Paper Money

UK King Charles III notes expected for release in June

Notes bearing the image of King Charles III will become available for limited exchange at banks on June 5 and will otherwise be released into circulation as needed.

Images courtesy of the Bank of England.

A news release from the Bank of England published Feb. 21 says that bank notes with the portrait of King Charles III will be issued for the first time on June 5, 2024. The portrait of the King will appear on all four polymer bank notes (£5, £10, £20, and £50), accompanying the existing designs, with no other changes. The new designs were first revealed Dec. 20, 2022.

Bank notes with the portrait of the late Queen Elizabeth II will remain legal tender and will co-circulate alongside King Charles III notes. New notes will be printed with the King Charles III portraiture, but only to replace notes that are worn and to meet any overall increase in demand.

The current series of bank notes features the following characters in the designs: Winston Churchill on the £5 note, Jane Austen on the £10 note, J.M.W. Turner on the £20 note, and Alan Turing on the £50 note. In addition to appearing on the face of the notes, the king’s image will also be displayed in cameo in the see-through security window. The reverse of each note remains unchanged.

King Charles III is known as a keen environmentalist, and this approach, the bank says, is “in line with guidance from the Royal Household, to minimize the environmental and financial impact of this change. This means the public will begin to see the new King Charles III notes very gradually.”

The public will also be able to exchange a limited value of current or old series notes for new King Charles III notes, through the Bank of England, for a brief time from the June 5 issuance date.

The Bank also announced that a series of charity auctions of low-serial numbered notes will be held over the summer at Spink & Son. In addition to the auctions, members of the public will be able to enter a ballot to purchase a set of notes. The money raised will be donated to a designated charity.

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