King Charles banknotes enter circulation

The content originally appeared on: Antigua News Room

BBC- New banknotes featuring the portrait of King Charles III have now entered circulation, but it may be some time before they are commonly seen in wallets and purses.

The new Bank of England notes will gradually replace those which are damaged, or will be issued when demand increases.

The King is only the second monarch to appear on these notes, with Queen Elizabeth II first featuring in 1960.

Shoppers can still use current circulating £5, £10, £20 and £50 notes carrying the portrait of the late Queen.

The reverse side of current polymer Bank of England banknotes, which in ascending order feature Sir Winston Churchill, Jane Austen, JMW Turner and Alan Turing, are unchanged. Notes issued in Scotland and Northern Ireland feature other images, and not the monarch.

The first banknotes were printed months ago, ready for the start date

The first new banknotes were printed last year, with the long lead-in time allowing automated machines that accept cash to be updated to recognise the new designs. The King’s portrait is based on a picture taken in 2013.

In April last year, the BBC was given exclusive access to the highly-secure site where the notes are being produced.

A year on, the King was presented with a full set with the lowest serial numbers, following the tradition of the monarch receiving the first issues of new banknotes.

Collectors seek banknotes which come as close to the 00001 serial number as possible.

The Post Office reported collectors visiting branches which had stocks of the notes during the day.

There was an early queue outside the Bank of England in London, where an exchange service is in operation until 11 June, with a limit of £300. It is also running a postal service with the same limit until 30 June, with an application form required to be completed.

Volunteers at the Bank said around 200 people visited on Wednesday to exchange their notes.

Student Sean Brown, 20, travelled from Hertfordshire to get one of the first notes.

“Since I was young I’ve been collecting coins so I wanted to be here for this monumental occasion,” he said.

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