The fifth portrait of The Queen is unveiled

After a long wait, we are pleased to announce that the eagerly-anticipated fifth portrait of Her Majesty The Queen has been unveiled today.

A 2015 £1 coin bearing the fifth definitive coinage portrait of Her Majesty The queen
A 2015 £1 coin bearing the fifth definitive coin portrait of Her Majesty The Queen

The portrait was unveiled this morning, in front of a packed crowd at the National Portrait Gallery in London. It was the first chance to see the fifth definitive coinage portrait of The Queen which will begin to grace all UK circulating coins made after today. However, it is unlikely that we will find them in our change until later this year – as all coins struck before today will make their way into circulation first.

In November 2014 – as the 2015 coin designs were unveiled – it was also revealed that the coinage portrait of The Queen would be changing. Then, on 27 January 2015 – the 50th anniversary of the death of the designer of the first portrait of The Queen, Mary Gillick – it was announced that the grand reveal would take place today, 2 March 2015.

With the unveiling of the portrait came the unveiling of its creator. For the first time in over 100 years it is a Royal Mint engraver who has created the royal coinage portrait. Jody Clark, designer of the 2014 Britannia, was today confirmed as the artist responsible for the fifth portrait – after his design was selected from a number of anonymous submissions.

Jody Clark - Royal Mint Engraver and creator of the fifth definitive coin portrait of Her Majesty The Queen
Jody Clark – Royal Mint Engraver and creator of the Fifth definitive coinage portrait of Her Majesty The Queen
Initial sketch of the royal portrait by Jody Clark
Initial sketch of the Fifth Royal Portrait by Jody Clark

There are some noticeable changes to The Queen’s image in the new portrait by Jody Clark. Her Majesty is seen wearing the Royal Diamond Diadem crown worn for her Coronation and earrings, similar to those in the portrait by Raphael Maklouf, are included. The Inscription ELIZABETH II – DEI – GRA –REGINA – FID – DEF hasn’t changed, however its position has, encompassing the effigy entirely. The familiar I.R.B (Ian Rank-Broadley) is replaced by the J.C of Jody Clark.

The Fourth Portrait by Ian Rank-BroadleyThe Fifth Portrait by Jody Clark

A feature that is unique to this portrait of The Queen, is that Jody Clark created it entirely digitally. Using computer aided design software, he was able to take his initial sketches and transform them into the low-relief model required for coinage.

Jody Clark at work on the Fifth Portrait
Jody Clark at work on the Fifth Portrait

Be one of the first to own coins featuring the fifth portrait of The Queen. Sets featuring the new portrait are now available on royalmint.com.

The Fifth Definitive Royal Coinage Portrait Set
The Fifth Circulating Coinage Portrait Set 

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  • Adam Swansbury

    According to the Press, Jody Clark has previously designed coins for
    Costa Rica, Tanzania, Lesotho and Azerbaijan. Could the Royal Mint please identify which ones, and hopefully show us them too?

    The press also says Mr Clark is 31? Is that correct? Relatively young, anyway. Congratulations to Mr Clark.

    • Adam Swansbury

      Correction. The press says Mr Clark turned 34 yesterday.

  • Brandon Hamer

    I was hoping for something little different. It’s been a while since we had a laureate bust. I thought they may have used that seeing as Elizabeth surpasses Victoria this year (the last monarch to have laureate bust since Elizabeth herself on her coronation portrait).
    But it is what i half-suspected; essentially IRB’s portrait tweaked with age. Very nice all the same.

  • David Jordan

    Well done to Jody Clark a remarkable achievement with the age tweaks it certainly resembles HM The Queen very well indeed.

  • kentishman49

    I had it in mind that the Royal Mint might reintroduce the Gillick design as this is likely to be the last change of the Queen’s reign and each of the Queen’s portraits would then be found on all circulating decimal currency coins.

    • Thank you for that interesting idea. The Royal Mint Advisory Committee includes experts in art, design, heraldry, typography, sculpture, history and numismatics. They would have decided on the conditions of the design competition. Here’s a link to more information about that: http://bit.ly/1poz46h. Hope you find it useful.

  • Charles F Ayton

    Well done Jody Clark a remarkable achievement a great portrait of our Queen looking forward to receiving my coins to add to my collection

    • Thank you for your comments, Charles – which will be passed on to Jody Clark – and for your custom.

  • barrie

    would have liked to have seen along with this change in portrait a New more heraldic style for the reverse design,, not what I call a Jig saw design,…something more in keeping with designs pre decimalisation

    • Lawrence Allwright

      I’m 100% in agreement with Barrie about the awful jigsaw pieces on the reverve side of our current coins. Let’s have an individual and separate design for each coin, not just a fraction of a single flag.

      I nominate either British Landmarks (Stonehenge, Severn Bridge, Edinburgh Castle) or British icons (Brunel, Watt, Berners-Lee, Hawking)

      • Hi Lawrence, many thanks for taking the time to post your comments on coin designs. We welcome all feedback, your ideas are noted and will get passed on here.

    • Thanks for your comments on coin designs, Barrie, they are noted and will get passed on here.

  • Alejandro

    Looks great. I’m waiting to see in my hands the new coins.

    • Thanks Alejandro – we’re sure you won’t be disappointed!

  • john

    I agree. Get rid of those awful reverses. If you’d taken a scone cutter to the flag 500 years ago, you’d have been done for treason

    • Ok, John. Thanks for your comments, they are noted and will get passed on here.

  • Hi Paul, sorry to see your comments about the new royal portrait. You may like to take a look at our blog about the design, that includes Jody Clark’s initial sketch and other background info: http://bit.ly/1M4uXdB. Hope that may change your opinion.

  • Many thanks, that will get passed on to the portrait designer, Jody Clark :)

  • Hi Ian, this coin sets is not offered at face value of the coins it contain, as the coins are of Brilliant Uncirculated standard (a much higher quality of minting than circulating coins); the set is a Limited Edition; the coins are presented in custom-made packaging, with a booklet included. Hope that helps – and we’re pleased to see your positive reaction to the new royal portrait!

  • Hi, many thanks for your comment on the new royal portrait. Jody has shown Her Majesty in the traditional side profile, that was part of the design requirements imposed by the Royal Mint Advisory Committee who conducted the competition that Jody took part in. You’re right about Her Majesty’s expression, here’s part of a quote from Jody about his design ‘conveys a sense of the monarch’s warmth, with a hint of a smile, reflecting the modern Queen we see today’. Hope you find that of interest.

  • barrie

    thanks for replying Joanne,,,,, as said before the current designs are like a jig saw, ( meaningless things on there own ),, ,,, all piecemeal and with no real Completeness to them

  • Paul

    I had noted the original sketches prior to Joanne refering me to them, however, it does not alter my view that the new ‘bust’ is a slightly re-vamped version of the IRB one. The average person will not even notice the change. Totally agree with the views of the rediculous designs, depicting a severing of one object. And no numeric reference to the face value, I look in total loss at what value a coin is in UAE – is it too difficult to show ‘5’ rather than ‘five’.

  • Terry McElligott

    As I mentioned on the Royal Mint Facebook page; I think the new design is a copy of the Ian Rank-Broadley version. The only visable changes noticable are the crown and earring. There is not enough to determine a complete effigy change and to give credit to the designer for. To me, this continues to be the IRB version with just a little tweak to it. I am sure Her Majesty must be very pleased with approving the design, she doesn’t look any older.

  • Hi Garry, re circulating coins – there will be 2015 dated coins that bear both the fourth and the fifth royal portrait. Some had already been struck with the fourth portrait before the fifth portrait was revealed; further ones will now be struck with only the fifth portrait. Coins are made and issued according to demand for them from banks and post offices, so they are issued gradually throughout the year. The only exception is the new definitive £2, the Britannia design, that will only be struck with the fifth portrait. Re the commemorative sets, the 2015 Annual sets were released as usual in November of the preceding year, so could only be produced with the fourth portrait. Further 2015 sets are now available with the fifth portrait. Here’s a link to them: http://bit.ly/18F1hp5. Hope I’ve managed to explain that clearly!

  • Thank you, James for posting your positive comments about Jody Clark’s new royal portrait.

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  • Ady Miles

    I really like this portrait design. It’s good to see the Queen with a Mona Lisa-style smile too!

  • billbear1961

    Vivat Regina!

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