monarchs have been denoted on the inscription using the Latin version of their name. However, the new coins say Charles III rather than Carolus.

King Charles personally approved the effigy, and was understood to be pleased with the likeness.

Separately, people are being urged to check whether they have any paper banknotes at home, as they will be withdrawn from circulation by the weekend. Shops are permitted to no longer accept £20 Adam Smith and £50 notes featuring the portraits of Matthew Boulton and James Watt from Saturday.

In addition to these Bank of England banknotes, paper £20 and £50 notes issued by Clydesdale Bank, Royal Bank of Scotland and Bank of Scotland will also be withdrawn on the same date.

Anyone who misses the deadline should still be able to exchange the old notes at their bank.