Unexpected items and customs to change under the King’s reign

Following the Queen’s death, countless everyday items, important documents and cultural customs will be updated now that Charles is King.

References to the monarch can be found in more places than you may expect – with almost all of these now needing to be updated.

The Queen’s portrait

All Australian citizens are entitled to a portrait of the monarch from their federal MPs’ offices, free of charge.

The Queen’s portrait has been available for more than 70 years, but will soon be swapped for the image of King Charles III.

There has been a surge of requests to MP offices around the country, with Australians hoping to get hold of the soon-to-be collectible item.

Schools, parliaments and government buildings customarily display the Queen’s portrait. These will be replaced with an image of the King.


Australian passports refer to ‘Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second’ on the first page.

These words will be replaced with ‘His Majesty King Charles the Third’ in newly printed passports.

Passports referring to the late Queen remain valid until their date of expiration.

Queensland’s state flag

Queensland’s state flag features a navy background and Union Jack – like the Australian flag – but has the state’s round badge in lieu of the Southern Cross.

The badge features a stylised crown, representing the monarchy.

It currently shows St Edward’s crown, which was worn by the Queen during her coronation.

However, the badge may soon change – depending on what crown the King wears at his coronation.

The state flag has been revised four times in its history – changing in 1876, 1901 and 1952 for each new monarch.

It may be some time until any alterations are made, as it is not yet clear when the King’s coronation will be held.

The late Queen’s coronation was held 16 months after the death of her father, King George VI.


Queensland’s flag may change if the King’s coronation crown is different. Photo: AAP


Australia Post issued a special-edition stamp for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.

It is expected to produce another design to honour her death, and perhaps another stamp in recognition of the King.

Coins and banknotes

The Australian Royal Mint confirmed King Charles will appear on the back of Australian coins, with the new coins arriving next year.

However, it is not guaranteed that the King will replace his late mother on the $5 banknote.

Although the Royal Australian Mint produces the nation’s coins, responsibility for the production and issue of banknotes lies with the Reserve Bank of Australia.

Assistant Treasury Minister Andrew Leigh said the federal government had yet to decide who should appear on the country’s lowest denomination bank note.

“There’ll be a decision for the government, which will happen down the track, as we haven’t decided precisely what we’re doing with the $5 note at this stage,” Dr Leigh told ABC Radio on Tuesday.

Both coins and notes featuring the late Queen will remain legal tender.


The Australian $5 note features a portrait of Queen Elizabeth at the age of 58. Photo: RBA

Australian military uniforms

Any items adorned with the Queen’s cypher will need an update,  including the uniform worn by Australian soldiers.

A royal cypher is a symbol used by the monarch, typically consisting of their name, title and a crown.

The late Queen’s ‘EIIR’ cypher stands for ‘Elizabeth Regina’, and the ‘II’ signifies that she is the second of her name.

The King’s cypher is yet to be formally unveiled, but he may have revealed the cypher’s design, with eagle-eyed viewers noticing the ‘CR’ tie pin worn during his proclamation.


The late Queen’s cypher is on the slouch hats worn by Australian soldiers. Photo: Getty


The ‘CR’ pin the King wore at his proclamation. Photo: Getty

Queen’s Birthday public holiday

The Queen’s Birthday public holiday is unlikely to change – at least immediately – and will be renamed the ‘King’s Birthday’.

Victoria, New South Wales, Tasmania, South Australia and the Northern Territory celebrate the holiday on the second Monday of June, while Queensland celebrates in September, and Western Australia in October.

The Victorian government confirmed it would be changing the public holiday’s name, saying no administrative action was required.

Royal warrants

The branding and packaging used by a number of notable brands may need to change following the Queen’s passing.

Brands are allowed to use royal arms in their branding if they’ve been granted a Royal Warrant of Appointment.

However, the warrants granted by the late Queen become void following her death.

Brands will need to reapply for the King’s consideration – and have two years to discontinue the use of the royal arms if they are not granted another warrant.


The late Queen gave the royal nod to Twinings tea. Photo: Getty

The UK’s national anthem

A change immediately embraced by the general public was the alteration to the United Kingdom’s national anthem.

The words “God save our gracious King” have replaced “God save our gracious Queen” in the anthem’s lyrics.

Adoring crowds have been singing the updated anthem to the King since the Queen’s passing.

Christmas message

Brits and people around the world have grown accustomed to listening to the Queen’s Christmas message on December 25.

It is expected that the King will carry on this custom, addressing his millions of subjects this year with a message of his own.

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