What does ER stand for and will it be replaced with CR?

·1-min read
New postboxes will bear King Charles III’s cypher, CR (Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images)
New postboxes will bear King Charles III’s cypher, CR (Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images)

Following Queen Elizabeth II’s death and King Charles III’s accession to the throne, the royal cypher will change from ER to CR.

The royal cyphers appear on a number of everyday objects, from postboxes to passports, meaning the British public may begin to see a lot of changes soon.

The cypher is just one of a number of changes the UK can expect to see in the coming months and years — soon, the currency will feature King Charles III’s name and portrait, replacing his late mother’s image.

King Charles III - In pictures

Prince Charles Prince Of Wales 60th Birthday Portrait (Getty Images)
Prince Charles Prince Of Wales 60th Birthday Portrait (Getty Images)
King Charles III delivers his address to the nation and the Commonwealth from Buckingham Palace (PA)
King Charles III delivers his address to the nation and the Commonwealth from Buckingham Palace (PA)
The fair-haired and blue-eyed infant Prince was 19 weeks old when photographed and weighed 16lb 2oz. (PA )
The fair-haired and blue-eyed infant Prince was 19 weeks old when photographed and weighed 16lb 2oz. (PA )
Princess Diana, her sons Harry and William, and Prince Charles watch the parade march past as part of the commemorations of VJ Day (AFP/Getty Images)
Princess Diana, her sons Harry and William, and Prince Charles watch the parade march past as part of the commemorations of VJ Day (AFP/Getty Images)
1949: Childhood portrait of the baby Prince Charles in his basket, at Buckingham Palace, London (Getty Images)
1949: Childhood portrait of the baby Prince Charles in his basket, at Buckingham Palace, London (Getty Images)
Princess Elizabeth holding Prince Charles in his Christening gown with her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh behind. (PA)
Princess Elizabeth holding Prince Charles in his Christening gown with her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh behind. (PA)
Prince Charles, later The Prince of Wales, perched on the lap of his father the Duke of Edinburgh, whilst his mother Queen Elizabeth II looks on in the grounds of Windlesham Moor, country home in Surrey of Princess Elizabeth and the Duke. (PA )
Prince Charles, later The Prince of Wales, perched on the lap of his father the Duke of Edinburgh, whilst his mother Queen Elizabeth II looks on in the grounds of Windlesham Moor, country home in Surrey of Princess Elizabeth and the Duke. (PA )
1951: Portrait of the prince taken before his third birthday (PA )
1951: Portrait of the prince taken before his third birthday (PA )
The first pictures of the King after his severe lung operation. They were accompanied by Prince Charles and his baby sister, Princess Anne on his 3rd birthday visit to Buckingham Palace. (PA )
The first pictures of the King after his severe lung operation. They were accompanied by Prince Charles and his baby sister, Princess Anne on his 3rd birthday visit to Buckingham Palace. (PA )
The Prince of Wales with his father, the Duke of Edinburgh during a motorboat race up the river Medina at Cowes, Isle of Wight. (PA )
The Prince of Wales with his father, the Duke of Edinburgh during a motorboat race up the river Medina at Cowes, Isle of Wight. (PA )
Princess Anne in the arms of Princess Elizabeth, with the Duke of Edinburgh, holding Prince Charles, in the grounds of Clarence House, their London residence. (PA)
Princess Anne in the arms of Princess Elizabeth, with the Duke of Edinburgh, holding Prince Charles, in the grounds of Clarence House, their London residence. (PA)

But what do the royal cyphers mean and what could change?

What does ER stand for?

ER stands for Elizabeth Regina, which means queen in Latin. The royal cypher is sometimes written as EIIR, with the II representing that the queen was Queen Elizabeth the second.

Will ER be replaced with CR?

ER will be replaced with CR, standing for Charles Rex, which means king in Latin. It may also be written at CIIIR, representing that the king is King Charles the third.

What will be updated?

Postboxes will not be updated with CR. It is tradition for the postboxes to bear the royal cypher of the monarch that reigned when the postbox was installed.

Therefore, all postboxes with the ER cypher were installed in the past 70 years. Any postboxes with the GR cypher were installed when King George VI was in power.

However, any new postboxes that are installed in the near future will bear the CR cypher.

Similarly, new passports will bear the CR cypher, but all existing passports will remain valid until their expiry date.