By Staff Writer
The death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II has set in motion a series of protocol changes with repercussions far beyond Great Britain.
The Queen’s image and official stamp have adorned national documents throughout Great Britain, the Commonwealth nations - republic and monarchical - and the UK’s Overseas Countries and Territories giving authority to passports, stamps, currencies and other forms of official correspondence and processes.
All of that is now to be put under review to either replace them in acknowledgement of the accession to the throne of His Majesty King Charles III, retain them, or in the case of Commonwealth countries which have opted for republic status, or remove completely where they are still present.
The extent to which this will be undertaken, plus the prolonged and complex method to effect those changes will in most instances require national legislative amendments or revision and ratification of treaties involving multiple countries.
The Eastern Caribbean dollar (XCD), the currency of the member countries of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States - a grouping of former and current British territories in the Eastern Caribbean - is one example requiring such collective action. The Eastern Caribbean Central Bank is the monetary authority presided over by an eight-member monetary council comprising leaders or their designates from the OECS countries.
In the UK, the Bank of England said its banknotes featuring the image of Queen Elizabeth remain legal tender until further notice with plans for the transition to King Charles’ image to be announced following the nation’s mourning period,
Queen Elizabeth was the first monarch to feature on Bank of England banknotes.
In a statement on the matter, the Bank of England, the UK’s central bank, said: “As the first monarch to feature on Bank of England banknotes, the Queen’s iconic portraits are synonymous with some of the most important work we do. Current banknotes featuring the image of Her Majesty The Queen will continue to be legal tender.
“A further announcement regarding existing Bank of England banknotes will be made once the period of mourning has been observed,” Andrew Bailey, the bank’s governor said.
Although the Bank of England has not yet confirmed the date that the money will change, there is likely to be a significant transition phase between notes and coins featuring Queen Elizabeth II and those with King Charles III’s image.
The late Queen’s image is also imprinted on currencies used in the Overseas Territories, Canada, Australia New Zealand, and Belize.
The Royal Australian Mint was reported to be preparing to mint new coins featuring King Charles III to be issued by next year, and a debate has started about the late Queen’s appearance on currency notes. In Canada, Stephen Woodland, the president of the Royal Canadian Numismatic Association, a national organization for money is reported as saying that Any decision to replace or remove the monarch on the $20 banknote likely won’t happen until after the Bank of Canada completes the process of updating its $5 bill.
Meanwhile, the Governor of the Central Bank of Belize, Kareem Michael, has said there were no immediate plans to phase out currency bearing the Queen’s image largely due to the costs involved.
“Past presidents, past heroes are on a number of nationally issued currencies across the jurisdiction. But if that decision were to be made then we are looking at a significant cost and a long drawn-out process to change the family of notes currently in circulation with the Queen’s face on it.”