King Charles banknotes roll out across UK for 1st time

People have been lining up outside of banks and post offices around the United Kingdom to get their hands on the first U.K. banknotes featuring the portrait of King Charles III

 The notes, which were released Wednesday, come in 5, 10, 20 and 50 pounds. 

According to the Associated Press, the portrait of the king appears on all four banknotes issued by the Bank of England, with no other alterations to the existing designs.

"This is a historic moment, as it’s the first time we’ve changed the sovereign on our notes," said Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey. "We know that cash is important for many people, and we are committed to providing banknotes for as long as the public demand them. Bringing these new notes into circulation is a demonstration of that commitment."


A person holds some of the newly released banknotes, featuring the King's portrait, outside the Bank of England, London. (Credit: Lucy North/PA Images via Getty Images)

The coins and stamps bearing the king’s image have already been rolled out. 

In line with guidance from the Royal Household, the new notes will only be printed to replace those that are worn and to meet any overall increase in demand, in an effort to minimize environmental and financial impacts. 

"Our local customers come into our branch every day to withdraw or deposit cash for their daily needs, so we were excited to be one of the first branches to have the new banknotes available," said Karen Stonham, branch manager at the Portsmouth Post Office in southern England.

Bank of England reveals King Charles designs 

In 2022, the Bank of England revealed designs for its new currency featuring the face of Chalres. Then in April, Charles was presented with the banknotes and praised them as "very well designed." 

He is only the second British monarch to be given the honor.  Queen Elizabeth II was the first to be featured in 1960 on a 1-pound note.

RELATED: King Charles III to appear on new UK currency

Banknotes were first issued in England at the end of the 17th century, but the face of the British monarch has only appeared on them since 1960, according to The New York Times.

Charles took the throne in 2022 following the death of his mother, Britain’s longest-reigning monarch, who died at age 96.

This story was reported from Los Angeles. The Associated Press contributed.