King Charles III used coins and money to reveal royal code

LONDON — From mailboxes to money, Queen Elizabeth II’s royal coat of arms has been ubiquitous in Britain for 70 years.

Now, King Charles III has made his own mark — literally — by unveiling his own royal code on Tuesday. Five characters “CRIII” will soon appear throughout the field.

These are the initials of his name and title – Charles and Rex (Latin for king) – intertwined with the Roman numeral three. They will appear alongside representatives of the crown and will soon adorn government buildings, state documents and royal family mail.

According to a statement from Buckingham Palace, Charles’ official badge, known as the Code, “was selected from a range of designs by His Majesty the King”.

Personalized Sovereign Seals are prepared by the Weapons Academy, Founded in 1484, it is an ancient institution responsible for the management of the official register of coats of arms and genealogy.

No official timetable for the replacement of the royal crest has been announced since the Queen’s death earlier this month. However, the Palace said on Tuesday that “the process will be gradual” and that the decision to replace the cipher will be “at the discretion of the individual organizations.”

A spokesperson for the government’s Cabinet Office told The Washington Post on Tuesday: “Where changes can be easily made, such as digital branding, it can be done immediately. Over time, physical items such as signage or stationery will be gradually replaced as needed. .”

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For the first time in history, the court post office at Buckingham Palace used black ink to “stamp” or stamp the first batch of mail with the new monarch’s code on Tuesday.

The Buckingham Palace Post Office handles an average of 200,000 pieces of mail a year, including invitations, responses to open letters, state affairs and the famous telegram to Britons celebrating their 100th birthday milestone.

According to the Royal Mint, which is responsible for making British coins, the use of ciphers dates back to Tudor times. Beginning with the reign of Henry VIII, the letter “R” was added to the monarch’s first initials as a prestigious identification mark.

The Queen’s famous cipher “EiiR” for Elizabeth Regina (Latin for Queen) is still common in many places. In Scotland, however, the adoption of her password in public places has sometimes been resisted, and mailboxes have occasionally been breached. Queen Elizabeth I technically never ruled Scotland, leading some to believe the late Elizabeth couldn’t be the second Queen of Scotland – and refused to use her coat of arms. The Scottish version of the Charles Code will also be slightly different, with a Scottish crown, the palace said.

“The monarch is allowed to choose the crown in the code. King Charles III appears to have chosen the so-called imperial crown, as George VI, George V and Edward VII did before him,” Chris Postal Museum Collections Head Taft told the Post that British spelling was used for the cipher. “There are no hard and fast rules for cipher design, so the design of the crown can be adjusted. Queen Elizabeth II chose the St. Edwards crown,” he added.

The Royal Mint said in a statement on Tuesday that coins bearing the portrait of King Charles III will enter circulation, but “coins bearing the portrait of the late Queen Elizabeth II will also remain legal tender and remain in circulation.” It added Coins featuring different monarchs have historically been in “co-circulation”, ensuring a “smooth transition with minimal environmental impact and cost,” it said.

It did not give a date for the launch of the new coin, but said it would reveal more details “in the coming weeks.”

“As the UK’s official coin maker, we have told the story of every monarch since Alfred the Great and are now preparing for the biggest change to British coins in decades,” said Anne Jessop, head of the Royal Mint. . “The first coins bearing the portrait of King Charles III will enter circulation on demand from banks and post offices.”

The Bank of England also said on Tuesday that it would publish images of updated banknotes featuring a portrait of King Charles III “by the end of the year”, which are expected to enter circulation in mid-2024.

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Elizabeth still appears on all coins and banknotes, and the portrait was updated five times during her reign. There are around 27 billion coins in circulation in the UK featuring the late Queen’s portrait. The image of the monarch on banknotes is a relatively recent invention – according to the palace, there was no British monarch until 1960, giving the queen a “unique distinction”.

In a quirky tradition that has continued on coins for over 300 years, each new monarch turns in the opposite direction of their predecessors. The only exception was during the brief reign of Edward VIII, who preferred his left-facing portrait.

The Queen’s father, George VI, faces left on his coin, Elizabeth faces right, and Charles is expected to face left.

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The Queen also appears on British postage stamps. On Tuesday, the Royal Mail released four new stamps commemorating the former monarch, which will go on sale on November 11. 10.

Simon Thompson, chief executive of Royal Mail, said: “Today, we are launching these stamps, the first to be approved by His Majesty the King, as a tribute to a man who has been responsible for public service and duty in the history of this country. Commitment to an unparalleled tribute to women.” .

Their ancestor, Charles I, was the first to open the Royal Mail Service to the public in 1635 to raise funds. During Queen Victoria’s reign, the postal system expanded rapidly, introducing cheap stamps, leading to “penny post”. The iconic bright red postbox with the Elizabethan cipher will likely remain for decades to come, while a new postbox with the Charles cipher will follow.

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