The portrait of Queen Elizabeth II has appeared on banknotes in every continent except Antarctica. The first country to feature the queen on bills was Canada, which issued a banknote in 1935 featuring her as an 8-year-old. Canada went on to issue another banknote in 1951 showing the to-be queen at 25.

After ascending to the throne in 1952, her face popped up on banknotes all over the world. The 1950s and 1960s saw the greatest number of countries circulating banknotes featuring the queen. Britain issued its first banknote featuring the queen in 1960, long after many other countries. That British note also marked the first time that a monarch had been used on a Bank of England one pound note.

As countries gained independence, they often removed her from their currency. Jamaica, for example, put Marcus Garvey on its currency in 1966, and Bermuda redesigned its banknotes to feature local animals.

However, in at least 20 countries, the queen remains a beloved figure. Canada, the first country to feature the queen, features her in its latest banknote. Australia and New Zealand, both countries whose flags still incorporate the Union Jack, also feature her on currency.


Notes

  • These Caribbean states include six countries and two British overseas territories: Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Anguilla and Montserrat. Barbados, British Virgin Islands, Trinidad and Tobago, and Guyana have adopted East Caribbean dollars at some point but withdrew, therefore, they are listed separately.
  • Rhodesia, Rhodesia & Nyasaland and Southern Rhodesia were located in Southwestern Africa. Southern Rhodesia is now Zimbabwe, and Rhodesia and Nyasaland became the independent states of Zambia and Malawi in 1963.
  • Up until 1973, Belize was under the name British Honduras. However, both British Honduras and Belize have currency featuring the queen; therefore, they are listed together.