Banknotes carrying a portrait of King Charles III have been issued for the first time this week.

The portrait of the King will now start to appear on existing designs of all four banknotes (£5, £10, £20 and £50), with no other changes to the existing designs.

Although the notes that enter circulation will now feature a new portrait of the monarch, the reverse side of each note remains unchanged. 

Polymer banknotes that feature the portrait of Her late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II will remain legal tender, and will co-circulate alongside King Charles III notes. The new banknotes will only be printed to replace those that are worn, and to meet any overall increase in demand for banknotes.

Photo: Bank of England CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

This approach is in line with guidance from the Royal Household, to minimise the environmental and financial impact of this change. This means the public will begin to see the new King Charles III notes very gradually.

Speaking on issue day (5 June 2024), the Bank of England’s Governor Andrew Bailey said:

“We’re very pleased to be issuing the new King Charles banknotes. This is a historic moment, as it’s the first time we’ve changed the sovereign on our notes. We know that cash is important for many people, and we are committed to providing banknotes for as long as the public demand them. Bringing these new notes into circulation is a demonstration of that commitment.”

Although the new King Charles banknotes will be available from 5 June 2024, expect them to enter circulation very gradually. Members of the public who want to exchange a limited value of current or old series notes for King Charles notes will be able to do so. A banknote exchange service will be available in person or by post through the Bank of England, for a short time from the 5 June 2024 issuance date. Further details can be found on the King Charles III banknotes page.

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 charity. More details will be made available on the Spink & Son websiteOpens in a new window.

Photo: Bank of England CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

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