The new banknotes with the portrait of Charles III are

The new banknotes with the portrait of Charles III. are presented to the public

Before being put into circulation in June, the new banknotes will be printed with the image of King Charles III. will be presented to the public from Wednesday as part of an exhibition organized by the Bank of England in London.

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The four denominations visible on the premises of the Central Bank – 5, 10, 20 and 50 pounds sterling – show a portrait of the sovereign published in 2013 and approved by him in 2022 after the death of his mother Elizabeth II.


After ruling the United Kingdom for 70 years and becoming the first monarch to appear on banknotes, this is “the first time the public has witnessed such a transition,” Jennifer Adam, the museum's curator, told AFP.

This unprecedented change comes at a specific time: King Charles III, who announced earlier this month that he was suffering from cancer, has renounced his public engagements for the duration of his treatment.


The tickets with the image of Elizabeth II remain valid, with the new ones “gradually replacing” those that have become “old and worn” over time, according to Jennifer Adam.

“So we will have to wait a while” after their release, on June 5, 2024, for those bearing the image of Charles to be widely distributed.

These new banknotes will also be made from polymer – stronger and with a plastic texture – rather than paper – like the other banknotes issued in the UK since 2016.


Gradual replacement

Coins featuring the head of Charles III, based on a portrait by British sculptor Martin Jennings, were already released into circulation in December 2022 and are provisionally present in this “Future of Money” exhibition.

This allows us to discover at the heart of this institution, which has been issuing banknotes since its founding in 1694, that Elizabeth II was the first ruler of the United Kingdom to appear on a denomination, namely a circulated one pound note in 1960.

From 1970 onwards, other historical figures such as Prime Minister Winston Churchill (five books), the founder of nursing schools Florence Nightingale (ten books), the author William Shakespeare (twenty books) and the mathematician Alan Turing (50 books) also appeared. Other side.

The Bank of England Museum also permanently houses centuries-old coins and gold bars – there are around 400,000 in its vaults – as well as the first banknotes made in the late 17th century.

The exhibition, which runs until September 2025, also addresses the gradual disillusionment with cash and the rise of virtual currencies in recent years.

She recalls the decline in the use of banknotes in the UK, noting that they will only represent 14% of payments in 2022, compared to 55% in 2011.

According to the museum, this figure could fall further to 7% by 2032. The country has lost 15,000 ATMs and nearly 2,000 bank branches in the last five years.

Nevertheless, a law was passed last year to protect access to cash, because even today almost a million people do not have a bank account.