World Coins

Royal Mint honors Queen Elizabeth II on 95th birthday

The Royal Mint illuminated the Tower of London with coin designs to mark Queen Elizabeth II’s 95th birthday.

Image courtesy of the Royal Mint.

Queen Elizabeth II reached her 95th birthday June 12, and the Royal Mint celebrated in a big way, lighting up the Tower of London a few weeks earlier with images of coin designs from her reign.

The tribute, titled  “95 Years of Heart and Devotion,” featured images of numerous coins in a 90-foot projection on the Tower, which housed the Royal Mint for centuries.

The celebration was visible across the Thames, and featured the five effigies of the Queen’s reign, as well as her special 95th birthday coin.

The “Life in Coins” illumination marks the Royal Mint’s longstanding relationship with Britain’s longest-reigning monarch. The Royal Mint struck Elizabeth II’s first coins — “a portrait of the young monarch” — in 1953. Since then many billions of coins have been made bearing her effigy, and the queen still gives her seal of approval to every new coin design.

The illumination featured the 1953 portrait of the queen by Mary Gillick; Arnold Machin’s design issued in 1968 for decimalization; the Raphael Maklouf effigy launched in 1985 showing the queen with the Royal Diadem, which she wears on her way to and from the State Opening of Parliament; the 1998 Ian-Rank Broadley effigy; and the Jody Clark effigy introduced in 2015.

In addition, the illumination culminated with the special 95th birthday coin issued by the Royal Mint earlier this year. The design bears the inscription “My Heart and My Devotion” — referencing a promise the queen made in her 1957 Christmas speech and has kept ever since.

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