King Charles III will replace his predecessor, the late Queen Elizabeth II, on Canada’s coins and $20 bills after he is officially crowned Canada’s sovereign.
Royal Canadian Mint President and CEO Marie Lemay told CBC that the process to produce the official effigy of Charles that will grace Canada’s currency involves several steps.
First, the Mint must invite artists to express their interest and submit design proposals. Once one has been chosen, it must be finalized and approved by Buckingham Palace.
“We expect to be able to share the chosen design in the fall, so I think that’s going to be a big moment,” Lemay said, but added that it would still be a few weeks before new coins were released would.
Charles’ likeness on Canada’s coins will also face left, in contrast to those bearing his mother’s likeness, which will face right.
The process of creating a new $20 bill is expected to take a few years. Current Canadian money bearing the likeness of Elizabeth II will remain legal tender.
CLOCK | Coronation Highlights:
Canadian ceremony in Ottawa
Canada’s coronation ceremony for the new king took place in the nation’s capital on Saturday morning. The ceremony, held at Sir John A. MacDonald’s building in Ottawa, included speeches, musical performances and a 21-gun salute.
After some brief opening remarks, Algonquin poet and spiritual advisor Albert Dumont made a statement reflecting on the past and future relationship of indigenous peoples to the Crown.
“The trees sway joyfully in memory of a time long ago before the power of the British sword shattered the calm of gentle Turtle Island,” he said. “Today, a vow from afar brings hope that honor will honor again the circle by which the wampum of peace and friendship is held… by the good spirit.”
Charles met with Indigenous leaders earlier this week who said they hope the meeting will mark the start of a new chapter in the relationship between the Crown and Indigenous peoples.
Dumont’s testimony was followed by an Algonquin Circle Drum performance by the Eagle River Singers. Other musical performances at the ceremony included Florence K from Quebec and Inn Echo from PEI.
New coins, stamp with King Charles
While the Ottawa ceremony was fairly subdued compared to that in Britain, it marked some changes to Canada’s royal symbols.
Along with plans for new currency images featuring images of King Charles, the Royal Canadian Mint introduced a new set of collector coins to mark the occasion. Likewise, Canada Post unveiled a stamp depicting King Charles, continuing a more than 170-year tradition of issuing stamps with the Canadian sovereign’s face.
Procurement Minister Helena Jaczek, who is in charge of Canada Post, said the unveiling of the new stamp was “a wonderful way to commemorate this historic moment”.
“The coronation is a momentous event for Canadians and people across the Commonwealth,” she said. “It is only fitting that it be celebrated on a Canadian postage stamp, continuing a longstanding tradition.”
“Uniquely Canadian” crown design
The government also unveiled a new design of the Canadian crown, a symbol that sits on Canada’s coat of arms.
The previous crown contained symbols such as a cross at the top and a circlet of gold crosses and fleur-de-lys. The new iteration replaces these symbols with a likeness of an Order of Canada medal above and a ring and gold maple leaves.
Minister Bill Blair, President of the King’s Privy Council, said the new design was “uniquely Canadian”. He noted that the new crown also includes a wavy blue line, meant to represent Aboriginal teachings on the importance of Canada’s waterways.
“Our royal symbols must be inclusive to unite as Canadians, and they must also be unique to differentiate us in the world,” he said.
“One of the strengths of our constitutional monarchy is its adaptability. We’ve come a long way since 1867 and our symbols have changed to reflect that evolution,” he said.
Provincial and territorial ceremonies were also held by Canada’s lieutenant governors and territorial commissioners.
Crowning a “meaningful occasion”: Trudeau
Charles, a man who waited almost 74 years to become king, was crowned with all the pomp and pageantry Britain could muster at Westminster Abbey earlier on Saturday.
Shouts of “God save the King” rang out and trumpets blared throughout the Abbey after the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, placed the St Edward’s Crown on the monarch.
CLOCK | Watch the moment King Charles is crowned:
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Governor General Mary Simon were among those who attended the ceremony.
“As we celebrate this momentous occasion, we remember our shared values of inclusivity, diversity and respect for human rights as we work together to build a better future for all members of the Commonwealth,” Trudeau said in a statement.
Simon also released a statement on Saturday, saying it was a “great honor” to witness the coronation.
“Seventy years have passed since the last coronation and it is an opportunity for us to reflect on all that has changed in our country, in the Commonwealth and in the world around us,” Simon said.
“While the Crown has also evolved over this time, it continues to be an anchor to our robust and stable democracy and diverse country.”
Charles had taken an oath to rule the people of the UK with “justice and mercy” and to promote an environment in which people of all faiths and beliefs can live freely. The oath was the second of five elements of the historic coronation rite, which dates back over 1000 years.