What happens now to banknotes featuring Queen Elizabeth II?

The long-reigning monarch was featured on 33 currencies around the world.

Gawain Pek | September 09, 2022, 05:41 PM

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Prior to her death, Queen Elizabeth II held the Guinness World Record for "Most currencies featuring the same individual".

According to the record, her portrait has been featured on at least 33 currencies around the world, including in Australia, New Zealand and Canada.

This was the highest among any living monarch.

Over time, as countries gained independence from British rule, some countries dropped her portrait in favour of their own national symbols.

Collection of banknotes, past and present, that featured the Queen. Image via Reddit.

Following her passing, currencies that have retained her portraiture may have to change their look as her son, now King Charles III takes over as the monarch.

Banknotes remain legal tender in UK

In the UK, Queen Elizabeth is featured on the front of all banknotes issued by the Bank of England.

Image via the Bank of England.

Banknotes featuring her portrait will continue to be the legal tender, the Bank of England said in a media release on Sep. 9 (Singapore time).

"A further announcement regarding existing Bank of England banknotes will be made once the period of mourning has been observed", the Bank of England added.

Queen Elizabeth was the first monarch to be featured on banknotes issued by the Bank of England.

She was first featured on £1 notes back in 1960.

Image via Oli Scarff/Getty Images.

Queen portrait to stay too elsewhere in the world

In countries that still feature the Queen on their currencies, it was announced that changes to her portraiture might be expected in future, though not so soon.

The Reserve Bank of New Zealand has advised that all coins and NZ$20 notes with portraits of Queen Elizabeth II continues to be legal tender.

"It will be several years before we need to introduce coins featuring King Charles the Third, and longer until stocks of $20 notes are exhausted", its media advisory read.

Image via Wikipedia.

In Canada, spokesperson for the Bank of Canada said that "there is no legislative requirement to change the design within a prescribed period when the Monarch changes", according to Bloomberg.

Canada was the first country outside the United Kingdom to feature the Queen.

The banknotes, issued in 1935, featured an 8-year-old Elizabeth.

Image via Bank of Canada.

Image via Bank of Canada.

The Reserve Bank of Australia similarly announced that there will be "no immediate change to Australian banknotes".

AU$5 notes which feature the Queen "will not be withdrawn and are likely to remain in circulation for years to come."

Image via Reserve Bank of Australia.

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Photo Illustration by Karol Serewis/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Image