The Royal Mint unveiled, on March 2nd 2015, a new coinage portrait of Her Majesty The Queen, giving the general public the first glimpse of the image that would soon become a familiar sight on United Kingdom coins. This is only the fifth definitive portrait of The Queen to appear on British circulating coins since her accession to the throne in 1952, making it a very rare event indeed.
The portrait is designed by Jody Clark, who was the first Royal Mint engraver to be chosen to create a definitive royal coinage portrait in over 100 years.
Jody’s elegant portrayal of The Queen, wearing the Royal Diamond Diadem crown worn for her Coronation, was selected in a closed competition organised by the Royal Mint Advisory Committee (RMAC), a consultative panel to Her Majesty’s Treasury comprising experts from such fields as history, sculpture, architecture, art and design. A number of specialist designers from across Britain were invited to submit their own interpretations of the Queen’s portrait under anonymous cover, and each one was judged on its merits and suitability before the winning artwork was recommended to the Chancellor and, ultimately, The Queen for approval.
While the portrait went into production immediately in the United Kingdom, other Commonwealth countries did not follow the Royal Mint's example and continued with the Fourth Portrait by Ian Rank-Broadley. Australia introduced the Fifth Portrait halfway through 2019.