The Royal Mint has unveiled a new crown coin to be issued in celebration of the 90th birthday of Queen Elizabeth II, the first British or English Sovereign ever to reach this auspicious anniversary.
Born on the April 21, 1926, the first daughter of the Duke and Duchess of York was never expected to become Queen. The first grandchild of the reigning King George V, the young Elizabeth was named after her mother Elizabeth, as well as her Grandmother Queen Mary and Great Grandmother Queen Alexandra, consort of King Edward VII. The young Princess’s life changed dramatically in 1936 when in December of that year her Uncle, King Edward VIII, abdicated to avoid a constitutional crisis due to his wish to marry a divorced woman.
Upon King Edward’s abdication, Princess Elizabeth’s father succeeded his elder brother as King George VI. On that day, Elizabeth became next in line to the throne as the new King’s heir presumptive, providing the King did not have a son. Over the ensuing years, the young Princess, together with her younger sister Princess Margaret, captured the affections of both the British people and those in the Empire. She became one of the most photographed and written about personalities in the world and won the admiration of her father’s subjects during the Second World War, when in 1940 she made her first radio broadcast at just 14 years old, addressing children who were evacuated from big cities and faced leaving their families.
We are trying to do all we can to help our gallant sailors, soldiers and airmen, and we are trying, too, to bear our share of the danger and sadness of war. We know, every one of us, that in the end all will be well…
In 1944, Princess Elizabeth was trained to act as a Counsellor of State. Upon her 18th birthday, the law was amended to allow her to act in her father’s place in case of absence or incapacity. She joined the Women’s Auxiliary Territorial Service the next year and trained as a driver and mechanic, being promoted to an honorary Junior Commander just five months later. After the war and celebrations of victory in both Europe and Asia, the Princess accompanied her parents on an extensive tour of Africa in the spring of 1947. It was on this tour that the Princess made another historic broadcast on the occasion of her 21st Birthday, in which she pledged her life to the service of the British people and the family of the commonwealth with the words:
I declare before you all that my whole life, whether it be long or short, shall be devoted to your service and the service of our great imperial family to which we all belong…
These words are as poignant and meaningful today as they were when they were broadcast almost sixty-nine years ago. With this milestone birthday and her Longest Reign day earlier this year, the Queen has achieved the distinction of being the oldest British sovereign as well as the longest reigning monarch in the history of the United Kingdom; she is also the world’s longest reigning Queen Regnant in modern world history.
The new coin, designed by acclaimed artist Christopher Hobbs, depicts a wreath of roses and is inspired by the heraldic rose of England and the Queen’s love of flowers. The center of the coin includes the Queen’s cypher or monogram and the numeral 90. The obverse includes the portrait of the Queen designed by Royal Mint engraver Jody Clark, unveiled earlier this year and referred to as the fifth definitive portrait of Elizabeth II.
|5 Pounds||Cupro-nickel||28 Grams||38.6 mm.||BU||unlimited|
This is the third crown coin issued in the United Kingdom to celebrate one of the Queen’s birthdays. The first was on the occasion of the Queen’s 70th birthday in 1996; the second came in 2006 for her 80th birthday. The Proof version of this crown is available in the 2016 sets. Precious metal versions of this crown will also be launched in 2016. For more information on this and other coins offered by the Royal mint, please visit their Web site. Information is offered in English, with international orders dispatched.