The United Kingdom celebrated the 90th birthday of His Royal Highness Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh on the 11th June. This milestone birthday means that he is not only the oldest consort, but the Duke is also the longest serving consort to a reigning monarch in British history. With this auspicious birthday, the Royal Mint officially launched the precious metal versions of the cupro-nickel coins which were issued earlier this year.
Another first to give greater significance to this issue, it is the first time in UK history that a reigning Monarch and Consort have appeared on opposite sides of a UK coin. It is also the first time a sole image of the Prince has been seen on the reverse of a UK coin. Of Prince Philip’s immediate family, Her Majesty The Queen, His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales and Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother, have all appeared on the reverse designs of British coins. The decision to include the Prince was driven by the significance not only for his 90th birthday, but also by his prominent support and patronage of over 800 charities including the WWF and the Chartered Society of Designers. Prince Philip is also the founder of the Duke of Edinburgh’s award, an award scheme which seeks to highlight the potential of young people and now active in over 110 countries.
The coin was designed by Mark Richards, Fellow of the Royal Society of British Sculptors who also designed the United Kingdom Royal wedding commemorative coin. This coin is struck in four metals, cupro-nickel, sterling silver with a total mintage of 20,000 pieces weighing 28 grams, 22 carat (.916) gold with a mintage of 1200 pieces and a weight of 39.9 grams, and a special piedfort platinum issue with a total mintage of just 90 pieces and weighing 94 grams. The £5 denominated crown coins have a diameter of 38.6 mm.
For more information on this special issue coin from the Royal Mint, please visit their website at: www.royalmint.com