In commemoration of the life and achievements of HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, a UK £5 coin has just been issued.
Issued shortly after what would have been his 100th birthday and within just three months of his passing, this special tribute to Prince Philip features a portrait created by Ian Rank-Broadley FRBS that was personally approved by The Duke of Edinburgh himself.
As Britain’s longest serving Consort – the Queen’s “strength and stay” – and as former President of the Royal Mint Advisory Committee, it is only fitting that a new UK coin should be issued in his honour.
This new release become the sixth UK coin to feature HRH Prince Philip and in this blog we’ll take a look back at his life as celebrated on £5 coins, as well as the role the Duke played in shaping UK currency.
Prince Philip in Coins
The 1972 Crown issued to mark his Silver Wedding Anniversary was an understated affair. However, in 1997, the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh celebrated their Golden Wedding Anniversary, and Prince Philip featured on a UK coin for the very first time as part of a conjoined effigy on the obverse of the commemorative £5 coin. 2007 saw a similar conjoined portrait before the recent 2017 Platinum Wedding Anniversary design, which featured the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh on horseback in what can only been seen as a nod to the original 1953 Coronation Crown as well as a third conjoined portrait.
Yet it was in 2011 that Prince Philip was finally granted the greatest privilege – his own £5 Coin to celebrate his 90th Birthday – a splendid close up portrait of the Duke by Mark Richards FRBS. This was followed in 2017, with a design of the young Prince Philip by Humphrey Paget to mark Prince Philip stepping down from public duties after 70 years of service.
First Job – new coin designs
Not only does the Duke feature on a number of UK coins, he also had a hand in the creation of new coins too!
On 21 March 1952, just weeks after the Queen’s accession to the throne, Prince Philip attended his first meeting as President of the Royal Mint Advisory Committee on the design of coins, medals, seals and decorations (RMAC); a role that he would hold for the next 47 years, until his retirement in 1999.
A keen artist himself, the Prince’s first job was to oversee the selection of the Queen’s portrait to ordain her new coins. An uncrowned Queen was chosen from a field of seventeen designs, giving Nottingham born sculptor, Mary Gillick, the honour of creating the most seen portrait of the new Queen.
Equally importantly, the young Prince oversaw the design of the most important coin of the moment – the Coronation Crown, featuring Gilbert Ledward’s Queen on horseback on the obverse and Edgar Fuller’s reverse design containing the Coats of Arms of the constituent nations of the United Kingdom.
The UK’s biggest ever currency change
Gillick’s design remained on pre-decimal coinage until 1970, when Prince Philip was involved in another huge coinage milestone – the introduction of decimalisation.
The process required a complete redesign of Britain’s coinage as well as an updated effigy of Her Majesty, designed to help the new denominations stand out.
The RMAC selected Royal Academician Arnold Machin to sculpt the Queen, this time wearing a tiara. However, it was the reverse coin designs that were perhaps more significant.
A “monstrous piece of metal”
Under Prince Philip’s presidency, the RMAC started to work in top secret on designs as early as 1962, before there was any official government announcement confirming decimalisation.
The final designs were created by Christopher Ironside and featured heraldic elements of the United Kingdom. But it was the new 50p coin – introduced to replace the 10/- note – that caused the greatest stir, with its unique heptagonal (7-sided) shape.
Now Britain’s most popular coin with collectors, that was certainly not the case on its launch with one newspaper calling it a “monstrous piece of metal” and a retired colonel even starting Anti-Heptagonist movement.
In the 28 years that followed Decimalisation, Prince Philip guided the RMAC through two more effigies, Raphael Maklouf (1985 – 1997) and Ian Rank-Broadly (1998 – 2015), as well as the launch of 20p, £1 and £2 coins into circulation and numerous commemorative issues.
Prince Philip will be remembered for many things – and among them we will remember him as the man who has had more influence over the nation’s coins than any other.
With the release of the new Prince Philip £5, his legacy continues to live on as we celebrate his incredible life and achievements.
Secure your Prince Philip £5 Set today!
Today, you have the opportunity to secure the brand new 2021 UK Prince Philip £5 in Brilliant Uncirculated quality, alongside the 2017 Prince Philip £5 and the 2017 Platinum Wedding £5 coins to make the perfect Prince Philip £5 Set.
Your coins have been struck to a Brilliant Uncirculated finish and protectively encapsulated in official Change Checker packaging to preserve for generations to come.
A real collector’s set, these coins pay a special tribute to the Prince who will forever be remembered as a treasured member of British royal history.
On the 20th November, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and HRH the Duke of Edinburgh will celebrate their Platinum Wedding Anniversary – that’s an incredible 70 years of marriage (or 25,568 days to be exact) and a first in British royal history.
In honour of the occasion, The Royal Mint issued a brand new £5 coin – featuring a specially commissioned double portrait of the couple.
The coin marks the longest marriage in royal history, and a very personal milestone for the couple. But it’s also the RAREST EVER Royal anniversary and is of huge significance to collectors around the world.
The incredibly rare anniversary few of us know about
Although there are no official statistics to back it up, it seems likely that only around 30 couples will join the Queen and Prince Philip in celebrating their Platinum Wedding Anniversary this year. Or to put it another way – just 60 people in the UK will mark 70 years of marriage in 2017 – that literally makes each of them one in a million!
The royal couple have a love of horses so it is only fitting that the coin depicts the Queen riding her favourite horse ‘Burmese’ with her husband Prince Philip by her side. The special conjoined portrait of Her Majesty the Queen and His Royal Highness Prince Philip on the obverse has been designed by Etienne Millner, a leading figurative sculptor.
So not only does the new UK £5 coin commemorate this incredibly rare milestone, the coin is also one of the most historically important coins issued during Her Majesty’s reign.
For the Queen and Prince Philip their Platinum Wedding Anniversary is the pinnacle of their long list of incredible milestones, and this coin is sure to be sought after by collectors all over the world for years to come.
2017 UK Platinum Wedding CERTIFIED BU £5
The Platinum Wedding £5 coin is protectively encapsulated and Certified as superior Brilliant Uncirculated quality, so you know your coin will be protected forever and guaranteed by its Certified Hologram.
This year we celebrate the Platinum Wedding Anniversary of Her Majesty the Queen and HRH the Duke of Edinburgh – an incredible 70 years of marriage and a FIRST in British royal history.
To celebrate this new milestone, The Royal Mint has issued a brand new UK £5 coin which is sure to be a key issue sought-after by collectors for years to come.
We have managed to secure 1,000 of these brand new UK Platinum Wedding Anniversary £5 Coins for a special UK £5 Coin Ballot.
By entering the ballot you’ve now got the chance to own this brand new £5 for its face value – just £5, POSTFREE.
About the 2017 UK Platinum Wedding Anniversary £5 Coin
Artist John Bergdahl who created the reverse of this special coin explained about the relevance of the equestrian imagery:
“The use of mounted figures has long been a traditional way to mark important royal occasions. Both The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh have a love of horses but it seems they rarely rode together, Prince Philip being mainly involved in polo and Her Majesty hacking for pleasure.”
“I therefore chose to depict them at the Trooping the Colour. The Queen is riding her favourite horse Burmese and appears very serene, while Prince Philip’s horse is seen pulling to one side and about to kick over the traces, a reflection perhaps of their different natures.”
The obverse features a special portrait of the couple by sculptor Etienne Millner.
Speaking about the design, he said, “I am hoping to portray The Queen not only as monarch but as a wife, mother and grandmother.”
The History of the £5 Coin
Traditionally, major British events were celebrated with commemorative crowns, which had a face value of 25p, or 5 shillings prior to decimalisation in February 1971. But in 1990 the face value was increased to £5 to give the coin a value consistent with its weight and size.
The first ever £5 coin was released to celebrate The Queen Mother’s 90th Birthday, with other popular issues including The Queen and Prince Philip’s 50th Golden Wedding in 1997, The Diana Princess of Wales Memorial Crown in 1999 and the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Trafalgar in 2005.
The Ballot opens today (2nd October) and will close at 5pm on Monday 16th October.
Your way to own the UK’s new £5 coin for just £5
But remember, with only 1000 of these coins available in the ballot you’ll need to register now for your chance to own the Platinum Wedding Anniversary £5 Coin.