Why is King Charles III not wearing a crown on his stamps and coins?

8 February 2023, 12:27

King Charles alongside his first stamp
King Charles has approved his stamp and he isn't wearing a crown. Picture: Alamy

By Zoe Adams

King Charles has revealed his new coins and stamps and there's a stark difference between his version and the late Queen Elizabeth II.

The Coronation of King Charles III will be happening on May 6th and the UK has begun to make the final transitions from Queen Elizabeth II to his majesty, including the new coins, notes and stamps going into circulation.

Revealing the latest stamps from the Royal Mail, and following the new coin debut, people have noticed one big difference - the new king isn't wearing a crown.

Simple and understated, Charles has personally approved the new images which were created by sculptor Martin Jennings. It's understood he's very pleased with the likeness.

Charles is the seventh monarch to feature on the definitive stamp.

Related article: Furious King's Guard shouts 'get off' as tourist tugs at horse's reins twice

Related article: Charles 'wants Harry at his coronation despite bombshell memoir and William fears - and weighs up his own interview'

So why is King Charles III not wearing a crown? And when will the new coins, notes and stamps go into circulation?

King Charles III in a blue suit
King Charles III will be coronated on May 6 and can then officially wear a crown. Picture: Alamy
Queen Elizabeth II stamps
Queen Elizabeth kept this same image on first and second class stamps. Picture: Alamy

Why is King Charles III not wearing a crown?

Like with most royal decisions, this essentially comes down to tradition and typically, male monarchs do not wear crowns or royal regalia on coins.

He will, however, be the first monarch on a stamp to not have a crown as King George VI, the last male monarch, featured a crown in his stamp design.

And it was King Charles himself who made the decision to scrap any royal regalia.

Royal Mail director of external affairs, David Gold said: "The feedback we got back [from Charles] was that he wanted it to be simple. It's a very human image, with no embellishment."

Other theories suggest that King Charles isn't wearing a crown because he's not officially allowed to wear one yet. No images of the new king wearing any crown, including the Imperial State Crown or St Edward's Crown, are permitted until he has his coronation.

The Queen had a number of images feature on coins and stamps during her reign so there is still time for Charles to have one added should he choose to.

There's also the argument that the late Queen wasn't wearing a crown in her stamp but a diadem - a statement piece of royal jewellery that can only be worn by female monarchs.

King Charles on his first 50p
King Charles is following royal traditions when it comes to coins. Picture: Alamy

When will the new coins, stamps and notes go into circulation?

This ranges differently across all three things:


The King has been very clear that he wants all current first and second class stamp supplies to be used before they begin producing anymore. They will go on general sale from April 4.


Some coins, including the new 50p, have been on sale to collectors since September 2022 and then went into general circulation from the end of the year. These will be distributed when and where they're needed.

From 2023, coins from 1p up to £2 will also begin to carry the image of King Charles III - again when and where needed.

Coins with both monarchs on will circulate together for many years to come.


The UK public will be waiting until mid 2024 to see King Charles appear on bank notes. All money featuring the Queen will remain in circulation.

More Latest News

See more More Latest News

The Israeli Iron Dome air defence system launches to intercept missiles fired from Iran

Israel hails ‘success’ in blocking Iran’s unprecedented attack

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has warned that the Middle East is 'on the brink'

'The Middle East is on the brink,' UN chief warns, as Israel approves plan of attack after huge Iranian onslaught

Elections 2024 Media Debates

News organisations urge Joe Biden and Donald Trump to agree to debates

Survivors of the attack are set to sue MI5

Hundreds of survivors of Manchester Arena bombing to sue MI5

The UK is set to experience some warm, dry weather

Two-week period when Brits to bask in warm, dry weather revealed, after cold period ahead

Lennix died after being hit by a car on Saturday

Parents pay tribute to 'happy go lucky' son, 8, killed in crash while riding scooter on quiet Wiltshire road

Damien Guerot stepped in in Sydney

Builder who wielded bollard to defend children from rampaging Sydney knifeman says attacker's 'eyes were empty'

The IDF said over 300 weapons were fired by Iran.

Israel approves plan of attack after foiling massive Iran onslaught, as world leaders call for 'stabilisation'

The G7 have condemned the Iran attack on Israel

G7 leaders condemn Iran's 'unprecedented' attack on Israel and say they 'stand ready to take further measures'

Russia Ukraine War

More civilians die in Ukraine amid warning US aid delays will hamper Kyiv forces

The minibus lying on its side

Seventeen rushed to hospital after bus carrying football fans overturns on motorway in multiple car smash

Bill Nighy

Bill Nighy and Paloma Faith join celebrities demanding Government act over Sudan

Dawn Singleton was among six victims of the stabbings

Police officer fiancé of Sydney stabbing victim 'discovered she had been killed after being scrambled to the scene'

The IDF said over 300 weapons were fired by Iran.

Israel says Iran conflict 'not over' and vows to 'collect a price when timing is right', as US urges restraint

Poland Abortion

Polish opponents of abortion march against recent steps to liberalise strict law

A boy, 8, was killed in the incident.

Boy, 8, dies after crash on quiet Wiltshire cul-de-sac