The Bank of England clarified Thursday that paper money bearing the portrait of Queen Elizabeth II is still legal tender after her death.
“As the first king to appear on Bank of England banknotes, the famous portraits of the Queen are synonymous with some of the most important work we do,” the Bank He said in a statement.
The statement continued, “The current banknotes that show the image of Her Majesty the Queen will continue to be legal tender.” “A further announcement will be made regarding the current Bank of England notes as soon as the mourning period is observed.”
Earlier on Thursday, Buckingham Palace announced the Queen’s death “peacefully” at Balmoral Castle in Scotland. The announcement came hours after the palace raised concerns about Elizabeth’s health.
Andrew Bailey, Governor of the Bank of England, said in a statement that he was “deeply saddened” by the Queen’s death.
“On behalf of everyone at the bank, I would like to offer my deepest condolences to the royal family,” Bailey said. “For most of us, she is the only female head of state we have ever known, and we will remember her as an inspirational figure for our country and the Commonwealth.”
King Charles III, the son of Elizabeth, immediately ascended the throne, but the timeline for any changes to the British currency remains unclear.
Elizabeth ascended to the throne in 1952, but did not appear on banknotes for the first eight years of her life as queen.
It first appeared on the 1960 £1 note, and later appeared on other banknote amounts, According to the Bank of England Museum. The photo also served as a measure against counterfeiting paper currency.
The end of Elizabeth’s seven-decade rule was marked by messages of mourning from leaders across the UK and the world, including every US president alive.