The world’s longest-serving female head of state and England’s longest-reigning monarch, Queen Elizabeth II, was a global figure who played a prominent role in her nation’s culture and Western societies over the course of a 70-year reign. Queen Elizabeth II came to the throne in 1952 and provided a steady presence for her nation throughout the tumultuous post-World War II era, guided her nation into the 21st century, and preserved a role for the monarchy as political winds changed.
Though the sun has set on her record-breaking reign, Queen Elizabeth II will be forever remembered as perhaps England’s greatest monarch. More than just the head of state for the United Kingdom, she was also head of state for the Commonwealth Nations and her effigy has appeared on coinage from Commonwealth Nations, territories, and other previous British colonies around the world.
No mint provided more coinage with Her Majesty’s effigy than Britain’s own Royal Mint. From the dawn of her reign to its sunset in the 21st century, the Royal Mint captured the Queen’s image on some of the many programs noted below:
Both the Royal Mint of Australia and the Perth Mint, a state-owned entity of Western Australia, have used the same effigies of the Queen created by Britain’s Royal Mint over the course of her reign. There is no end to Her Majesty’s appearances on Australian coins, with her image common programs such as:
Another of the major mints to feature Queen Elizabeth II’s effigy is the Royal Canadian Mint. While Her Majesty appeared on all Canadian bullion coins, from investment-grade releases to collectible, limited-issue series, she was most visible on the coins of the Canadian Maple Leaf Series. Examples of her appearances on Canadian coins include:
Give her record-setting reign, Queen Elizabeth II’s effigy was modernized several times throughout her life. No other British monarch had so many changes made to their portrait on national coinage. In total, the Royal Mint introduced five different portraits of Her Majesty. These include the following portraits:
All of these portraits of the Queen were used on coinage throughout the Commonwealth Nations, with Australian mints closely adhering to the use of these images. Starting in the 1990s, the Royal Canadian Mint diverged, turning to Canadian artists for distinctive portraits of the Queen that include:
One final note on Her Majesty’s effigies, Queen Elizabeth II features in right-profile relief in all portraits used throughout her reign. Monarch portraits traditionally shift from one to the next, with King George VI depicted in left-profile relief. As such, Her Majesty was shown in right-profile relief in all designs.
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