The Royal Mint has marked the coming official celebration of the Queen’s 95th birthday and her coronation anniversary with projections on the walls of the Tower of London of coins from her reign.
The 90-foot display featured coins bearing the five effigies of the Queen used since she ascended the throne, and the new commemorative £5 coin minted to reflect her becoming the first British monarch to reach 95.
The projection marked the 68th anniversary of Elizabeth’s coronation on June 2, 1953, and came a year before the commencement of Platinum Jubilee celebrations.
It also saluted the Queen before the official June 12 celebration of her birthday, which comes almost two months after her actual birth date of April 21.
Spectators watched from across the Thames as the coins were beamed onto the south wall of the Tower – the Royal Mint’s ancestral home – beginning with the 1953 effigy of the young Queen wearing a wreath, in the style of many British coins struck between the 17th and early 19th centuries.
Also featured were versions from 1968, showing Elizabeth bearing a tiara given as a wedding present by Queen Mary, the 1985 design depicting her with the royal diadem she wears to open Parliament, the high-realism 1998 edition, and the 2015 model in which the monarch bears the royal diadem diamond crown she wore at her coronation.
The larger image of the 95th birthday commemorative coin bore the inscription “95 Years of Heart and Devotion”, taken from the pledge the Queen made in her 1957 Christmas speech.
Clare Maclennan, divisional director of commemorative coin at The Royal Mint, said: “During a remarkable reign, Queen Elizabeth II has graced every UK coin in the nation’s pocket – documenting a life of ‘heart and devotion’ to the public.
“Ahead of the Queen’s landmark 95th birthday, we wanted to share a special message on behalf of the nation – celebrating her life through her coins. It seemed especially fitting to illuminate the Tower of London, where the Royal Mint originally began making coins for British monarchs 1,100 years ago.”