In 2017, The Royal Mint revealed a series of brand new base metal UK £5 coins featuring an intriguing range of creatures called the ‘Queen’s Beasts’.
After all 10 beasts were released, The Royal Mint struck a final coin as the perfect way to celebrate the series as a whole.
2021 UK Queen’s Beasts £5
Designed by acclaimed Royal Mint engraver, Jody Clark, the reverse of this coin features not just one, but ALL TEN beasts together on a single coin to celebrate the series as a whole.
The design features each heraldic creature from the series in a striking illustration of Her Majesty’s royal line of descent.
Recognisable as national symbols and representations of the great houses that vied for the throne, the Beasts include lions, a bull, a falcon, a horse and a greyhound, as well as creatures of myth and legend.
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Why “The Queen’s Beasts”?
Over 400 years ago Henry VIII commissioned the sculpting of 10 heraldic animal statues. They were produced to represent the ancestry of King Henry VIII and his third wife Jane Seymour. These became known as “The King’s Beasts” and can still be seen to this day, guarding the main entrance to Hampton Court Palace.
In 1952, in preparation for the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, sculptor Sir James Woodford was tasked to create ten new statues, similar to “The King’s Beasts” but more suited to the Queen. Woodford was instructed not to produce exact replicas to those at Hampton Court Palace as some of them would have had little connection with Her Majesty’s own family or ancestry.
As the Queen arrived for her coronation at Westminster Abbey, she was greeted by 10 six-foot tall beasts each representing a different part of her genealogy and thus “The Queen’s Beasts” were born.
The 10 beasts were made up of ‘The Lion of England’, ‘The White Greyhound of Richmond’, ‘The Yale of Beaufort’, ‘The Red Dragon of Wales’, ‘The White Horse of Hanover’, ‘The White Lion of Mortimer’, ‘The Unicorn of Scotland’, ‘The Griffin of Edward III’, ‘The Black Bull of Clarence’ and ‘The Falcon of the Plantagenets’.
After the coronation, the beasts were offered to Canada as a gift. The Canadian government accepted and the beasts can still be seen today on display in the Canadian Museum of History.
The Queen’s Beasts in modern culture
Still to this day, the Queen’s Beasts play a hugely important part in British culture, in particular The Lion of England and The Unicorn of Scotland.
For example, they feature in the logos of some of our country’s most famous and important institutions, most notably The Royal Arms, 10 Downing Street and Buckingham Palace.
Now that you know about the history of these heraldic creatures, take a look around and you’ll be surprised how often you see them being used in everyday life.
Secure the 2021 UK Queen’s Beasts £5 for your collection today for £24.99 (+p&p)
The Queen’s Beasts coins have proved incredibly popular with collectors since the very first issue and as we see the release of the final coin I wouldn’t delay in securing one for your collection today.
Your coin has been struck to a superior Brilliant Uncirculated quality, ensuring its quality is perfect for you to add to your collection. It will also come protectively encapsulated in official Change Checker packaging to preserve it for generations to come.
To secure the 2021 UK Queens Beasts £5 for your collection whilst stocks last, click here >>