15 Banknotes That Show Queen Elizabeth’s Aging Process
By Arika Okrent
Queen Elizabeth II has, of course, been pictured on British currency for much of her reign, but she has also appeared on the money of various British Commonwealth states and Crown dependencies. With such a long reign and so many nations issuing money with her image on it over the years, there are enough banknote portraits to construct a sort of aging timeline for the Queen. The age given below for each portrait is her age when the picture was made, which is not always the same as the year the banknote was issued (more information can be found at this interesting site maintained by international banknote expert Peter Symes). Here is Elizabeth through the years, on money.
1. Canada, 20 dollars, age 8
She was just a princess then. Her picture appeared on Canadian banknotes long before anything issued by the Bank of England.
2. Canada, 1 dollar, age 25
From a portrait taken by a Canadian photographer the year before she ascended the throne.
3. Jamaica, 1 pound, age 26
4. Mauritius, 5 rupees, age 29
From a painting commissioned in the 1950s by the Worshipful Company of Fishmongers, for Fishmongers’ Hall in London.
5. Cayman Islands, 100 dollars, age 34
Here she’s wearing the Russian style Kokoshnik tiara.
6. Australia, 1 dollar, age 38
Not long after this portrait was taken, she would meet the Beatles.
7. St. Helena, 5 pounds, age 40
Perfecting the art of looking casual while wearing bling.
8. Isle of Man, 50 pounds, age 51
More bling for this portrait from her Silver Jubilee.
9. Jersey, 1 pound, age 52
Wisdom, experience, soulful eyes.
10. Australia 5 dollars, age 58
The confidence to go casual.
11. New Zealand, 20 dollars, age 60
Not the most flattering one. The green tint doesn’t help.
12. Gibraltar, 50 pounds, age 66
Silver hair and shiny diamonds. From a photograph taken at Buckingham Palace.
13. Fiji, 5 dollars, age 73
More silver hair, more shiny diamonds, and not so much smoothing of the wrinkles.
14. Jersey, 100 pounds, age 78
Face lined, eyes sparkly. She is looking right at you, and she looks good.
15. Canada, 20 dollars, age 85
Back to Canada, where it all began, and where they like their Queen a bit laid back.