On Friday, the Royal Mint unveiled its first “double monarch” coin, marking the end of one era and the
beginning of another with the first portrait of King Charles III on the currency.
Before the end of the year, commemorative £5 and 50p coins will be in circulation bearing the new
King’s image, was created to appear “more human” than previous official portraits of sovereigns.
In a gentle transition for the public into a new reign, they will be joined by images of the late Queen
According to the Mint, sculptor Martin Jennings created and personally approved the King’s effigy.
After his mother’s death, the final image, which was created from photographs rather than a live sitting,
was shown to him for approval.
The King’s portrait is traditionally positioned to the left, in opposition to Queen Elizabeth II.
According to the Royal Mint Museum historian Chris Barker, it was a “very classic coinage portrait” that
reminded him of George V and George VI.
He stated that the sculptor has “managed to achieve a very good likeness,” and he added, It is very
inviting and conveys a strong sense of humanity; it is probably more real and less idealized than some of
the portraits that we have previously seen.
It reflects his years of service because it is both approachable and dignified.
“The King has followed that general British coinage tradition—which dates all the way back to
Charles II—of having the monarch face in the opposite direction of their predecessor.”
The public will begin to see the King’s image in their change from December, as 50p coins depicting the
King gradually enter circulation to meet demand. In keeping with tradition, the King’s portrait faces to
the left, in contrast to Queen Elizabeth II.