King Charles III: Royal Mint unveils first coins to feature new monarch

LONDON — Coins featuring the portrait of King Charles III were unveiled by the Royal Mint on Thursday.

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Charles will replace his mother, the late Queen Elizabeth II, to become the first king featured on coins in the United Kingdom since the death of his grandfather, George VI, in 1952, the BBC reported.

Officials with the Royal Mint said all coins bearing the portrait of Queen Elizabeth II would remain legal tender, according to the BBC. The mint has struck coinage for every British monarch since Alfred the Great, The Associated Press reported.

Residents in the U.K. will begin to see Charles’ image in coinage in December, as 50-pence coins depicting the new monarch will enter circulation, according to the AP. Approximately 27 billion coins bearing Elizabeth II’s image currently circulate in the country, the BBC reported.

Charles personally approved the new coinage, and his effigy was created by British sculptor Martin Jennings. The new monarch’s portrait faces to the left — the opposite direction to his mother’s, Queen Elizabeth II.

“Charles has followed that general tradition that we have in British coinage, going all the way back to Charles II actually, that the monarch faces in the opposite direction to their predecessor,” the Royal Mint Museum’s Chris Barker told the AP.

“Coinage of King Charles III and Queen Elizabeth II will co-circulate in the U.K. for many years to come,” Anne Jessopp, the chief executive of the Royal Mint, told the BBC. “We are honored to have struck each U.K. coin of Her Late Majesty’s reign, documenting her journey from young queen to respected head of state.”

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