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For the majority of Britons, the queen has been the face of the British monarchy


For the overwhelming majority of Britons, the face of Queen Elizabeth II has until now been the face of the British monarchy. The queen's portrait and her initials were just about everywhere in daily life - on currency, stamps, postal boxes, passports and then nearly every type of consumer product. Now\ with the ascension to the throne of a new monarch, King Charles III, a sort of massive royal rebranding is underway. Pauline Maclaran is a professor of marketing and consumer research at University of London.

PAULINE MACLARAN: There will be a whole new rush of commemoratives to mark Charles's ascension to the throne. Of course, we'll have to get used to the new face. And that will be difficult, I think. I think it will jar us a little bit to see this coming in.

FADEL: Take British currency. Maclaran says it will be some time before the face of King Charles appears in place of the queen's image on coins and banknotes. So how long?

MACLARAN: Well, (laughter) it's - how long is a piece of string? There isn't a definite prescribed time. We would expect that it would be achieved over the next couple of years, I think.

FADEL: And she says Britons will need a period of mental adjustment.

MACLARAN: I imagine once we receive a coin with Charles's head on it, we'll be sort of saying, is this really a pound coin?

FADEL: Twenty-nine billion British coins and 4.7 billion banknotes will be phased out over the coming years. And that's to say nothing of the 220 billion unsold postage stamps bearing Queen Elizabeth's image. Some other changes are simpler, if no less jarring.


UNIDENTIFIED SINGERS: (Singing) God save our gracious queen. Long live our noble queen.

FADEL: The U.K. national anthem has already been revamped.

MACLARAN: Just hearing "God Save The King" instead of the queen - we've been used to it for - some of us for 70 years.

FADEL: And then there are all the consumer brands sold in the U.K. that will soon bear the king's insignia - everything from outerwear to steak sauce.

MACLARAN: Yeah, it's bound to momentarily just shake us, I think.

FADEL: One bit of reassurance for King Charles - he does get to approve his royal likeness in all its official uses.