King Charles' royal monogram explained, here's what the historic CIIIR cypher means
LONDON, UK: As the official mourning period of Queen Elizabeth II came to an end on Monday, September 26, Buckingham Palace revealed King Charles' new monogram. The official monogram CIIIR will now replace the EIIR monogram of his late mother.
It was personally chosen by King Charles himself, from an array of designs designed by the College of Arms. The monogram combines his initial 'C' and 'R' for Rex, which means king in Latin, plus III for the third King Charles. The design of the monogram incorporates the symbols showing Charles to be the third King to bear his regal name. A crown hovers above the letters in the new design.
The first letters have been franked with the new cypher of The King in the Court Post Office at Buckingham Palace today. 📮— The Royal Family (@RoyalFamily) September 27, 2022
The cypher is the Monarch’s monogram, consisting of the initial of their name combined with an ‘R’ for Rex (Latin for King) or Regina (Latin for Queen). pic.twitter.com/xxqLcrqhbs
The College of Arms, which was founded in 1484, is generally responsible for creating and maintaining official registers of coats of arms. A Scottish version of the monogram featuring the Scottish crown was approved by Lord Lyon King of Arms. Government offices and agencies will now start using the newly revealed monogram. However, the process of updating the royal monogram across the country is a long process. The Royal family in their post revealed that the tradition of having a franking stamp unique to the monarch can be traced back to Edward VII in 1901.
NEW— Rebecca English (@RE_DailyMail) September 26, 2022
His Majesty The King’s new cypher - the Sovereign’s monogram.
It consists of the initials his name, Charles, and title, Rex – Latin for King - alongside a representation of the Crown.
It will appear on government buildings, state documents and on some post boxes… pic.twitter.com/XH7hRMMwrO
The newly designed monogram will reportedly be used by government departments and by the Royal Household for franking mail. However, the decision to replace the monogram will be at the discretion of individual organizations.
The ‘CIIIR’ is the Sovereign’s monogram and is the personal property of the King.— Chris Ship (@chrisshipitv) September 26, 2022
C for Charles
III for the third
R for Rex (Latin for King) and a representation of the Crown.
A Scottish version of the cypher features the Scottish Crown (and approved by Lord Lyon King of Arms) 👑 pic.twitter.com/iI9MiRUwoW
In the case of passports, the current British passports give reference to the late Queen Elizabeth. It is referred to as, "Her Britannic Majesty's Secretary of State requests and requires in the name of Her Majesty all those whom it may concern to allow the bearer to pass freely without let or hindrance and to afford the bearer such assistance and protection as may be necessary." This will be changed and updated with the King's name only when passports need to be renewed.
According to BBC, the new changes that will occur after the monogram is revealed include, The Bank of England states the new banknotes featuring the new king will be in circulation by the middle of next year, with the image revealed before the end of this year. A set of new coins will also be released but will appear "in line with demand from banks and post offices," according to Royal Mint. However, existing banknotes and coins will continue to be valid, with Charles and Elizabeth's notes and coins being used alongside each other. The Royal Mail revealed that new stamps featuring King Charles will "enter circulation once current stocks of stamps are exhausted."
Meanwhile, there won't be a sudden shift on post boxes or on public buildings as of now. There are still post boxes in use from the reign of Queen Victoria, Edward VII, George V and VI, and the original monograms remain until the boxes need to be replaced. According to BBC, almost 70,000 of the current post boxes, about 60% of the total, date from the reign of Queen Elizabeth II. Among these boxes, only about 170 are still remaining from the short reign of Edward VIII, who abdicated in 1936. Boxes already under construction or ready for installation will continue to have the late Queen's monogram.
According to The Guardian, on the same day of the monogram reveal, four stamps were released in memory of Queen Elizabeth II. However, they are yet to be approved by the King. The stamps will go on general sale in the country from November 10, 2022, and will feature various images of the late monarch through the years. The first-class stamp will feature the photo captured by Cecil Beaton in 1968 in which the monarch is standing in her admiral’s cloak. The second-class stamp will feature the photo taken by Dorothy Wilding in 1952 to mark the Queen’s accession and coronation. The next stamp will be with the picture taken by Yousuf Karsh in 1984 and the stamp will cost around $1.99. The fourth stamp will feature the photo taken by Tim Graham in 1996 of the Queen attending a banquet at Prague Castle during her visit to the Czech Republic will be the image on the $2.75 stamp.