Queen Elizabeth is interwoven with the UK’s history, found in its currency, the national anthem and even stamps. Now as King Charles III accedes to the throne, these symbols are likely to make way for new ones
With the end of Queen Elizabeth II’s 70-year reign, plenty of changes are in the offing for the United Kingdom under the new monarch King Charles III.
Queen Elizabeth II, who died peacefully at the age of 96 on Thursday, is interwoven with the UK’s history, currency, national anthem and even stamps.
Now, with King Charles III assuming the throne, these symbols will change.
Let’s take a closer look:
A refurbished currency
The queen’s likeness on coins is expected to be slowly replaced.
Though the Royal Mint on Friday assured people that all “circulating coins bearing the effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II remain legal tender”.
A notable difference would be that while Queen Elizabeth faced right on the coins, Charles will face left.
As per the Royal Mint Museum, this change in direction has been a tradition for more than 300 years, where each king or queen is depicted in the opposite direction as their predecessor.
The queen also graces 4.5 billion pound banknotes in circulation. However, replacing the image on the paper notes can take at least two years and would have to be approved by Buckingham Palace, reported The Guardian.
Before Queen Elizabeth II’s reign, monarchs did not feature on the notes.
This changed in 1960 when the queen’s image started being printed on £1 notes.
Queen Elizabeth’s face also appears on some banknotes in Canada, on coins in New Zealand, and in some other parts of the Commonwealth.
Flags in the UK
From flags outside police stations, some buildings to the royal standard, all bearing honour to the queen will be altered to include the symbols of the new king.
The Royal Cypher, the monogram featuring the queen’s ‘EIIR’, adorns thousands of flags, which are expected to be replaced. The British military flies “Queen’s colours” – blue, red, and gold – which are emblazoned with the royal cypher. As per the tradition, the cypher and the royal coat of arms will change with the onset of the reign of the new king, Reuters reported.
The UK fire service ensign has the queen’s initials, which might be remodelled to mark Charles’ monarchy.
The royal standard – the flag representing the sovereign and the UK – is flown wherever the monarch is in residence. It could be changed by King Charles III to include a Welsh element.
Charles can also have a new personal flag, as the Queen did in 1960.
Commonwealth countries where the queen remains head of state, including Australia, Canada and New Zealand have personal flags for Elizabeth II which were used when she was visiting.
UK’s National Anthem
The Britons swelled with pride for 70 years when the national anthem ‘God Save the Queen’ resonated in their land. Now, the lyrics of the anthem are about to be revamped. The words of the national anthem ‘God save our gracious Queen’ will now say ‘God save our gracious King’.
The royal family’s official website dates the origin of the national anthem back to the 1700s. As per The Guardian, the earlier version said, “God save great George our king, Long live our noble king, God save the king.”
Royal Mail post-boxes carrying Queen Elizabeth II’s cypher ‘ER’ will reportedly not be replaced. As per The Guardian, King George VI’s GR cypher continues to be in use on post-boxes.
However, Royal Mail will print new stamps to depict King Charles III.
“We release all stamp images at the appropriate time, after consultation with Buckingham Palace,” a Royal Mail spokesperson told CBS News.
No more pledges in Queen’s name
All British MPs are mandated to pledge allegiance to the crown.
According to The Guardian, since Elizabeth acceded to the British throne in 1952 following her father King George VI’s demise, the pledge for MPs has been: “I (name of Member) swear by almighty God that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, her heirs and successors, according to law. So help me God.”
This will change now and the lawmakers in the Houses of Commons and Lords will now swear a pledge to King Charles III.
The UK home office is expected to change the oath taken by new British citizens who swear they “bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the second, her heirs and successors”.
Senior lawyers will now be called King’s Counsel rather than Queen’s Counsel (QC). Moreover, other legal titles using Queen will be swapped to King, as per Reuters.
The Queen’s royal warrant is applicable to 600 businesses that supply the royal household.
These businesses will require to renew their warrant which can be issued by King Charles or another member of the royal family, as per The Guardian.
With inputs from agencies