UK central bank says paper money with Queen’s image still legal tender
The Bank of England on Thursday clarified that paper money bearing Queen Elizabeth II’s image is still legal tender following her death.
“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,” the bank said in a statement.
“Current banknotes featuring the image of Her Majesty The Queen will continue to be legal tender,” the statement continued. “A further announcement regarding existing Bank of England banknotes will be made once the period of mourning has been observed.”
Buckingham Palace announced earlier on Thursday the queen had “peacefully” passed away at Balmoral Castle in Scotland. The announcement came hours after the palace raised concerns over Elizabeth’s health.
Andrew Bailey, the Bank of England’s governor, expressed “profound sadness” at the queen’s death in a statement.
“On behalf of everyone at the Bank I would like to pass on my deepest condolences to the Royal Family,” Bailey said. “For most of us, she is the only head of state we have ever known, and will be remembered as an inspirational figure for our country and the Commonwealth.”
King Charles III, Elizabeth’s son, immediately ascended to the throne, but the timeline for any changes to Britain’s currency remains unclear.
Elizabeth ascended to the throne in 1952, but did not appear on banknotes for roughly her first eight years as queen.
She first appeared on the £1 note issued in 1960, and her image later appeared on other paper currency amounts, according to the Bank of England Museum. The image has also served as an anti-counterfeiting measure on paper currency.
The end of Elizabeth’s seven-decade reign was marked with messages of mourning from leaders across the U.K. and the globe, including every living U.S. president.