United Kingdom: What Will Change With The Arrival In Power Of Charles Iii
With the death of Queen Elizabeth II and the accession of her son Charles to the throne, national mourning is not the only thing that will change British life in the days and months ahead. From currency to stamps to the national anthem, many national symbols will need to change. Here's a look at what's going to change when Charles III comes to power.
The lyrics of the anthem change
For the 70 years of Queen Elizabeth II's reign, the British and the rest of the world have known only the famous God Save the Queen as their national anthem.
With the death of the sovereign and the coming to power of Charles III, the words of the British anthem will of course change.
The national anthem of the United Kingdom, which is also one of the two national anthems of New Zealand and the royal anthem in many Commonwealth countries, reverts to God Save the King in honor of the sovereign.
During major sporting events, fans will therefore sing this other version in the stadiums, something they have not done since 1952!
The formulas are changing
Also due to the change from a queen to a king and the change in gender, the coming to power of Charles III leads to a change of formula everywhere the expression Her Majesty had appeared until now.
This very common formula will be replaced by its male equivalent His Majesty in the name of the government, the Treasury and the customs, but also in the army and in the name of the guard stationed in front of Buckingham Palace ...
From now on, the judiciary, the police and the army will no longer perform their duties in the name of the Queen, but in the name of His Majesty the King. British passports will also be issued in the name of the king.
Also, when the British raise their glasses at official gatherings, they will no longer have to say, 'The Queen' but 'The King'!
Of course, this may appear to be a mere linguistic subtlety... And yet, this change will force the British to change not only their habits but also countless objects featuring the royal seal, for example, the uniforms of firefighters and the military.
The current inscription (EIIR for Elizabeth II Regina) will have to be changed. But it's everywhere and even in unexpected places, from post office boxes and bobbie helmets to manhole covers in the streets!
The currency will also change
As London souvenir stores await mugs bearing the new king's image, it's not just souvenirs and postcards that will need to change in the coming months.
The currency in circulation in the United Kingdom today (more than 4 billion bills and 30 billion coins!) bears the image of Elizabeth II.
According to the British press, it will take at least 2 years for sterling coins and bills featuring the new king's face to replace the previous ones.
In addition, the coins bearing the effigy of Charles III will depict him facing left, whereas Elizabeth II's profile was facing right. When the ruler changes, the direction of the gaze also changes, according to an unchanging tradition since the 17th century!
Moreover, this change of coins and banknotes does not only concern the British. With the arrival in power of Charles III, countries of the Commonwealth like Canada or Australia as well as islands controlled by the British Crown like Jersey and Guernsey will also have to strike a new currency...
And of course, as philatelic enthusiasts suspect, the postal stamps where the Queen's face has appeared until now will also be changed!