Bank of England begins printing millions of banknotes with new King Charles design – but they won’t be in circulation until summer 2024
- Chief Cashier says delay will give businesses time to update self-service tills
- Read More: First image of King Charles wearing a crown unveiled as coronation preparations get under way in London
The Bank of England has begun the process of printing millions of banknotes featuring King Charles’s image – but they won’t be in circulation until summer 2024.
The 74-year-old royal is only the second British monarch to appear on a banknote.
In December, the Bank of England unveiled the King’s portrait for the notes, which was supplied by Buckingham Palace in 2013 and updated over the years.
Charles, without a crown, will be on the front of all polymer £5, £10, £20 and £50 notes.
Although the Bank of England has started printing millions of the updated bank notes, they will not be available for over a year.
Pictured: the Bank of England’s Chief Cashier Sarah John holding up a new £10 note featuring a portrait of King Charles
According to the Bank of England’s chief cashier Sarah John, the delay will give businesses a chance to update their self-service tills to recognise the design.
She told the BBC: ‘There is a lot to do to ensure that machines used up and down the country can accept the banknotes.
‘They all need to be adapted to recognise the new design, with software updates, and that takes months and months
‘Otherwise, we will be putting a banknote out there that people simply would not be able to use.’
Until the new notes enter circulation next year, the current notes featuring a portrait of the late Queen will remain legal tender.
The Bank of England has made no other changes to existing designs – meaning the portraits of Jane Austen, Sir Winston Churchill, Alan Turing and JMW Turner will continue to appear on the notes.
The first note to carry a portrait of a British monarch was the £1 note in 1960, which showed the late Queen. The King’s image will appear on the front of the notes, as well as in the see-through security window.
The Bank of England has unveiled his portrait for the notes, taken from an original image of King Charles III supplied by Buckingham Palace in 2013
These new notes are due to enter circulation by mid-2024, with current ones featuring the late Queen remaining legal tender
The reverse of the banknotes, featuring historical figures, will remain unchanged, allowing them to be checked using existing security features
Charles III has become only the second British monarch to appear on a banknote – as the updated designs have started being printed in their millions
In line with guidance from the Royal Household to minimise the environmental and financial impact of this change, new notes will only be printed to replace worn banknotes and to meet any overall increase in demand for banknotes.
Notes featuring both the late Queen and her son will, therefore, circulate together at the same time.
Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey said: ‘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. People will be able to use these new notes as they start to enter circulation in 2024.’
The new portrait of Charles shows the King, wearing what appears to be his Garter Robes, facing the camera and looking slightly to his left.
The Bank of England has shared new images and videos of the banknotes carrying the portrait of King Charles III
The updated banknotes have been printed in their millions – but will not be released into circulation until summer 2024
In line with guidance from the Royal Household to minimise the environmental and financial impact of this change, new notes will only be printed to replace worn banknotes
Pictured: a wad of £10 notes featuring King Charles’ portrait are packaged up after receiving approval
Pictured: the Bank of England’s Chief Cashier Sarah John inspects a set of £20 notes
The image of his late mother on banknotes showed her in a side profile looking to the right. According to tradition, each King or Queen faces in the opposite direction to their predecessor.
Banknotes have been produced by the Bank of England since the 17th century but, unlike coinage, did not feature a portrait of the monarch of the day until relatively recently, instead using a likeness of Britannia.
In 1956, the Treasury gave permission to the Bank of England to use the late Queen’s portrait in a new series of notes. The first Bank of England note to feature her portrait came in 1960. This was followed by a ten shilling note in 1961.
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