King Charles' royal cypher revealed, but the Queen's won't fully disappear

A cypher is the monarch’s unique, personal seal. It is used on uniforms, medals, and everyday items, such as coins, stamps and even post-boxes.

What did ER stand for?

Yorkshire Live reports that a cypher is unique to each monarch. The late Queen Elizabeth II’s cypher was formed by two capital letters: E and R.

The E stood for Elizabeth, and R stood for Regina, which means Queen in Latin.

On occasion, the royal cypher was written EIIR. The II signifies that Queen Elizabeth was the second monarch to be called Elizabeth.

king charles' royal cypher revealed, but the queen's won't fully disappear

Queen Elizabeth’s cypher on a uniform at a Garter Ceremony Tim Graham / Getty Images

However, National World relates that the cypher was never stylised with the II in Scotland. The Scots didn’t recognise Queen Elizabeth I as ruler at the time of her reign. They were ruled instead by Mary, Queen of Scots.

The ER or EIIR was often topped by St Edward’s Crown or a version. It is the crown traditionally used by queens.

What will King Charles III’s cypher be?

King Charles III’s cypher will be a C and R, keeping with the tradition. The C stands for Charles, and the R will stand for Rex, Latin for King or ruler.

The cypher might also present III, stating that he is the third British king named Charles.

The crown that will accompany His Majesty’s cypher will likely be the more rounded Tudor crown, according to Yorkshire Live.

Sky News speculates that King Charles III showed off his cypher with a tie pin at his proclamation. The tie pin appeared to feature the letters CR intertwined with a crown on top.

What will change, and what will remain?

Things like stamps and banknotes all bear the royal cypher. The ones sporting ER or EIIR will gradually disappear from circulation, replaced by King Charles III’s new cypher once he has approved the design.

According to The Evening Standard, post boxes sporting the ER or EIIR will not be replaced. It is tradition for post boxes to keep the royal cypher of the ruling monarch at the time of their installation. Thus, finding post boxes with King George VI’s cypher is still possible.

However, all new post boxes will sport King Charles III’s cypher.

Moreover, passports bearing the late Queen Elizabeth II’s royal cypher will still be valid until their expiry dates. Only new tickets will have the new monarch’s cypher.

Sources used:

– Yorkshire Live: The ER emblem, what it means and will it now change under King Charles

– National World: What will ER change to when Charles is King? What does Queen’s royal cypher mean – will it change on post box

– Evening Standard: What does ER stand for and will it be replaced with CR?

– Sky News: King Charles reveals new signature – and appears to show his royal cypher

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