Police, passports and postboxes: What does the Queen's death change?

Clockwise from top left: A banknote, the Queen's Guard, a UK police helmet and a postbox.
Clockwise from top left: A banknote, the Queen's Guard, a UK police helmet and a postbox. Copyright Credit: AP/AFP
By Euronews with AFP
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The fabric of UK life is changing. Here's how.


From the national anthem to banknotes and stamps to passports, many material changes will kick in following the death of Queen Elizabeth II and the accession of Charles III.

Coins and stamps

King Charles III’s face will begin to appear on coins and banknotes in the UK and other countries around the world, replacing Queen Elizabeth II.

His effigy will also appear on several other currencies used in the Eastern Caribbean, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

The same will apply for other islands and territories controlled by the British Crown.

Credit: AP Photo
The Queen Elizabeth II portrait side of one of the new British 10 pound notes is posed for photographs outside the Bank of England in the City of LondonCredit: AP Photo

Coins had been minted during King Edward VIII’s 326-day reign in 1936, but the monarch abdicated before they could come into circulation.

The face of the late Queen also appears on postage stamps, and the acronym EIIR, for Elizabeth II Regina, is affixed to post boxes, so this too will need to be changed.

This also applies for the insignia on police helmets.

Credit: Reuters
A Royal Mail post box is seen in central London 11 July, 2014Credit: Reuters

God Save The King

The British national anthem, previously "God Save The Queen", will become "God Save The King", with a masculinised version of the lyrics.

This change will undoubtedly come as a challenge for many in Britain, who have been singing "God Save the Queen" since 1952.

The hymn represents one of New Zealand’s two national anthems and is the royal anthem of Australia and Canada, both of which have their own national anthem.

Credit: AFP
A man sings 'God save the Queen' outside of Buckingham Palace, after the announcement of the death of Queen Elizabeth II, in central London on September 8, 2022Credit: AFP

The wording on the inside cover of UK passports -- which are issued in the name of the crown -- will need to be updated.

A similar text appears in Australian, Canadian and New Zealand passports.

Upon raising a glass during official meetings, "The Queen" will now be replaced with "The King". In the Channel Islands, the unofficial French phrase used when toasting (“La reine, notre duc", or “The Queen, our duke”) will become "Le roi, notre duc" (“The King”).

Credit: Pat Heery
The current inside page of UK passports.Credit: Pat Heery

His Majesty

The names of Her Majesty's Government ("Her Majesty"), Treasury and Customs will now be substituted with "His Majesty". It will now be the King’s Speech, and not that of the queen, which will open the parliamentary session by presenting the government’s programme to parliament.

The Queen's Guard, a favourite for tourists visiting Buckingham Palace, will also change its name.

The police will no longer preserve the peace of the queen but that of the king, and barristers’ office will change from being called “QC ("Queen's counsel") to KC ("King's counsel").

Credit: AP Photo
The Queen's Guard line up at the Palace of Westminster prior to the State Opening of Parliament at the Houses of Parliament, in London, on May 10, 2022Credit: AP Photo

Prisoners will no longer be held at the pleasure of "Her Majesty", but will continue their imprisonment at that of "His Majesty" the King.

In the army, new recruits will no longer take "the queen's shilling" when enlisting, as the formula indicates. Nor will they have to submit to the Queen's regulations.


The name of "Her Majesty's Theatre" in London's West End theatre district, where popular musical “The Phantom of the Opera" has been performed since 1986, will now also change.

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