The death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II on 8 September 2022 will lead to many changes in the UK. While some have already taken immediate effect, others are expected to be introduced over the coming months and years.
British coins & notes
New coins and notes will be designed and printed, but are not realistically likely to enter widespread use for some time.
The Bank of England has assured that the current bank notes with the picture of Queen Elizabeth II will remain valid forms of payment.
The coins of Elizabeth II are anticipated to be used until they are phased out.
Once the period of mourning has been honoured following Her Majesty’s passing, further information regarding notes and coins is expected to be provided.
The new King will appear on coins facing to the left.
Like currency, the new passports will be phased in over time.
Passports currently state: “Her Britannic Majesty’s Secretary of State requests and requires in the name of Her Majesty all those whom it may concern to allow the bearer to pass freely without let or hindrance and to afford the bearer such assistance and protection as may be necessary.”
It is expected this wording will be changed to the male pronoun for any new passports which will be granted in King Charles’ name.
Older, valid passports will remain unaffected with no requirement to change until they are renewed.
As with HM Armed Forces and HM Prison Service, Her Majesty’s Passport Office will change its name to His Majesty’s Passport Office.
The new King will eventually appear on British and Commonwealth-wide stamps.
The R used to indicate the Crown in criminal court matters now stands for Rex rather than Regina (the Queen).
The group of leading barristers, previously known as Queen’s Counsel, are now known as King’s Counsel (KC). The Bar Council has confirmed this change has taken immediate effect.
Barristers of that standing now use the initials KC after their name, rather than QC.
The royal seal that appears on official papers will require a new Royal cypher for the incoming King.
While English kings often wear the more rounder Tudor crown, English queens typically wear the St. Edward’s crown or a variation of it.
The new King’s cypher may be seen on any new postboxes.
Coat of arms
The royal coat of arms, which was established in 1837 at the beginning of Queen Victoria’s reign, will not change.
Nevertheless, it is expected that new artwork will be released early in Charles’ reign by the College of Arms for use by public sector organisations like the civil service and the armed services, much like when the Queen came to the throne.
The National Anthem’s lyrics have been modified to “God save our gracious King” with the words “him” and “he” substituted.
While this is not law, custom governs this.