Queen Elizabeth II holds the Guinness World Record for the most appearance on banknotes from more countries than any other person in history. Her portrait has graced the front of more than 100 currencies from more than 20 countries and overseas territories. She was not the first English Royal to be on a banknote, but she was the first royal to be on a UK Banknote. Today, she also holds world records for longest reigning queen, oldest current monarch and wealthiest queen.
Elizabeth Alexandra Mary Windsor was born in London on April 21st, 1926 to the Duke and Duchess of York. Her father became King George VI and her Mother took the name Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother after her uncle King Edward VIII abdicated in 1936. Once her father became king, Princess Elizabeth became first in line for the throne. She came to be Queen Elizabeth II in 1952 upon the untimely death of her father.
Even before her ascension, QEII was already being featured on banknotes. Her first known banknote appearance occurred at the young age of 8 on the 11th of March 1935 with the first Canadian dollar series. The portrait was taken by the official royal photographer Marcus Adams.
Today, many countries have replaced the Queen with local leaders, local flora and fauna or other images that show off the country’s culture. Some of this is driven by their changing relationship with England, and some just due to overall pride in their local culture. But many still keep Her on their banknotes even if just one denomination. Bank issued notes, such the Canada $20 Dollar, Australia $5 Dollar and New Zealand $20 Dollar contain her latest portrait. No matter what the future holds for the Queen, she will continue to be immortalized not just through her actions but through banknotes.