Home Valuable stamps What changes now that Charles is king?

What changes now that Charles is king?


National anthem

When Charles first arrived at the gates of Buckingham Palace on Royal Friday, some in the gathered crowd sang the national anthem. But instead of “God Save the Queen”, which the vast majority of Britons will have grown up with, they sang “God save the King”.

The anthem, originally written in the 18th century, was first adopted in the 19th century. Although there are several verses, only the first is usually sung on official occasions.

Mail boxes

The Queen’s official Elizabeth Regina II crest adorns, among other places, British letterboxes. Matt Dunham/AP

Beloved by tourists, the red letterboxes, or postboxes as they are known in the UK, which were created while Elizabeth was on the throne are adorned with her cipher, or monogram, E II R, identifying that she was the monarch when they were placed. . Although increasingly rare, history buffs can still find letterboxes with the cipher of previous monarchs, including Elizabeth’s father, King George VI.

Now that Charles is on the throne, any new mailboxes will carry his cipher. Elizabeth’s cipher will not be replaced and will remain in place, according to the Postal Museum in London.


The Queen’s image appears on all British coins and banknotes. Elizabeth was the first monarch to appear on paper money and her portrait originally appeared on the one pound note in 1960. At the time the design was criticized for its harshness and lack of realism, according to the Bank of England. It has since changed, and other portraits have been more warmly received by the public.

There are currently 82 billion pounds, or $95 billion, of paper money in circulation, so changes to bill design are likely to be slow. It will also take time for new banknotes, probably with the image of the new monarch, to be distributed and the older money with the portrait of the Queen will continue to be valid.

On coins, the tradition of using the portrait of the monarch goes back centuries. Currently, the queen is depicted facing right. There is a tradition dating back to the 1600s, however, that the new monarch faces the opposite direction of the predecessor, according to the Royal Family’s website, so Charles will likely be depicted facing left.


The Postal Museum opens with a mile-long attraction by train
Arnold Machin’s The Dressed Head provided the portrait of Queen Elizabeth II, which was used on UK stamps from 1967.Jack Taylor/Getty Images file

Although it seems normal to see the Queen on stamps, she was actually the first monarch to appear on stamps in 1967. Elizabeth’s silhouette is facing left on each stamp, rather than right as she does it on the coins. It is believed to be the most reproduced work of art in history, according to the Royal Mail, with hundreds of billions of stamps printed.

After her death, the Royal Mail assured the public that the Queen’s stamps would remain valid. New stamps bearing the likeness of King Charles III will be designed in consultation with Buckingham Palace, he added.

Government services

As Britain is a constitutional monarchy, the Queen or King is the figure that gives the government its legitimacy. One of the other major changes that will be immediately noticeable will be government offices, such as the judiciary, the treasury and the tax collection service, which will be renamed from “Her Majesty” to “Her Majesty”. For example, instead of being called Her Majesty’s Courts, the pronoun will change and the courts will be known as His Majesty’s Courts.

Goods and services

LONDON, UK - MAY 6, 2016: A close up of the Royal Warrant of Appointment on a jar of Heinz ketchup isolated on a plain
The Royal Warrant of Appointment on a jar of Heinz Tomato Ketchup.Chris Dorney / Alamy

It is not only on official government goods, services and buildings that the monarch appears. Commercial goods and services that supply the royal household may require a royal warrant or mark of recognition. This means that some brands, including Kellogg’s, have a small mark on the box indicating that they are used by the Queen.

With the death of the Queen, warrant holders can continue to display her crest and corresponding wording for two years before a review of the warrant takes place. (The Royal Warrant Holders Association was among myriad organizations to issue a statement after the Queen’s death.)