King Charles III's Portrait Featured on New Commemorative Coins Honoring Queen Elizabeth II

The Royal Mint unveiled on Friday a first look at the official coin effigy of His Majesty The King.

A portrait of King Charles III is now appearing on new coins in the United Kingdom.

The Royal Mint unveiled on Friday a first look at the official coin effigy of His Majesty The King. Charles' portrait is featured on a special £5 coin and 50p commemorating Queen Elizabeth II, which will begin to circulate in the coming months. 

In keeping with tradition, the royal family notes in a post on social media that King Charles' is shown facing to the left -- the opposite direction to the late queen. The new representation was created by sculptor Martin Jennings and personally approved by King Charles. 

The backside of the commemorative £5 coin also includes two new portraits of the late queen. It was designed by artist John Bergdahl in collaboration with the Royal Mint. 

The Royal Mint has been making British coins for more than 1,100 years.

The Bank of England announced earlier this week that new banknotes featuring Charles will be revealed by the end of this year. The notes are expected to enter circulation by mid-2024.

His Majesty's portrait will appear on existing designs of all four polymer banknotes (£5, £10, £20 and £50). This will be a continuation of the current polymer series and no additional changes to the banknote designs will be made.

Charles will appear on both the front and back of the banknote, as well as in cameo in the see-through security window.

Existing stocks of notes featuring Queen Elizabeth II will continue to be issued into circulation. New notes will only be printed to replace worn banknotes and to meet any overall increase in demand for banknotes, as part of the royal household's efforts to minimize "the environmental and financial impact of the change of monarch."

Current banknotes featuring the portrait of the queen -- who first appeared on Bank of England banknotes in 1960 -- will continue to be legal tender and will only be removed from circulation once they have become worn or damaged.

Money with the queen's image will also continue to circulate, along with those featuring King Charles III, until no longer available.

Friday's coin reveal comes on the heels of a new royal cypher, which serves as a symbol to show things that the king is connected to. King Charles III's royal cypher features a crown floating above the interwoven initials "CR" with a "III" in between. The "R" in Charles' monogram stands for "Rex," the Latin word for King, while the late Elizabeth formerly used "Regina," which is Latin for queen, in her own royal cypher. 

A Cabinet Office spokesperson told the BBC earlier this week that replacing the late queen's cypher with Charles' monogram will happen over time. "Where changes can be made easily, such as digital branding, they can be made immediately," they said. "Physical items such as signage or stationery will be replaced gradually over time as the need arises."