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Banknotes with King Charles’ image go on display

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VISITORS to the Bank of England’s “The Future of Money” exhibition got their first glimpse of banknotes bearing King Charles’ image last week.

The four new banknotes with the King Charles’ portrait – £5, £10, £20 and £50 – went on display at the central bank’s in-house museum at its London headquarters, before entering circulation on June 5.

Based on a photograph owned by the royal household and made available in 2013, Charles approved the final designs of the notes featuring his engraved portrait in late 2022.

That was just months after he became king following the death that September of Queen Elizabeth.

“This is the first time that the Bank of England has issued a note with a new monarch on it, because Queen Elizabeth has been on our banknotes since the 1960s,” the museum’s curator Jennifer Adam explained.

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“So, it’s the first time that we as a public will have seen this transition,” she said at a press preview.

Banknotes bearing the late Queen Elizabeth’s portrait will remain legal tender, with the new cash “gradually replacing” those withdrawn “due to being old and worn”, Adam said.

“So, it will be some time before there’s plentiful supply around.”

Coins bearing King Charles’ head – based on a portrait by British sculptor Martin Jennings – which entered circulation in December 2022 are also on temporary display at the museum.

The museum also permanently houses centuries-old coins and gold bars – the bank stores around 400,000 in its vaults – as well as its first banknotes produced in the late 17th century.

“The Future of Money” exhibition, set to run alongside the permanent displays until September 2025, delves into modern trends, from the emergence of digital currencies to the current lifespan of cash.

It chronicles the decline in the use of banknotes. The museum noted that banknotes made up just 14 per cent of payments in 2022, compared to 55 per cent in 2011.

 

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