The Queen on coins

All the coins in the United Kingdom have a picture of the Queen on one side but did you know that this portrait has changed five times during her 70 year reign. Look below to find out more. Which ones can you find on the coins in your money box?

This design shows the Queen as a young woman. It was designed by a lady named Mary Gillick. Rather than wearing a crown the Queen is shown wearing a laurel wreath.


The second portrait of the Queen was introduced in 1971 when all the coins were replaced because of Decimalisation. It was designed by Arnold Machin (pronounced May-chin). You can see he has replaced the wreath with a tiara but what other changes can you see? How does the Queen look different?


The third portrait of the Queen was designed in 1985 by Raphael Maclouf (pronounced Mac-loof). He shows the Queen with the royal diadem which she wears on her way to and from the State Opening of Parliament, and includes a necklace and earrings.


The fourth portrait of the Queen shows her getting older. It was designed by Ian Rank-Broadley. By 1998 when it was introduced most coins had become smaller, so the portrait fills much of the coins’ surface.


The latest portrait designed by Royal Mint engraver Jody Clark in 2015 shows The Queen with the Royal Diamond Diadem Crown, which she wore for her Coronation in 1953. He chose this to link his design to the past as it was featured in the designs by both Raphael Maklouf and Arnold Machin.





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Did you know?

The Queen faces right on her coins which is part of a tradition which has lasted for over 300 years. Each King or Queen faces in the opposite direction to the one before. The Queen’s father George VI faced left on his coins so Elizabeth II faces right.


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