Canada mulled nixing Queen Elizabeth's successor from banknotes: documents

Fri Oct 14, 2016 10:20am EDT
Email This Article |
Share This Article
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
| Print This Article | Single Page
[-] Text [+]

By Ethan Lou

(Reuters) - When Canada was designing its current C$20 bill, it considered dispensing with its "tradition" of depicting the reigning British monarch if Queen Elizabeth dies or abdicates, internal documents from the country's central bank showed.

The issue of Elizabeth's potential death came up several times at the Bank of Canada between 2007 and 2015, according to documents obtained by Reuters in October under access-to-information laws.

The longest-reigning British monarch, Elizabeth appears on all standard Canadian coins, but only one banknote, the C$20 ($15) bill.

The 90-year-old Elizabeth, head of state of 16 Commonwealth countries including Canada, has reigned since 1952 and remains popular in the Northern American country. A recent visit to Canada by her grandson Prince William and his family drew enthusiastic crowds.

Still, not all the British royals appear so popular. A poll by Forum Research last year found more than half of Canadian adults do not want Elizabeth's oldest son and heir Prince Charles, who will ascend to the throne immediately upon his mother's death, as head of state.

In the documents, central bank staff working on the 2012 C$20 bill wrote that depicting the reigning British monarch was "a matter of tradition."

"In the event the Queen dies or abdicates before the new notes are issued, a decision will need to be taken as to whether to continue this tradition or to replace the image" with some other portrait subject, a 2008 policy advice paper read.

Staff were concerned about the increased costs and delays of reworking designs if the monarch changed before the design process was done, the documents showed.   Continued...

Britain's Queen Elizabeth leaves the annual Braemar Highland Gathering in Braemar, Scotland, Britain September 3, 2016. REUTERS/Russell Cheyne