The sad death of Queen Elizabeth II marks the end of an era and as the nation enters its mourning period, many changes are expected to take place. 

The news of Her Majesty's death was announced in a statement on behalf of the Royal Family on Thursday evening.

Her death brings an end to a 70-year reign, the longest in history, having ascended the throne following the death of her father, King George VI on 6 February 1952.

It also means that her son, the Prince of Wales, will ascend to the throne as King Charles III, and that other significant changes will come into place.

Falmouth Packet: Queen Elizabeth II.Queen Elizabeth II. (Image: PA)

The beloved monarch's portrait adorns coins, notes and stamps and that is before we consider her initials which embellish uniforms and postboxes across the country.

There is no doubt that introducing these changes for a new monarch will take some time, several years if not more.

What changes will need to be made following the Queen's death?

Coins and notes

Coins will need to be changed in line with tradition which dictates that the new King's portrait will show him facing to the left.

Currently, Elizabeth II’s effigy looks to the right.

This tradition dates back to the 17th century so successive monarchs are facing alternative directions.

New coins and notes will need to be designed and minted or printed but they will likely not be used in general circulation for some time.

Following Her Majesty's death, the Royal Mint advisory committee needs to send recommendations for new coins to the Chancellor and then obtain royal approval.

Designs are then chosen and the final choices will be approved by both the Chancellor and King Charles.

The Queen’s own coins did not appear until 1953 which was a year after her coronation.

Elizabeth II’s coins are expected to stay in use until they are gradually replaced.

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We will also need to make a change to British and Commonwealth stamps to feature the new king.

The Queen was photographed for her first stamps by Dorothy Wilding shortly after she was crowned and then again two months later before making the final approval in May 1952.

Her 1952 portrait was later replaced in 1967 by the figure of the famous sculptured head by Arnold Machin which is accompanied by the tiny cameo silhouette of the Queen.

National Anthem

The words to the National Anthem have changed to “God save our gracious King” with substitutions of “him” and “he”.

This is a matter of tradition, not law.

Read more about the national anthem changing and its significance.

Mourners pay tribute to Queen Elizabeth II

Passports and His Majesty

The word of UK passports will also need to be changed at some point to reflect the new monarch.

Although the King no longer needs his own passport to travel, UK passports will need to be issued in his name.

The wording in new passports will be changed at some point from Her Majesty’s Passport Office to His Majesty’s Passport Office, as is the case with HM Armed Forces and HM Prison Service.


The new monarch will need a new Royal Cypher – the monogram impressed upon royal and state documents.

The Queen’s ERII features on traditional police helmets and post boxes.

While English queens use the St Edward’s crown or a variant of it, kings traditionally use the more rounded Tudor crown.

The Queen's life in pictures


Any new postboxes are likely to be changed to feature the new King’s cypher.

There were objections in Scotland at the start of the Queen's reign at her being referenced as Elizabeth II because the Tudor queen Elizabeth I was never a queen of Scotland.

In fact, a Post Office pillar box in Edinburgh which included the ERII cypher was defaced and later blown up.

Its replacement was left blank.

Charles’s signature

King Charles’s signature will also need to change from simply his name to something more regal.

It will now be the name he has taken as King with an additional R.

This stands for Rex which is Latin for King and will be placed at the end.

In criminal court cases, the R to denote the Crown will now stand for Rex rather than Regina (the Queen).

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Military medals will also need to be altered under a new monarch.

This includes operational ones and long service commendations that feature the Queen’s effigy.

Coat of arms

The royal coat of arms, which was first adopted at the start of Queen Victoria’s reign in 1837, will remain the same.

However, there will likely be new artwork as there was when the Queen became monarch.

We can expect the artwork to be issued early in Charles’s reign by the College of Arms for use by public service bodies such as the civil service and the armed forces.

The “very light rebranding” will likely be difficult to spot, but it is an opportunity to update old images that have been in place for decades.

The Duke of Cambridge will also be given an updated coat of arms when he is made the Prince of Wales – a title which he does not inherit automatically.


Charles will need a new personal flag as King.

In 1960, the Queen adopted a personal flag – a gold E with the royal crown surrounded by a chaplet of roses on a blue background – to be flown on any building, ship, car or aircraft in which she was staying or travelling.

It was often used when she visited Commonwealth countries.

While the Royal Standard represents the Sovereign and the United Kingdom, the Queen’s own flag was personal to her alone and could be flown by no one other than the Queen.

QCs to KCs

In the UK, Queen’s Counsel (QC) refers to a set of barristers and solicitors who the monarch appoints to be a part of Her Majesty’s Counsel learned in the law.

The title switches to King’s Counsel (KC) now a king reigns.

Stationery and business cards may need to be reprinted to reflect the change in the post-nominal letters.