Here’s Why King Charles Is Facing Left (Not Right) on the New Royal Coins

If you noticed that King Charles III is facing to the left—not the right—on the new royal currency, you should know there’s a valid explanation behind the position change.

This week, the Bank of England unveiled the fresh designs for the bank notes and coins that will feature King Charles. It didn’t take long for fans to notice that the monarch’s portrait looks different than that of his mother, Queen Elizabeth. And after doing some research, it seems it wasn’t a mistake.

king charles new coin left
Hollie Adams/Bloomberg/Getty Images

According to Hello! magazine, there’s a reason why King Charles is facing to the left and not the right (like his mom). It all has to do with a royal currency tradition that dates back to King Charles II (not to be confused with the current king), which states that new monarchs should face in the opposite direction of their predecessors.

This means that King Charles must face left, since Queen Elizabeth faced right. And when King Charles steps down from the throne (or passes away), the same rule will apply to Prince William. Therefore, the future king’s portrait will face right since his predecessor’s faced left.

king charles new coin queen elizabeth
Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg/Getty Images

King Charles’s fifty pence coin will be distributed as early as this month, but the rest of the currency isn’t expected to begin circulation until 2024. For sustainability reasons, the bank has chosen to co-circulate the new designs with existing currency featuring Queen Elizabeth.

So. Many. Rules.

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Senior Editor

Greta Heggeness is a California-based editor at PureWow and has been writing about entertainment since 2015. She covers everything from awards shows to exclusive celebrity...