King Charles III expected to replace Queen Elizabeth on banknotes, coins in a long two-year process

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King Charles III is expected to replace Queen Elizabeth II’s likeness on British currency after her death on Thursday.

The Bank of England is likely to withdraw and replace pound notes and coins with the Queen’s profile in the coming months.

The process of phasing out old coins and banknotes and replacing the Queen’s image with a portrait of Charles is expected to take around two years.

Although no official plans have yet been announced, the Bank of England has assured Britons that currency bearing the Queen’s image will remain legal tender.

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Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Charles in full court dress.

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Charles in full court dress.
(Paul Edwards – WPA Pool/Getty Images)

“Current banknotes bearing the image of Her Majesty The Queen will continue to be legal tender,” the Bank of England said in a statement after her death on Thursday.

“A further announcement regarding existing Bank of England notes will be made once the mourning period has been complied with,” the bank added.

There are an estimated 4.5 billion banknotes in circulation with the Queen’s likeness on them.

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Queen Elizabeth's likeness on Bank of England notes and coins.

Queen Elizabeth’s likeness on Bank of England notes and coins.
(Peter Byrne/PA Images via Getty Images)

In Australia, coins resembling Charles are expected to be on the left, according to the Canberra Times. Current coins with the Queen’s profile facing right. The tradition of reversing the directions of the profiles is believed to have started with Charles II in 1660.

The only exception to tradition is Edward VIII, who reportedly insisted that his profile face to the left. Edward later abdicated the British throne to marry American divorcee Wallis Simpson.

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Edward’s abdication cleared the way for Elizabeth’s father, George VI, to ascend and eventually pass the title to her upon his death.

British currency in the form of two one pound coins rests on top of a Bank of England ten pound note with an image of Queen Elizabeth II.

British currency in the form of two one pound coins rests on top of a Bank of England ten pound note with an image of Queen Elizabeth II.
(Daniel Harvey Gonzalez/I images via Getty Images)

Canadian coins will be updated with Charles’ likeness depending on actions by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government. Elizabeth’s portrait is featured on the reverse of Canadian coins and on the Canadian $20 bill.

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While his government has not announced next steps, Trudeau mourned Elizabeth’s passing on Thursday.

“She was one of my favorite people in the world,” the Canadian prime minister said while wearing a dark suit at a news conference. “I will miss her so.”

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