Queen Elizabeth II dies: what changes are needed now from stamps to passports?

The sad Death of Queen Elizabeth II marks the end of an era, and as the nation enters its mourning period, many changes are expected.

The news of Her Majesty’s death was announced in a statement on behalf of the Royal family on Thursday evening.

Her death ended a 70-year reign, the longest in history, having ascended the throne following the death of her father, King George VI, on February 6, 1952.

It also means that her son, the Prince of Wales, will take the throne King Charles III, and that other significant changes will occur.

The Argus: Queen Elizabeth IIQueen Elizabeth the second.

The beloved monarch’s portrait adorns coins, bills and stamps before we look at her initials, which adorn uniforms and mailboxes across the country.

There is no doubt that introducing these changes will take time, several years if not more, for a new monarch.

What changes need to be made after the Queen’s death?

coins and banknotes

Coins must be changed according to tradition, which dictates that the new king’s portrait will face him to the left.

Currently, the effigy of Elizabeth II faces right.

This tradition dates back to the 17th century, so successive monarchs have faced alternative directions.

New coins and banknotes will need to be designed and minted or printed, but they will likely not be in general circulation for some time.

After Her Majesty’s death, the Royal Mint’s Advisory Committee must send recommendations for new coins to the Chancellor and then seek royal approval.

Then the designs are selected and the final selection is approved by both the Chancellor and King Charles.

The Queen’s own coins did not appear until 1953, a year after her coronation.

Elizabeth II’s coins are expected to remain in use until they are gradually replaced.

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We also need to make a change to British and Commonwealth stamps to show the new king.

The Queen was photographed by Dorothy Wilding for her first stamps shortly after her coronation, and again two months later before giving final approval in May 1952.

Her 1952 portrait was later replaced in 1967 by the figure of Arnold Machin’s famous sculpted head, accompanied by the tiny cameo silhouette of the Queen.

national anthem

The words of the national anthem have changed to “God save our gracious king,” replacing “him” and “er.”

This is a matter of tradition, not law.

Read more about the national anthem change and its meaning.

Mourners pay tribute to Queen Elizabeth II

Passports and His Majesty

The wording of British passports will also have to be changed at some point to reflect the new monarch.

Although the king no longer needs his own passport, British passports must be issued in his name.

Wording in new passports will eventually change from Her Majesty’s Passport Office to His Majesty’s Passport Office, as is the case with HM Armed Forces and HM Prison Service.


The new monarch will need a new royal cipher – the monogram stamped on royal and state documents.

The Queen’s ERII can be seen on traditional police helmets and letter boxes.

While English queens use the St Edward’s crown, or a variant thereof, kings traditionally use the more rounded Tudor crown.

The life of the Queen in pictures


Any new mailboxes will likely be changed to include the King’s new cipher.

Early in the Queen’s reign there were objections in Scotland to her being referred to as Elizabeth II because the Tudor Queen Elizabeth I was never a Queen of Scotland.

Indeed, a postal pillar box in Edinburgh containing the ERII cipher was defaced and later blown up.

His replacement was left blank.

Karl’s signature

Also, King Charles’ signature needs to change from his simple name to something more royal.

It will now be the name he took as king with an added R.

This stands for Rex which is Latin for King and is placed at the end.

In criminal cases, the R used to designate the crown now stands for Rex, rather than Regina (the Queen).

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Military medals must also be changed under a new monarch.

These include operational commendations and commendations for long service, which feature the Queen’s effigy.

coat of arms

The royal coat of arms, first introduced at the beginning of Queen Victoria’s reign in 1837, remains unchanged.

However, there will likely be new artwork, as was the case when the Queen became monarch.

We can assume that early in the reign of Charles the artwork was issued by the College of Arms for use by public bodies such as the civil service and the armed forces.

The “very light rebranding” will likely be difficult to spot, but it’s an opportunity to update old images that have been around for decades.

The Duke of Cambridge will also receive an updated coat of arms when he is made Prince of Wales – a title he does not automatically inherit.


Charles will need a new personal flag as king.

In 1960, the Queen adopted a personal flag – a gold E with the royal crown surrounded by a rosary on a blue background – to be flown on every building, ship, car or plane in which she stayed or travelled.

It was often used when she visited Commonwealth countries.

While the Royal Standard represents the sovereign and the United Kingdom, the Queen’s own flag was reserved for her personally and could not be flown by anyone other than the Queen.

QCs to KCs

In the United Kingdom, Queen’s Counsel (QC) refers to a body of solicitors and solicitors appointed by the Monarch as part of Her Majesty’s Counsel.

The title changes to King’s Counsel (KC), now a king rules.

Stationery and business cards may need to be reprinted to reflect the change in post-nominal letters.

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Fry Electronics Team

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