Royal fans have 'fun' queuing to gets hands on first King Charles bank notes

Bank notes and coins that feature an image of Britain's King Charles III are pictured on display
-Credit: (Image: AFP via Getty Images)

Royal enthusiasts have been eagerly lining up to acquire the first-ever banknotes featuring King Charles, signalling the dawn of a new era.

For many years, Queen Elizabeth II's portrait has adorned British currency and stamps, reflecting her tenure as the nation's longest-serving monarch. However, her passing in 2022 prompted the Bank of England to start making new banknotes bearing the likeness of King Charles III, which have today entered circulation.

In line with previous designs, the visage of His Majesty graces the £5, £10, £20 and £50 polymer notes. These will be printed only as replacements for worn-out notes to minimise costs and environmental impact associated with the transition.

Nonetheless, the release has stirred considerable excitement among royal fans, with numerous individuals eagerly queuing outside the Bank of England from early morning to secure some of the first edition notes. Sharing their experience on X, previously known as Twitter, one enthusiast (@ianvisits) commented: "That was actually silly good fun.

"Once the doors open, there's the usual security checks and then straight into the bank counter where they'll swap your old banknotes for equivalent new ones. The queue is quite short (at the moment) so if you fancy doing something a bit different, they will swap up to £300 of QEII banknotes for CRIII equivalents for the next five days."

While the user enjoyed his experience, he suggested that those hoping to sell the new notes on eBay for a profit might be disappointed, as the ones available weren't of low serial numbers. However, some may go under the hammer at Spink & Son next month.

He also mentioned: "Just bring the notes and proof ID. And you get to see a small bit of the grand interior of the Bank of England as well."

Based on Threadneedle Street in London, the Bank of England's walk-in service will run from June 5 to June 11, and is open to UK and non-UK residents. Royal fans can also receive new notes in the post using the bank's exchange service running from June 5 to June 30.

To do this, you'll need to fill in an application form before sending off the worn down notes. The exchanged currency can only be sent to a UK address.