The Royal Mint is to issue its second limited edition £100 for £100 commemorative coin – available at the face value price of £100 – which will depict Britain’s best-known royal building, Buckingham Palace. Only 50,000 of the new legal tender £100 coins are to be minted, and each will contain two full ounces of 999 fine silver.
As the familiar face of this architectural icon goes under wraps for an expansive refurbishment, its current image is permanently captured on this new £100 coin. It follows on from the sell-out success within days of the first £100 coin featuring ‘Big Ben’ in December 2014, and the popularity of the £20 face value coin series (the first was struck in honour of the birth of Prince George of Cambridge). It is expected that the Buckingham Palace £100 will receive an equally warm welcome.
In a year that has seen the second birthday of Prince George of Cambridge and the birth of Princess Charlotte, The Queen’s second great-grandchild, the new £100 coin captures the timeless elegance of the building that is both a family home to Britain’s Royals, and a working building, housing the offices of the staff who support the day to day activities of the Royal Family.
Director of Commemorative Coin and Medals, Shane Bissett said, “Buckingham Palace is an instantly recognisable architectural icon for the millions of British citizens and tourists who have seen it in person or in pictures and on film. The building is an instinctive rallying point in the capital city during times of national celebration and mourning, and was a natural choice for the next design in The Royal Mint’s popular £100 for £100 coin series.”
Buckingham Palace – the background
George III bought Buckingham House in 1761 for his wife, Queen Charlotte, and work began the following year to remodel it. Later, George IV would transform the house into a palace. Architect John Nash set about realizing the king’s ambitious plans, but spiraling costs eventually cost him his job and King George never moved in.
Queen Victoria became the first sovereign to take up residence in 1837, however, when she married Prince Albert three years later, the shortcomings of her new home were highlighted. The Marble Arch was moved and nurseries and guest bedrooms were added. Work continued and the palace was finally finished just before the outbreak of The First World War in 1914.
Designers’ inspiration – Laura Clancy and Glyn Davies
Buckingham Palace was one of the sights that inspired Royal Mint’s engravers Glyn Davies and Laura Clancy when they took on the challenge of capturing something a little different with their portraits of iconic landmarks. They were motivated to picture the wonders of Britain from the point of view of the thousands of tourists who visit, cameras in hand, to collect their own memories of Britain’s famous structures and sights. In their portrait of Buckingham Palace, the building is seen as though from a tourist’s eye view, across The Mall past the Victoria Memorial.