How much does it cost to replace Queen Elizabeth’s image around the UK?

How much does it cost to replace Queen Elizabeth’s image around the UK?

How much does it cost to replace Queen Elizabeth’s image around the UK?

Queen Elizabeth II’s image is ubiquitous. Her face is on British money – the blue five-pound note, the bronze one-pound coin. It’s on post boxes and stamps. The royal coat of arms is on spice jars and jackets. Since her death this month, Queen Elizabeth’s face has been all over the news coverage. But before long the sight of King Charles III will replace that of his mother in official and unofficial functions.

Much will change. But there is a silver lining of sorts to this royal makeover.

“The costs to the monarchy, which are significant, come with the ongoing costs that should be reined in and have not been reined in,” said Norman Baker, a former cabinet minister and the author of the book “… And What Do You Do? What the Royal Family Doesn’t Want that you should know.”

In other words, everything is already so expensive that it is no big investment to replace one royal with another.



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The Royal Mail Group has yet to announce its plan for King Charles stamps, but stamps with Queen Elizabeth’s image are of course still valid. A change unrelated to their royal highnesses: The Royal Mail is about to add barcodes to stamps, a move it said would increase security and give people access to videos through the Royal Mail app. Stamps without the barcodes – which happen to feature the Queen – will only be valid until early next year.

“Suddenly, I guess, just the everyday stamp has become a collector’s item, and that’s quite interesting,” said Laura Clancy, a lecturer in media at Lancaster University. “It changes the meaning of the object, doesn’t it? From an everyday object to something more special.”



Alexander Coggin for the New York Times

It is not unusual to come across mailboxes adorned with the insignia of monarchs who served long before Queen Elizabeth. There are around 115,500 letterboxes across the UK and 61.4 per cent of these, dating to Queen Victoria’s reign, bear Queen Elizabeth’s royal script, according to the Royal Mail Group. All mailboxes and those already in production with Queen Elizabeth’s initials will remain intact, the service’s website says.

When a new post box is created, however, it will bear the insignia of King Charles, according to Mr. Baker, who pointed out that the country sends less mail than it used to. King Charles’ emblem will eventually adorn the nation’s mailboxes. There just won’t be that many of them.

“The cost of a post box is not related to whether or not there is a change of monarchy,” Mr Baker said. “The cost of Charles being there instead of the Queen is minimal. I mean, it’s nothing.”



Alexander Coggin for the New York Times

There are over 4.7 billion Bank of England notes in circulation worth around £82 billion. Queen Elizabeth was the first monarch to appear on Bank of England notes in 1960 – so there is no precedent for what will happen during a turnover in the monarchy.

The cost of creating new forms to accommodate King Charles would be “relatively insignificant,” said Mauro F. Guillén, the dean of Cambridge Judge Business School, who estimated that the phasing out of the currency with Queen Elizabeth would take two to four years. process.

King Charles’ ascension comes as the Bank of England continues to replace paper notes with polymer notes to prevent fraud and reduce the transmission of germs. In 2016, the bank introduced a polymer five pound note featuring Queen Elizabeth and Winston Churchill, the former prime minister.

Another factor in the timing of King Charles currency, according to Mr. Baker: The king gets to approve the image.



Alexander Coggin for the New York Times

There are 29 billion British coins in circulation with Queen Elizabeth’s face, and on all of them she faces to the right. Since the reign of Charles II in the 17th century, new kings and queens have faced the opposite direction to their predecessors on coins, with the exception of Edward VIII, who preferred to face left. Unless the new king expresses a different preference, he will face left.

Guillén said the coins were more expensive to produce than notes because they were more durable. He was reluctant to put a figure on what the production of the new coins might cost — estimated at about $600 million — but noted that it would take several years to phase out older coins, and the total category could fluctuate significantly.



Alexander Coggin for the New York Times

Companies as diverse as Heinz and Burberry use Queen Elizabeth II’s coat of arms on ketchup bottles and coats, but that will change. To be eligible to use the Royal Arms, a business must have supplied products and services to the Royal Family for at least five of the last seven years. More than 600 companies, including Barbour, Command Pest Control and Swarovski, currently have warrants granted by Queen Elizabeth II, according to the Royal Warrant Holders Association.

Now that Queen Elizabeth is dead, companies such as Heinz, who received guarantees from her, have two years to continue using the coat of arms. After this period is up, Heinz will have to update ketchup bottles circulating in the UK, although it may not be a significant cost.

“We’re not talking about changing ketchup,” Mr. Guillén said. “We’re talking about changing a very, very small, small part of the packaging.”

Other unofficial goods are also seeing the market impact of the Queen’s death. Silk Road Bazaar, for example, makes felt ornaments it sells on Etsy and to wholesale customers, catering to Anglophiles. The designs include Queen Elizabeth, an orange and white corgi, Big Ben, and now, King Charles and Camilla, Queen consort.

In August, Silk Road Bazaar sold only three Queen Elizabeth ornaments on Etsy and one of then-Prince Charles, said Andrew Kuschner, the company’s founder. So far this month, however, it has sold 60 pieces of Queen Elizabeth and eight of King Charles.

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