The Royal Mint is to strike a £5 silver coin in honour of the first birthday of the son of Prince William and Catherine, His Royal Highness, Prince George of Cambridge.
This time last year the country was in a whirl of excitement as the birth of the first child of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge grew ever closer. Finally, on 22 July 2013 Prince George was born at St Mary’s Hospital in Paddington, central London, and a throng of media and well-wishers gathered outside the hospital to get a first glimpse of the royal baby.
A year on, the Royal Mint, one of the world’s oldest and most venerable organisations – with an unbroken history of minting British coinage dating back over 1000 years – has decided to honour the first birthday of Prince George by releasing a coin bearing a seldom-seen heraldic Royal Arms design.
The coin’s Royal Arms design was originally created for Prince George’s great-grandmother, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, when it was approved for use on £5 coins to be struck during her reign and it has only been used once since – on a £5 coin struck for the British Exhibition in New York in 1960.
The design features four shields arranged in a cross, which represent the four nations of the UK, and this is interspersed with floral emblems of the rose, shamrock, thistle and leek. When the coin was first commissioned it was the first time a British coin featured the Welsh emblem. The obverse features the current portrait of Her Majesty the Queen by Ian Rank-Broadley FRBS.
The coin has been approved by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Her Majesty the Queen and the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and will be restricted to a limited mintage of just 7,500 coins.
Prince George has already had two coins produced in his honour – a £20 coin to mark his birth and a kilo coin to celebrate his christening.
Shane Bissett, director of commemorative coin and bullion at the Royal Mint, said: “As Prince George of Cambridge reaches the significant milestone of turning one year old, we felt there could be no more fitting design to mark the first birthday of our future king than the Royal Arms – the arms of the monarch, minted in honour of the future heir to the throne.
“The choice of a silver coin is significant too as the precious metal is closely associated with new born babies, as crossing the palm of a new born baby with silver is a way to wish them wealth and good health throughout their life, whilst the £5 coin is a favourite for royal celebrations”.
To pre-order the official UK £5 coin commemorating the first birthday of HRH Prince George of Cambridge, priced at £80, go to www.royalmint.com.
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