New money featuring King Charles III, meanwhile, could take some time to enter circulation. The federal government needs to approve any designs, and neither the Royal Canadian Mint nor the Bank of Canada have immediate plans to start production on new coins and bank notes.
“The legal tender status of existing circulation coins does not change because Canada’s monarch has changed,” Canadian Mint spokesperson Alex Reeves said in an e-mail. “There is no legal requirement to change existing circulation coins, so the coinage needs of business and consumers will continue to be met without interruption.”
Queen Elizabeth has been a fixture of the Canadian monetary system since before her coronation in 1953. She first appeared on a Canadian bank note in 1935, when the newly created Bank of Canada issued a $20 bill featuring a portrait of then-Princess Elizabeth, aged eight.
Since her coronation, the Queen featured prominently on $20 bills. Her portrait on the money was updated every decade or so, most recently in 2012, when the Bank of Canada introduced its new polymer notes.
Four different effigies of the Queen have been featured on coins produced by the Royal Canadian Mint since 1953. The most recent was introduced in 2003.
The Mint does not have designs for a new coin ready to go at a moment’s notice. However, once the Canadian government approves a coin design featuring King Charles, the mint can begin production relatively quickly, Mr. Reeves said.
“Once the coins are produced and packaged, they go to regional distribution centres across Canada, from which banks gradually draw inventory as they need to replenish specific denominations. That means that although the new coins are in the distribution system, it does not mean that they will all circulate everywhere at the same time,” he said.
The Bank of Canada, which is responsible for producing bank notes, has no near-term plans to introduce a new money design.
The central bank’s green $20 note, which features the Queen on one side and the Canadian National Vimy Memorial on the other, was introduced in 2012. Another “commemorative note” featuring a second, smaller portrait of a young Queen Elizabeth was issued in 2015. Both are made of durable polymer and are intended to circulate through the Canadian economy for years to come.
“There is no legislative requirement to change the design within a prescribed period when the monarch changes,” Bank of Canada spokesperson Amélie Ferron-Craig said in an e-mail.
“Generally speaking, once a new portrait subject has been selected, the bank note design process begins, and the bank note is ready to be issued a few years later,” she said.
Money featuring the Queen will also remain legal tender in the United Kingdom, Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey said on Thursday.
“As the first monarch to feature on Bank of England banknotes, the Queen’s iconic portraits are synonymous with some of the most important work we do,” Mr. Bailey said in a statement. “A further announcement regarding existing Bank of England banknotes will be made once the period of mourning has been observed.”
During her 70-year reign, the Queen made 22 official visits to Canada. Here are are a few of those trips including her last one in 2010 where she said in a speech, 'It is very good to be home.'
The Globe and Mail