The world’s longest reigning living monarch — celebrating Queen Elizabeth II’s birthday

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Marking her Platinum Jubilee in 2022, today she also celebrates her 96th birthday.

Her Majesty ascended to the throne on 6th February 1952 and has since reigned as a constitutional monarch through years of significant change. She sees public and voluntary service as one of the most important elements of her work, having links with over 600 charities, military associations, professional bodies and public service organisations.

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Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Source: Alarmy

During her lifetime many coins have been issued in celebration of her birthday, of which she has two — her actual birthday on 21st April and her official birthday on (usually) the second Saturday in June.

Let’s take a look at some of the different coins released over the years in celebration of Her Majesty’s birthdays below.

2021 UK Queen Elizabeth II 95th Birthday BU £5

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II celebrated her 95th birthday in 2021. This major event, making her the first ever ruling monarch in British history to reach this milestone, was commemorated on a UK £5 coin.

The extraordinary 95th anniversary year is highlighted on this detailed £5 coin, designed by heraldic artist Timothy Noad. It features the date of the Queen’s birth and the year 2021 visible on the reverse. The Royal Cypher takes centre stage, with the quote “MY HEART AND MY DEVOTION” surrounding it along the edge. Ninety-five mills are found on this coin’s ‘wavedmilled edge, celebrating one for each year of the Queen’s life.

Traditionally, UK £5 coins are reserved for the most important Royal and Historical anniversaries, and there are few Royal events which are as important as Her Majesty’s birthday.

QEII 95th Birthday BU 50p

In 2021, 10,000 of these 95th Birthday 50ps were released into circulation on the Isle of Man. Fully approved by Buckingham Palace, this design features specially commissioned artwork by sculptor Luigi Badia.

Badia has impressively created over twenty-five portraits of the Queen and this QEII 95th Birthday Brilliant Uncirculated 50p features a recently designed portrait of Her Majesty. His process of sketching a new portrait of the Queen starts with collecting lots of reliable references, combining them to make a unique portrait.  

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Luigi Badia’s portrait of the Queen used on obverse of coins

When Badia sketches a portrait to feature specifically on a coin, he usually chooses a profile portrait for a more traditional design. He uses the sketch just as a guide for then producing the plaster model, which he crafts himself over a few weeks to ensure the final coins depict his version exactly.

British Isles 50p coins like this rarely turn up in your change in the UK, making these 50p coins some of the most sought-after circulating coins around.

UK 2021 Queen Elizabeth II’s Official Birthday Silver
DateStamp™ Issue

This special DateStamp™ issue features JUST 500 hand-selected UK 2021 Royal Coat of Arms 1oz Silver Coins, protectively encapsulated and stamped with the official Royal Mail one-day-only postmark of 12th June 2021 – the official date of Her Majesty’s 95th birthday.

This 1oz coin is impeccably struck from 99.9% Pure Silver to The Royal Mint’s Bullion finish. The reverse design by Timothy Noad depicts the official Coat of Arms of HRH Queen Elizabeth II, with the historic design celebrating centuries of British Royal lineage — The Royal Arms is the official coat of Arms of the ruling monarch.

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The UK 2021 Royal Coat of Arms 1oz Silver Coin Obverse and Reverse

The UK Royal Coat of Arms 1oz Silver Coin has a maximum mintage of 100,000 coins but considering JUST 500 of these limited DateStamp™ issues were available upon initial release, it makes this particular presentation incredibly sought-after.

Visible within the reverse design are the national flowers for each country within the UK: the Tudor rose of England, the Leek for Wales, the Shamrock for Northern Ireland, and the Thistle for Scotland. Featuring on the obverse is Jody Clark’s definitive coinage portrait of Her Majesty the Queen.

2006 UK 80th Birthday £5 Coin

In 2006 a special £5 coin was released, which has since been announced as the fourth rarest £5 coin issued (as of the latest mintage update in 2013)! This £5 coin celebrates the Queen’s 80th birthday, with the dates 1926 and 2006 inscribed as Her Majesty was born in 1926.

This £5 coin is very popular with collectors, which is not surprising when you see its beautiful design. Three trumpets with trumpet banners display on the reverse, accompanied by the inscription “VIVAT REGINA”, the Latin phrase for ‘long live the Queen’. Danuta Solowiej-Wedderburn designed the reverse whilst the obverse features Ian Rank-Broadley’s (FRBS) portrait of HRH Queen Elizabeth II.

One such event that took place for Her Majesty’s 80th birthday included an informal walkabout in which the Queen spent roughly forty-five minutes interacting with more than 20,000 well-wishers who lined the streets outside Windsor Castle. She was accompanied by The Duke of Edinburgh and crowds waved Union flags, as well as carried colourful celebratory bouquets.


Did you know that due to the Coronavirus Pandemic, the Trooping the Colour ceremony which traditionally marks Her Majesty’s official birthday, could not follow its long-established format in 2021.

Coins that have an interesting back-story, such as these, can be particularly sought-after with collectors!

Explore our range of coins in celebration of the Queen’s previous birthday’s by clicking here >>

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Britain through the reign of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II: Part 3

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The Land of Hope and Glory Collection tells the story of Britain through the reign of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

Britain goes Decimal…

On the morning of the 15th February 1971, Britons woke up with a brand new currency following increasing global pressure to go Decimal. In one of the biggest changes to our currency in 1000 years, we left behind the old Pounds (£), Shillings (/-) and Pence (d) system and introduced the decimalised coins that we know today.

Under the new system, the Pound was retained, but was divided into 100 new pence rather than 20 shillings (or 240 pence). And to help the public get used to this major change, new Decimal coins, training stamps and conversions charts were all made available to the public ahead of Decimal Day.

Do you still have any of the old pre-Decimal coins? Let us know in the comments

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Britain went Decimal on 15th February 1971, the day would be widely known as “Decimal Day” or “D-Day”.

First Test Tube Baby

On 25th July 1978, a five-pound baby girl named Louise Joy Brown was born in Lancashire. As the first baby to be conceived through in vitro fertilisation (IVF), Louise’s birth made headlines and she became known around the world as the first “test tube baby”. A few years later, Louise’s younger sister Natalie was born, also via IVF. And in 1999, Natalie became the first mother born through IVF to give birth – without IVF.

Patrick Steptoe, Robert Edwards and Jean Purdy, the pioneering medical professionals who were involved in Louise’s birth were awarded a Nobel Prize in Medicine for their life-changing work. As of 2022, it has been estimated that over eight million babies worldwide have been conceived via IVF

The Home Computing Boom

1980s Britain saw a boom in home computing and a drastic change in public opinion towards the technology. Once seen as complex machinery used only by scientists and large organisations, computers were rare and most people would have never seen a computer in real life…

Fantastic machines like the Acorn Electron, Commodore 64 and Sinclair ZX Spectrum were developed to make computing user-friendly for the first time and to bring the wonders of information technology into homes, schools and workplaces.

Technology would continue to advance throughout the decade, as the home computing boom caused an unexpected growth in video gaming and by 1989 a British scientist, Tim Berners Lee, conceived and developed the World Wide Web.

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The most common use for Home Computers in the 1980s were playing video games. Simple arcade favourites like Pacman and Space Invaders were cloned for the machines.

The Wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer

Described at the time as a “fairytale wedding”, Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer were married at St Paul’s Cathedral on 29th July 1981. The event was watched by a record-setting global television audience of 750 million, all eager to see Diana’s wedding dress which was one of the best kept secrets of the fashion industry at the time.

Were you one of the 750 million to watch?

The wedding broke royal protocols and created traditions that we still see during Royal Weddings today. Diana was the first Royal bride to omit the words “obey” from her vows and after forgetting to kiss after their vows, the couple shared a romantic kiss on the balcony of Buckingham Palace. Today, the ‘balcony kiss’ is one of the most iconic moments to take place during a Royal wedding.

The Raising of the Mary Rose

The Mary Rose was lost for over 400 years. She was one of Henry VIII’s warships and a huge team of divers, archaeologists and scientists were involved in her recovery and raising.

The search for the Mary Rose began in 1965, when Alexander McKee began investigating wrecks in the Solent and discovered a strange shape underneath the seabed via sonar scans. Teams of amateur and professional divers explored the area and on 5th May 1971, Percy Ackland found three of the port frames of the Mary Rose.

Nearly 11 years of excavation and careful planning followed and finally, on 11th October 1982, the world watched the raising of the historic Mary Rose…

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Remembered as one of Henry VIII’s favourite warships, the Mary Rose was used in the First, Second and Third French Wars and capsized during the Battle of the Solent.

If you’re interested…

The Land of Hope and Glory Collection celebrates Britain through the reign of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. And today, you can start the Collection of a Lifetime. Click here to secure the Coronation Medal for FREE >>

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Revisit the historic moments that have shaped Britain through the reign of Queen Elizabeth II with our Land of Hope and Glory blog series:

Click here to read part 1 >>

Click here to read part 2 >>

Britain through the reign of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II: Part 2

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The Land of Hope and Glory Collection tells the story of Britain through the reign of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. As Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee fast approaches, this blog series will revisit the historic moments during Her Majesty’s record-breaking reign that have helped define Great Britain. This week, let’s journey back to 1960s football, fashion and more.

Did you know that instant potato, the mash you buy pre-made at the supermarket, wasn’t a shop bought item until 1968? Angel Delight made its debut in 1967 and spreadable margarine wasn’t a thing before 1969!

Many do reminisce on the 60s as the time to be alive.

Swinging Sixties Fashion

In the early 60s, the emergence of supermodels like Twiggy and Jean Shrimpton redefined beauty and became true fashion icons. The latest clothing styles could be found in London Boutique shops. And whilst children began to practice with makeup on their dolls, teenagers discovered false eyelashes.

Inspiration came from the likes of the mods on scooters, skinheads, and hippies with their long flowing hairstyles.

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1960’s fashion

Mary Quant, the queen of the miniskirt, had a boutique on Carnaby Street in London called Bazaar. She also released her own line of cosmetics in 1966. Many began to embrace their natural curves — new trends such as wearing trouser suits and miniskirts emerged.

England wins the FIFA World Cup

The TV audience in 1966 had to follow along the England match against Germany in black and white. However, for the first time they could see slow motion replays from the live match.

Multiple towns in England hosted games for the tournament, but the final was played at Wembley Stadium on the 30th July 1966.

Although the match didn’t get off to a good start and there were a few hiccups throughout, the team managed to bring home the first World Cup title for England.

Her Majesty the Queen and HRH Prince Philip were amongst the 93,000 spectators. The Queen then presented the trophy for the 1966 FIFA World Cup.

The shot by Geoff Hurst, which hit the crossbar and landed down near the goal line, was decided by the referee as a goal — which was highly contested at the time.

Years later, technology had advanced, and the ball was never over the line.

Beatlemania

The Beatles.

Need we say more?

Comprised of John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr, The Beatles were managed by Brian Epstein and signed by EMI on the Parlophone Label.

Did you know that they were originally turned down by Decca, the British record label?

Changing the pop music scene forever, Please Please Me was released January 12th 1963, and was an instant favourite among the public. They remained number 1 on the charts for 6 months with their first album, which was recorded in an entire 13-hour session.

First Flight of the Concorde

Concorde was the first successful civilian aeroplane to travel faster than the speed of sound.

Built jointly between Great Britain and France, it reduced the flight time between London and New York to roughly three hours.

Eventually flown worldwide, she first took to the skies on March 2nd 1969.

Sadly, in the end it was found the aeroplane had several problems such as noise and high expenses. However, it did unify the work of different countries, ensuring that Europe paved the way for aerospace development.

The Great Train Robbery

15 men and £2,600,000. What a heist that is.

Aided by two accomplices, these fifteen men managed to stop the Glasgow–London Royal Mail Train, steal over two and a half million pounds from the front two carriages, and transport the lot with their Land Rovers to a nearby hideaway, all without the staff in the remaining ten carriages even knowing a thing.

August 8th, 1963. The day they got lucky.

It was a bank holiday so the amount they stole was much larger than they had anticipated getting.

At their hideaway they noticed low flying RAF aircraft which they assumed were on the look-out for them. They in fact weren’t. But this spooked the robbers so much that they left and hired six thieves to burn the place down.

The poor job the thieves did left fingerprint marks on a Monopoly board and a ketchup bottle.


If you’re interested…

The Land of Hope and Glory Collection celebrates Britain through the reign of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. And today, you can start the Collection of a Lifetime. Click here to secure the first Medal, featuring the Queen’s Coronation for FREE >>

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If you haven’t read the first blog in the series, click here >>