Her Majesty Gets a Cheerful Makeover

It’s often reckoned that the Queen is the most photographed individual in history, mostly due to her image being reproduced countless times on coins and stamps during her lengthy reign, but the new design unveiled this week makes a bold statement and a great departure from previous portrayals of monarchs on British coins. new coin 2015For as long as I can remember, whenever I’m searching around in my purse or pocket for a pound coin, I am happy to turn up with a “Queen’s head” (affectionately shortened to “quid” in British slang). Now that H.M.’s Diamond Jubilee is over and done with, the Royal Mint thought it time to update the Queen’s portrait and bring a new generation of coins into production. In her 88th year, the Queen is not exactly the same youthful beauty that she was in her first portrait in 1953, but I feel that artist Jody Clark has done a wonderful job at portraying the Queen as a graceful, regal woman. What’s really striking about Clark’s design is that the monarch is smiling in this portrait, and this brings a sense of warmth to an otherwise austere and official portrait on a cold medium (they don’t call it “cold hard cash” for nothing, after all). It almost brings a sense of friendliness to the pound coin, as if the Queen is more like a nice great-aunt you’re distantly related to rather than a monarch. One thing’s for sure though, I can’t wait to see more of these smiling pound coins in the future 🙂

Jody Clarke showcases his design next to previous editions of the Queen's portrait.
Jody Clarke showcases his design next to previous editions of the Queen’s portrait.

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