Britain has entered a new era with the coronation of King Charles III. The death of Queen Elizabeth II marked the end of an era and triggered a wave of changes throughout Britain and the Commonwealth realms where Charles is also head of state. The new king will make his mark on various aspects of everyday life in the country, including banknotes, passports, postboxes, and theatres.
Changes to the National Anthem
One of the most noticeable changes under King Charles III is the new version of the national anthem. The lyrics have been changed to reflect the new monarch’s gender, and the male version that had not been sung since 1952 is now being used. The new version, “God Save the King,” was officially sung for the first time at a memorial service for Queen Elizabeth II on September 9, 2022, the day after her death. The change caught many people off guard, and the lyrics were checked by many.
The first British passports in Charles’s name will be issued in mid-2023, with those in Elizabeth’s name remaining valid until expiry, meaning some will be used until 2033. The text inside the passports will also be updated to reflect the new monarch’s name. More than a million Australian passports printed before Elizabeth’s death will be used up before the revised text comes in. Similar text appears inside Australian, Canadian, and New Zealand passports.
Coins and Banknotes
The first coins bearing King Charles III’s head entered circulation in Britain in December, with the Royal Mint releasing 4.9 million 50-pence coins to celebrate the life of Queen Elizabeth on the reverse. Charles is depicted facing left, as per tradition, looking the opposite way to his predecessor. A second 50p coin celebrates the coronation, featuring Westminster Abbey and Charles wearing a crown, while a special £5 coin depicts the coronation regalia. Elizabeth’s portrait appeared on several currencies, including coins of the East Caribbean dollar, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. The first Bank of England notes featuring Charles are set to enter circulation by mid-2024, with the designs otherwise remaining unchanged. However, Australia’s central bank will replace Elizabeth on the $5 note with a design honoring Indigenous culture.
Britain’s Royal Mail released the first postage stamps featuring King Charles III’s image on April 4, 2023. The portrait is adapted from a sculpture by British artist Martin Jennings. Stamps featuring Elizabeth will be sold until they run out. A special set of coronation stamps entitled “A New Reign” celebrates causes championed by the king. The four stamps depict the coronation, diversity and community, the Commonwealth, and sustainability and biodiversity.
New postboxes will feature the CIIIR cipher, for Charles III Rex. The first Isle of Man postbox bearing the cipher was unveiled on April 27 at the Postal Headquarters in the capital Douglas.
Changes in Law and Order
In law and order, there have been changes to reflect the new monarch’s reign. Suspects who admit guilt and testify against their accomplices in return for a lenient sentence are now turning king’s evidence. Senior lawyers are now the king’s counsel (KC). Prisoners are being detained at His Majesty’s pleasure.
The police are now preserving the king’s peace, and in the military, new recruits now metaphorically take the king’s shilling to sign up and adhere to the king’s regulations once in the ranks or board one of His Majesty’s ships. It is now the King’s Life Guard that screams at tourists to make way or stand back from the soldiers or horses on ceremonial duty in London.
Changes in Culture
In culture, Her Majesty’s Theatre in London’s West End, where The Phantom of the Opera has been running since 1986, will now be called His Majesty’s Theatre. This change reflects the new monarch’s gender, and it is expected that other theaters and cultural institutions with similar names will also change their titles.
In addition, King Charles III has shown an interest in promoting the arts and supporting the cultural sector. He has expressed a particular interest in music, and has been known to attend concerts and performances. It is likely that his reign will see an increased focus on the arts, with more funding and support for artists, musicians, and cultural institutions.
Changes in Military
In the military, there have been several changes since King Charles III’s accession to the throne. New recruits now metaphorically “take the king’s shilling” to sign up, and they adhere to the king’s regulations once in the ranks or board one of His Majesty’s ships. It is now the King’s Life Guard which screams at tourists to make way or stand back from the soldiers or horses on ceremonial duty in London.
There have also been changes to the military’s equipment and vehicles, with new designs featuring the king’s cipher and insignia. In addition, there has been a renewed emphasis on the importance of the military and the role it plays in protecting the nation and upholding its values.
Changes in Language and Education
Finally, there have been changes to language and education since King Charles III’s accession to the throne. Speakers of Received Pronunciation, the poshest and most socially prestigious accent, will have to aspire to Charles’s vowels and diphthongs to speak the King’s English. This reflects the new monarch’s preference for a particular style of English, and his desire to promote a standard of pronunciation that is more in line with his own.
In addition, there has been a renewed focus on education and literacy, with the king advocating for increased funding and support for schools, libraries, and other educational institutions. There has been a renewed emphasis on the importance of education in promoting social mobility, and ensuring that everyone has access to the tools and resources they need to succeed in life.
The coronation of King Charles III has been a highly anticipated event in the United Kingdom, and the preparations for the occasion have been underway for quite some time. The coronation, which took place on Saturday, was a grand affair that attracted millions of viewers from around the world.
In addition to the changes mentioned in the article, there have been several other changes that have taken place since King Charles III’s accession to the throne. For example, the new king has made some changes to the royal household, which has resulted in the departure of some senior staff members and the appointment of new ones.
There have also been changes in the royal family, with some members taking on new roles and responsibilities. Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge, has been appointed as the new Prince of Wales, while his father, Prince Charles, has been given the title of Duke of Edinburgh.
Furthermore, there have been changes in the way that the monarchy is perceived by the public. King Charles III has been keen to modernize the monarchy and make it more accessible to the general public. As part of this effort, he has opened up several royal residences to the public and has made efforts to connect with people from all walks of life.
Overall, the coronation of King Charles III marks the beginning of a new era for the United Kingdom. While there are sure to be challenges ahead, the new king is committed to upholding the traditions of the monarchy while also adapting to the changing times. It will be interesting to see how the monarchy evolves under his reign and what changes he will bring about in the years to come.