Many banknote collectors know that Queen Elizabeth II is present on hundreds of banknotes. The Queen is the longest serving monarch in English history. On February 6, 2021 the entire English Commonwealth celebrated 69 years of her reign.

Gibraltar 100 Pounds | 2015-2016 | Queen Elizabeth II |
Source: Banknote World

First Appearance of the Queen

Many people forget that Queen Elizabeth was only 27 years when she ascended to the throne. Her father, King George VI died as a result of a long bout with lung cancer on February 6, 1952. This date is the Queen’s ascension date. Prince Philip and Princess Elizabeth had just left on a Commonwealth tour which was scheduled to last 3 months. After only 1 week, the travelling royal party got news of the Kings death. They returned to England immediately. It wasn’t until June 2, 1953- 16 months later- that her ceremonial coronation occurred. 

Banknotes Featuring the Queen

With the new monarch, Queen Elizabeth II is quickly put on banknotes including the 1952 5 Shilling (P-18a) which begin to circulate in October 1952. 

Bermuda 5 Shillings | 1952 | P-18a |
Source: Banknote World Educational

The Royal Bank of Scotland has issued several commemorative notes highlighting key anniversaries. The 2012 10 pound note (P-368) commemorates the diamond jubilee (60 years). The reverse shows several portraits of the queen from different periods of her life. It is an amazingly beautiful banknote. In 2002 the bank issued a 5 pound note commemorating her golden jubilee.

Next year is the Platinum Anniversary. 70 years. Who else has a 70 year anniversary? Queen Elizath has been married for nearly 74 years, so she and Prince Philip celebrated their Platinum wedding anniversary in 2017. Many countries issued commemorative coins in platinum. Even during COVID, the country is preparing for a major celebration of her long reign next year. Will there be a new banknote? There has not been any public announcement from the Bank or the Royal Family. As a result all banknote collectors have their fingers crossed. Let’s hope the Bank is hard at work making the best banknote worthy of this tremendous accomplishment.

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