The first portrait of King Charles III to appear on currency was unveiled Friday as the Royal Mint marks the end of an era and the beginning of another with its first “double monarch” coin.
The new King’s statue, designed to look “more human” than previous official portraits of monarchs, will appear on commemorative £5 and 50p coins in circulation before the end of the year.
They will be merged in the same coin by photos of late Queen Elizabeth II in a soft transition for the public to a new government.
The effigy of the king was created by sculptor Martin Jennings and personally approved by him, the Mint said.
The final image was submitted to him for approval after his mother’s death and was created from photographs rather than a live seat.
In keeping with tradition, the portrait of the king faces to the left, in the opposite direction to Queen Elizabeth II.
Royal Mint Museum historian Chris Barker said it was a “very classic coin portrait”, reminiscent of George V and George VI.
The sculptor, he said, “has managed to achieve a very good likeness”, adding: “It is very warm with a good sense of humanity – probably more humane and less idealized than some of the portraits we’ve seen before.” .
“It is both accessible and dignified, reflecting his years of service.
“The king has followed that general tradition that we have in British coinage, all the way back to Charles II actually, that the monarch is in the opposite direction to his predecessor.”