Platinum Jubilee Special: The Queen’s portrait on the world’s currencies

In honour of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations this week, we thought we’d take a look at which other countries (besides the UK) feature portraits of Her Majesty the Queen on their currency, both coins and banknotes.

To begin with let’s remind ourselves of the countries where the Queen is the Head of State. Besides the United Kingdom they are:

🇦🇬 Antigua & Barbuda, 🇦🇺 Australia, 🇧🇸 The Bahamas, 🇧🇿 Belize, 🇨🇦 Canada, 🇬🇩 Grenada, 🇯🇲 Jamaica, 🇳🇿 New Zealand, 🇵🇬 Papua New Guinea, 🇱🇨 Saint Lucia, 🇸🇧 Solomon Islands, 🇰🇳 St Kitts & Nevis, 🇻🇨 St Vincent & the Grenadines and 🇹🇻 Tuvalu

Before we go to look at each place specifically, there are two countries from the above list which don’t depict the Queen at all. Despite being the Queen of Papua New Guinea (where she is known as Missis Kwin) and the Queen of Jamaica, Her Majesty doesn’t appear at all in any form on either the Jamaican Dollar or the Papua New Guinean Kina.

Let’s first head down under to Australia…

(HM the Queen features prominently on the $5 AUD banknote)

Australian Dollar

The Australian Dollar replaced the Australian Pound in the 1960’s. Since then a portrait of the Queen has been featured on all the coins of this currency.

It’s a different story with the banknotes though. When the first series of banknotes were released, the Queen only appeared on the front of the first in the series, the $1.

The second issue of the banknotes (which saw the whole currency move to polymer notes) saw the $1 note removed from circulation and the Queen be depicted on the new $5 instead which became the smallest denomination of banknote.

In 2015, Australia introduced its latest design (as pictured above) where the Queen remained in place on the $5 with her portrait style and position only slightly tweaked.

Bahamas Dollar

The Bahamas Dollar was introduced in the 1960s. In the present day, the Queen is depicted on the half dollar as well as the $3, $10 and $100 dollar notes.

An image of the Queen was originally depicted on all Bahamas Dollar coins, however over time that has been replaced by the nation’s Coat of Arms.

(The Queen features on three different Bahamian banknotes) )
(Pictured is the full set of Belize Dollar banknotes)

Belize Dollar

Like in the UK, HM the Queen features on all the money in circulation in Belize.

A portrait of the Queen features on the front of every banknote and on the obverse of every coin.

The current banknote series was introduced in 2003, nearly two decades ago and therefore the Queen looks noticeably younger.

Canadian Dollar

The first monarch to be depicted on Canadian money was a different Queen, it was Victoria way back in the 1800’s.

Today Queen Elizabeth II features on the obverse of all the coins for this currency. It’s a different story though with banknotes.

The first set of banknotes featuring the Queen’s image were released shortly after her ascension and all featured her portrait.

In the 1970’s, the next time a new design was issued, she dropped off a number of notes only featuring on the $1, $2 and $20.

Over time, the $2 banknote would also be dropped from circulation. Today, with the latest series, the Queen is only depicted on the $20 note.

(Like New Zealand, the Queen features on a green $20 banknote)
(HM the Queen features on all EC$ money)

East Caribbean Dollar

(Antigua and Barbuda, Grenada, St Kitts and Nevis, Barbados, St Lucia, St Vincent & the Grenadines are all countries who use the EC$ and also have the Queen as Head of State.)

We’ve talked about the East Caribbean Dollar in a previous blog so we won’t go into too much detail here.

The last set of banknotes from this currency union was put into circulation in 2019. They all feature HM the Queen’s portrait (although they’ve chosen an image from the Queen’s younger day’s).

A portrait of the Queen also features on the reverse of all the EC$ coins.

New Zealand Dollar

Like Canada, the portrait of the Queen features on all the coinage of the New Zealand Dollar.

Interestingly, also like Canada, the Queen appears only on a green $20 note!

Like Canada again, the Queen originally featured on all the banknotes, but dropped off towards the end of the last century!

(A selection of money from New Zealand)
(The banknotes of the Solomon Islands Dollar are very colourful)

Solomon Islands Dollar and the Tuvalu Dollar

The final two currencies on our list belong to the tiny pacific island nations; the Solomon Islands and Tuvalu.

The Solomon Islands Dollar replaced the AUD in the ’60s and is an independent currency.

HM the Queen is depicted on the reverse of all the coins of this currency with the title ‘Queen of the Solomon Islands’. The last issue of coins was in 2012.

However, she is not depicted on the latest set of banknotes which came into circulation around a decade ago. The latest portrait of the Queen on the Solomon Islands dollar is the same as seen on UK coins.

The Tuvalu Dollar is not in reality an independent currency. It is more like a regional version of the AUD which has official currency status in the nation.

There are only Tuvalu Dollar coins, banknotes ceased to be printed in the ’60s. On the Tuvalu dollar coins, HM the Queen is featured on the reverse of them all where she is titled ‘Queen Elizabeth the Second.’

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