Paper Money

No guarantee of King Charles III portrait on next Australian bank notes

Queen Elizabeth II is depicted by the bank’s choice on the current $5 note of the Reserve Bank of Australia. Future depiction of a portrait of King Charles III is not required by Australian law.

Images courtesy of Reserve Bank of Australia.

Despite Australia’s naming of Charles III as its head of state in a Parliament House ceremony on Sept. 11, as multiple media sources reported throughout the region, his depiction on the nation’s $5 bill is far from a sure thing.

Australian law requires a representation of the British monarch on coins but has no such mandate for paper currency. Federal assistant minister for the Treasury Andrew Leigh responded to a reporter’s question by saying that the decision to put Queen Elizabeth II on the $5 note was based more on her personality than her role as monarch and that and any changes would not be automatic.

He said, “It is a conversation that will take place in the government. There’s no rush about it. The priority now is changing over the coins.”

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese concurred, saying he has not yet formed an opinion. “I think this is a time where a bit of respect is required. We will deal with these issues appropriately, in an orderly way, in a way that is respectful.”

Despite the quick proclamation of Charles III as king, debate continues about whether Australia should remain a constitutional monarchy. Voters decided to continue with the British monarch as head of state by a thin margin in a 1999 referendum.

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