UK begins rolling out banknotes with portrait of King Charles III


People have been queuing Wednesday outside the Bank of England‘s headquarters in London and at post offices around the United Kingdom to get their hands on the first UK banknotes featuring the portrait of King Charles III. The portrait of the king will appear on all four banknotes issued by the Bank of England — 5, 10, 20 and 50 pounds — with no other alterations to the existing designs. The notes will coexist alongside those featuring his late mother, Queen Elizabeth II, whom he succeeded as monarch on her death in September 2022.
The rollout of coins and stamps bearing the image of Charles have already been rolled out. People may not notice the new notes immediately in their change or withdrawals from ATMs, not least because so many transactions are now done cashless.

Though cash payments have declined over the years, they remain particularly important for lower income households and those who get welfare benefits at their local Post Office. In 2023, legislation was passed as part of to protect access to cash.

In line with guidance from the Royal Household, the new notes will only be printed to replace those that are worn, and to meet any overall increase in demand — the approach aims to minimise the environmental and financial impact of the change.

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