The votes are in. These are the Greatest Britons of all time…

A BBC poll in 2002 crowned Sir Winston Churchill the greatest Briton of all time. More than 20 years later, we asked 50,000 collectors the same thing. Let’s see who took the top spot in 2024…

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10. Queen Victoria

Taking the throne at just 18 years old, Queen Victoria’s reign lasted 64 years – the second longest reign of any British monarch. Her devotion to her husband, Albert, is well documented, along with her decision to wear black for the rest of her life following his death.

Reigning through the age of great industrial expansion, Queen Victoria is associated with economic growth, empire, trade and industry. She is best known for the Great Exhibition of 1851.

9. Horatio Nelson

Regarded the greatest officer in the history of the Royal Navy, Nelson’s passion for taking risks lost him his sight in one eye, an arm, and ultimately his life at the Battle of Trafalgar, for which he is best known.

8. Diana, Princess of Wales

Once married to the now King Charles III, Princess Diana was patron or president of over 100 charities. Her most notable causes include working to reduce homelessness, spreading awareness of HIV/Aids and campaigning to ban the manufacturing and use of land mines.

Diana was also closely associated with the fashion world, renowned for her style and grace.

7. Alan Turing

‘The father of modern computing’, Turing is best known for his work for the British Intelligence Service at Bletchley Park during the Second World War, including breaking the German Enigma machine.

As a gay man, Turing was prosecuted for gross indecency in 1952. In 2013 he was posthumously pardoned by Queen Elizabeth II, and in recent years was chosen to be the face of the official British £50 note.

6. William Shakespeare

Generally accepted to be the greatest writer and dramatist of all time, Shakespeare’s plays have been immortalised through the ages, originating hundreds of words and phrases that we use in the English language today.

His most notable works include Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet, Julius Caesar, King Lear, Macbeth, Othello, the Merchant of Venice and Sonnets.

5. Charles Darwin

Darwin’s theory of natural selection forms the foundations of all modern evolutionary studies. Shocking for religious Victorian Britain, Darwin kept many of his studies private until the publication of On the Origin of Species in 1859 which has had an enormous impact on Western society and thought.

4. Isaac Newton

The inventor of calculus, Newton’s mark on the scientific world is monumental. However, his greatest contribution is the development of a universal law of gravitation and his laws of motion.

A popular myth tells of an apple falling from a tree in Newton’s garden, which brought Newton to an understanding of forces, particularly gravity.

3. Isambard Kingdom Brunel

Brunel’s lasting legacy has transformed that way we approach engineering, transport and construction. Many of Brunel’s constructions are widely recognisable – e.g. The Great Western Railway, The Clifton Suspension Bridge, and Paddington Station.

2. Queen Elizabeth II

Celebrated for her stability and continuity in an ever-changing world, Queen Elizabeth II symbolised the endurance of the British monarchy through dedication to public service and charity.

She is the longest reigning monarch in British history, and the only one to reach her Platinum Jubilee.

1. Sir Winston Churchill – the greatest Briton of all time.

Churchill is remembered as one of the great wartime leaders of the 20th century, pivotal to the Allied defeat of Nazi Germany. He also won the Nobel Prize in literature and earned great renown for his stirring speeches.

In the year that marks the 80th anniversary of the D-Day Landings, we’re reminded why Churchill’s indelible mark on British history reigns supreme and why, more than 20 years later, British devotion to Sir Winston Churchill remains steadfast, with 63% of the vote.

So, it seems Sir Winston Churchill is still considered the greatest Briton of all time. Do you agree? In your opinion is anyone missing from this list? Let us know in the comments what you think.

Learn more about these (and other) fascinating figures who’ve made a lasting impact on our great nation with the NEW Greatest Britons Collection.

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Start your no-obligation trial today and own the Sir Winston Churchill Commemorative for FREE – you’ll just pay £2.99 p&p.

Why these are the most historic moments of the past year…

The first year of a new monarch’s reign is almost always the most important. It’s the one that sets the tone for their chapter in our history.

And as King Charles stepped into the shoes he was born to fill, certain moments from the past year captured the tone for the New Carolean Age brilliantly, with a mutual respect for tradition and adaptation to the modern world.

Indeed, these traditional roles of the King are so ingrained in our history that five new 50p coins have been issued with authorisation from King Charles III himself to mark the first time that each role has been carried out by King Charles.

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Five official British Isles 50p coins issued to mark the inaugural year of King Charles III

Let’s take a look at what they are and why they’ve become so integral to British identity

The Royal Maundy Service – 6th April 2023

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Credit: PA via ITV News

This is an annual service held in the Church of England on Maundy Thursday, ahead of the Easter weekend. During the service the British monarch distributes small silver coins known as ‘Maundy money’ as symbolic alms to elderly recipients.

On 6th April 2023, in the beautiful York Minster, the King gave 74 men and 74 women two small purses each – one red and one white – each containing Maundy money.

Importantly, the number of recipients and the value of the coins within the white purse reflects the King’s age. While the red purse held two commemorative coins, one issued to mark his 75th birthday and one to mark the 75th anniversary of the Windrush Generation.

The Coronation – 6th May 2023

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Official Invitation to the Coronation of King Charles III and Queen Camilla

Now, we’ll all remember where we were on 6th May 2023, as the nation came together to witness the first Coronation in 70  years, with 20 million of us watching the live TV broadcast.

The crowning of a King or Queen is an ancient ceremony, rich in religious significance, history and pageantry.

A Coronation Liturgy (or Order of Service) was authorised by the Archbishop of Canterbury and produced in close consultation with the King and the UK Government and comprised both traditional and completely new elements.

Trooping the Colour – 17th June 2023

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Credit: Henry Nicholls / Getty Images via Town and Country Magazine

Trooping the Colour is a ceremonial event performed every year on Horse Guards Parade in London by regiments of the Household Division, to celebrate the official birthday of the British Sovereign. This ancient ceremony has occurred since 1748 and is the highlight of the military ceremonial calendar.

King Charles III led the way on horseback with Prince William, Princess Anne and Prince Edward also on horseback behind him.

The colour trooped in 2023 was that of The Welsh Guards for the first time in 30 years.

The Garter Service – 19th June 2023

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Original artwork by Jean-Michel Girard

In medieval times, King Edward III was so inspired by tales of King Arthur and the chivalry of the Knights of the Round Table that he set up his own group of honourable knights, called the Order of the Garter.

Today, the Order includes The King, several senior members of the Royal Family, and twenty-four knights, chosen in recognition of their work. In 2023 two new members of the Order of the Garter were appointed by the King – Chris Patten, the final governor of Hong Kong, and former Labour minister Catherine Ashton.

Every June, a grand procession of the knights takes place at Windsor Castle, accompanied by a marching band and Officers of the Order, all in grand ceremonial dress.

The State Opening of Parliament – 7th November 2023

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Lords Chamber Credit: Prime Minister’s Office, 10 Downing Street via GOV.UK

“His Majesty’s most gracious speech to both Houses of Parliament” marks the beginning of a new parliamentary year.

The speech sets out the programme of legislation that the Government intend to pursue in the forthcoming parliamentary session.

Importantly, the 2023 State Opening of Parliament was held much later in the year than usual due to the Coronation in May.

These moments will go down in history as the first in the reign of King Charles III, and the most important British traditions upheld in 2023.

That’s why all 5 moments have been immortalised further on five official 50p coins which will remain highly collectable long after this chapter in our history is closed.

Click here to shop the King Charles III Inaugural Year Range

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Celebrating the inaugural year of King Charles III

6th May 2023 saw the country united in joy and renewed hope for the future of British monarchy as we witnessed the first Coronation in 70 years. Since then, King Charles III has set the tone for his reign with a wonderful mix of tradition, humour, and adaptation to the modern world.

Indeed, history is being written before our eyes, as a man steps into the shoes he was born to fill.

And to commemorate this period of great change, a series of 50p coins have been issued under authorisation from Buckingham Palace and King Charles III himself.

Here’s how you can own one, for yourself or for generations to come…

Collector’s Choice: Limited Edition Dual-Plated 50p Collection

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This stunning collection features 10 brand new 50p coins charting the most important firsts in the reign of King Charles III and the world-famous Royal Mews.

Each coin is struck to a BU finish and features dual-plating of silver and 24 carat gold – a SELL-OUT specification reserved for royal 50p releases in recent years. Just 29,995 dual-plated 50p collections have been authorised for release.

Re-capture the joy of collecting as you receive a new dual-plated 50p each month for just £24.99 (+p&p). And when you trial the collection today you’ll SAVE £20.00 on the very first coin – yours for just £4.99 (+p&p).

We’re confident you’ll love watching your collection grow, but if not, you’re covered by your 30-Day Money Back Guarantee and there’s no obligation to continue collecting. So what have you got to lose?

Click here to Own the FIRST Dual-Plated 50p for just £4.99(+p&p)

Classic BU Pack Presentation

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From Trooping the Colour to the State Opening of Parliament, this set features five 50p coins commemorating the most significant, traditional events in King Charles III’s inaugural year.

Each coin is struck to a BU finish and housed in a classic collector pack.

Click here to get yours for just £37.50 (+p&p)

Time-Sealed Silver DateStamp™ Pair – 995 worldwide

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This special DateStamp™ Pair is the perfect time-sealed commemorative celebrating the first year of the reign of King Charles III.

Featuring the Official British Isles Coronation 50p and the Official British Isles Inaugural Year 50p, each coin is struck from Sterling Silver to a pristine Proof finish.

Importantly, each 50p is paired with a 1st class stamp and has been officially postmarked by Royal Mail on the date of the Coronation and the 1 year anniversary – 6th May 2023 and 2024 respectively.

Due to the one-day-only nature of both postmarks, no more of these historic DateStamp™ Pairs can ever be issued. And with just 995 worldwide, we’re expecting a sell-out before we reach the anniversary of the Coronation.

Secure one today with an initial interest-free instalment of just £15.50 (+p&p)

Premium Pick: Silver Proof 50p Set – pay just £37.50 today

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These stunning Silver Proof 50p coins with intricate 24 carat gold-plating are the premium pick and a timeless way to commemorate this period of our history. However, they won’t be around for long…

1. A SELL OUT Specification – From the UK NHS 50p to the recent 50p paying tribute to the work of the RNLI, Silver Proof 50p coins are always in high demand and the sets have a strong sell out history.

2. Struck to PERFECTION – Each coin has been struck from Sterling Silver to a pristine Proof finish with the addition of intricate 24 carat gold-plating to bring the designs to life.

3. Issued with a TINY EDITION LIMIT – just 750 sets have been authorised for worldwide release. That almost certainly won’t meet demand.

What’s more, this prestigious set can be yours with 10 interest-free instalments of just £37.50(+p&p).

Click here to secure your King Charles III Inaugural Year Silver Proof Set

We can’t overestimate the historic significance of a change in the tide of British monarchy. We are living through a period that will be remembered in history books and immortalised on official coinage.

Be part of the story and secure your King Charles III Inaugural Year commemorative coin today.

Shop the complete King Charles III range