This Sunday marks the 600th anniversary of the Battle of Agincourt. A major English victory in the Hundred Years’ War, the battle saw England, led by Henry V, defeat a French army under a sky that was said to have grown ‘dark with arrows’. It is still regarded today as one of England’s and King Henry V’s greatest military victories and this year a number of events, exhibitions and an Alderney coin struck by The Royal Mint will mark 600 years since the Battle of Agincourt.
June 2015 marked the 200th anniversary of one of the greatest and most decisive battles in European history – the Battle of Waterloo. Fought on 18 June 1815, the Battle of Waterloo saw British and allied forces, led by The Duke of Wellington, defeat the French army, led by Napoleon Bonaparte. The battle lasted just one day, however it was part of a larger assault on Europe by Napoleon that led to a catastrophic loss of life. The eventual allied victory at Waterloo brought to an end the Napoleonic wars and over 20 years of conflict in Europe. The 200th anniversary of this significant battle is marked on the 2015 UK £5 coin, which was released earlier this year.
When David Lawrence, designer of the Battle of Waterloo £5 coin, recently came to The Royal Mint, we took the opportunity to find out more about his design, for the next instalment of our video series, the Designers’ Inspiration Series.
It’s safe to say that 2015 has been an exciting year for coin collectors and a historic year for UK coins! It’s been a year that’s seen the coinage portrait of Her Majesty The Queen change and Britannia return to UK coins on a new definitive £2 coin. There have also been several commemorative themes marked on UK coins in 2015, including the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta, the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain and the centenary of the First World War – all of which have been marked on circulating coins!
With so many exciting things happening to the coins we know and love, lots of you have been asking us ‘Just what will we find in our change this year?‘, ‘Which coins will feature the new portrait of The Queen?‘ and ‘How many coins will be struck in 2015?‘. So, we’ve created a handy fact sheet for you to keep track of your 2015 Coin Hunt.
On 15 September 1940 the German Luftwaffe launched a massive assault on Britain that it believed would pave the way for a successful invasion and bring an end to the Battle of Britain. However, a day of intense fighting saw the Germans suffer their highest losses since the ‘Hardest Day’, 18 August. It was an overwhelming defeat for the Luftwaffe and the action on 15 September would ultimately bring to an end the Battle of Britain. For this reason the day became known and celebrated in the United Kingdom as ‘Battle of Britain Day‘.
Ahead of the 75th anniversary of Battle of Britain Day, we caught up with the designers of the Battle of Britain 50p, Gary and Lee Breeze, at IWM Duxford, to find out more about their inspiration and how it felt to design the coin to mark this significant anniversary.
Her Majesty The Queen enters the record books today as she becomes the longest reigning monarch in British history. Her reign will exceed the length of Queen Victoria’s who was previously Britain’s longest reigning monarch, with a reign that spanned 63 years and 216 days – that’s a total of 23,226 days! Queen Elizabeth II and Queen Victoria are the only British monarchs to have celebrated their Diamond Jubilee (60 years on the throne), with King George III, King James VI and I, King Henry III and King Edward all having celebrated 50 years or more on the throne.
More than a century separates these two remarkable reigns, both of which come with some remarkable statistics – particularly when we take a look at coins. So, we thought we’d take a look at The Queen’s reign in numbers.
On 9 September 2015, the nation will celebrate as Her Majesty The Queen officially becomes Britain’s longest reigning monarch. The Queen will beat the record set by her great-great grandmother Queen Victoria who reigned for 63 years and 216 days.
The Royal Mint has long had a close relationship with the Kings and Queens of Britain, striking the effigy of the monarch on coins for over 1,000 years. But the relationship doesn’t stop there… commemorative coins have been struck to celebrate key milestones in the life and reign of our current monarch and, with a reign of 63 years, there have been plenty of occasions to celebrate during The Queen’s reign.
Earlier this week The Royal Mint announced that it would be striking a range of coins to mark the moment Her Majesty The Queen becomes Britain’s longest reigning monarch. The announcement proved very popular with coin collectors and fans of the royal family alike, as the website experienced overwhelming levels of traffic – the like not seen since the launch of the first ever face value £100 coin. So, could this be the most popular coin of 2015? Have your say in our poll below.