On the 20th of December 2022 in a grand unveiling ceremony that echoed centuries of tradition, the Bank of England offered the world a glimpse into the future of British currency. Marking a momentous occasion, the bank provided an exclusive sneak peek at the upcoming 2024 banknotes. A visit to the Bank of England almost a year after the announcement reveals more secrets.

The new banknotes showcasing King Charles III's portrait on the front, depict once more the enduring link between the monarchy and the nation's economic history. In a display of modern security and craftsmanship, the King's image will also be seen in a subtle cameo within the see-through security window, a nod to the cutting-edge anti-counterfeiting technology underpinning the UK's currency.

Counterfeiting of UK banknotes dates back to the issuance of the first banknotes in the 17th century. Early forgeries were often easily detectable, but as banknotes evolved and became more sophisticated, counterfeiters adapted their techniques. The Bank of England at its museum tells us: to combat counterfeiting, they introduced advanced security features like watermarking, holograms, and sophisticated printing techniques in modern polymer banknotes. These efforts have made counterfeiting increasingly difficult, contributing to the UK's reputation for producing some of the world's most secure banknotes, and the 2024 notes are certain to deliver on this promise.

Next year, the king’s image is set not to just adorn one denomination, but instead all four notes- the £5, £10, £20, and £50. This change comes with a commitment to continuity. In a move aimed at minimizing environmental and financial impact, new banknotes will only be printed to replace worn ones and meet the growing demand for currency. Notes featuring Queen Elizabeth II will remain in circulation as legal tender. Before long Londoners will notice both royal figures in their local shops!