With the end of the Queen Elizabethan era comes the beginning of King Charles’s reign, known as the Carolean age. However, as history changes, so must the many objects that bear the monarch’s portrait. The Queen’s likeness was featured on stamps, coins and notes, and her initials adorn postboxes, uniforms and government signage across the country.
Changing all this will be a huge and costly task, likely to take several years, if not decades, and indeed, one that may not be completed.
The new King will be known as King Charles III, and his ascension heralds a return to the Carolean age, which originates from the Latin of Charles, Carolus.
Charles III (born 14 September 1948) ascended to the throne on 8 September 2022 upon the death of his mother, Elizabeth II. He was the longest heir apparent in British history and, at 73, is the oldest to assume the throne.
During her support of the King, the prime minister heralded a “new Carolean age”. “All of us in the house will support him as he takes our country forward to a new era of hope and progress”, Liz Truss told the Commons on Friday.
A Royal Cypher is unique to each reigning monarch and consists of their name and title. It usually appears on government buildings, uniforms, royal documents and royal-affiliated items.
Now that the Queen has died, the ER could be swapped for CR. The second letter may not change because R stands for Regina, the Latin for King and Queen. However, this is not confirmed yet.
Royal mails are marked ERII, which stands for Elizabeth Regina II. This could change to CRIII. When post boxes are made, they are given the mark of the ruling monarchs at the time, and with more than 100,000 estimated around Britain, this could take a long time to replace them all.
The postal Museum notes that this will only happen when new post boxes are added – the old ones will not be changed.
According to the Coin Expert, an affiliate of the Royal Mint, a new portrait of Charles will come into circulation to be portrayed on the currency.
The coins and notes that bear the Queen’s portrait will continue to be issued for the remainder of the year or perhaps more protracted, after which the new picture will come into circulation.
Coins and notes bearing the Queen’s portrait will not be recalled; instead, the process will be gradual, and many coins marked with her portrait will remain in circulation for many years.
Banks and post offices will issue the new coins and notes and collect the older versions. As well as post boxes, the Royal Mail will commission new stamps bearing the King’s profile to replace that of his mother.
With King Charles on the throne, the National anthem’s words will be changed to God save the King.