Farewell to Queen Elizabeth II

Queen Elizabeth II served from 1952 to 2022 as the reigning monarch of the United Kingdom. She was not only the longest-reigning monarch, but the only monarch most in the UK have ever known.

The Queen had met every serving US President since Harry S. Truman, the 33rd President of the US, in the closing days of WW2. Over her reign, she met with 15 Prime Ministers of the United Kingdom, including newly elected Prime Minister Liz Truss, a few days before passing away.

Queen Elizabeth II was the closest link the country has had with its long and storied past for many years. The country will mark her passing with a period of national mourning, culminating on the day of her funeral, Monday 19th September 2022. To learn what to expect over the coming weeks, read below:


How does the Queen’s passing impact the UK economy?

The Queen’s death comes at a time of pronounced economic, social and political turmoil in the UK. Liz Truss has just assumed her position as the new Prime Minister and Brexit talks are back on the table. Combined with an ongoing energy crisis and widespread strike action, the Queen’s passing might tip the UK economy into recession earlier than forecasted.

The Queen’s passing is not just an issue of national prestige. It will have a real economic impact as the UK recognizes her life and reign by calling for a national bank holiday on the day of her funeral.

June saw a 0.6% slump in the gross domestic product (GDP). This owed to an extra public holiday to mark the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. The UK economy will likely see similar figures this month as a new bank holiday is introduced to pay respect for the Queen and commemorate her reign, while marking the final day of national mourning.

In addition, most national institutions (including several private enterprises) will close their doors to observe a period of national mourning, compounding the stresses placed on the British economy.

Temporary closure for the UK Parliament

Both the House of Commons and House of Lords have closed their doors for at least 10 days for a period of state mourning.

MPs met several times between the 9th and 12th of September. Prime Minister Liz Truss addressed the House of Commons while members of the House of Lords gave their tributes in a special sitting. A handful of MPs took the opportunity to renew their vows to ​​”His Majesty The King,” although this is not a formal requirement.

Newly elected PM Liz Truss announced that no delays will affect her proposal to cap household energy costs. Government will enact the plan by the 1st of October as planned, despite temporary suspensions to normal business.

Furthermore, MPs are in ongoing talks to possibly reconvene earlier after the autumn party conference. The houses were to meet on the 18th of October, but have now agreed to convene on the 11th of October.

The Queen’s charitable patronage handover

Over her life, the Queen assumed patronage of over 600 charities across the UK. Several were inherited from her father, George VI. The ‘royal’ prefix (ie. Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) indicates the royal family has officially endorsed a charity.

The Queen’s patronage and charitable donations gave much-needed publicity and support to hundreds of needs, from education to agriculture. While the royal family has never disclosed the amount given to charity over the Queen’s lifetime, a few educated guesses have placed the figure between £1.5 and £3 billion.

With the Queen’s passing, the royal family will likely distribute responsibility for these charities among family and staff. One would expect most to continue to receive support out of respect for Her Royal Majesty wishes.

Events and strikes cancellations

Many national and private events are cancelled out of respect for the royal family, and in recognition of the Queen’s many achievements.

Cancelled strike actions

  • Royal mail postal worker strike postponed – September 9th
  • Criminal barristers are on indefinite strike but will pause temporarily  – September 12th
  • RMT and TSSA rail strikes postponed – September 15th

Cancelled sporting events

  • UK football and rugby – Minor leagues to resume shortly but no Premier League games will be played leading to the Queen’s funeral
  • UK horse racing – All major events are cancelled until at least Tuesday, September 20th

Road closures

  • Current road closures – All roads encompassing Buckingham Palace, Green Park and St James’s Park are closed for funeral proceedings.
  • Further road closures – Effective as of today, 12th of September. Birdcage Walk, Constitution Hill, The Mall, Marlborough Road and Horse Guards Road will be closed through the coming week and for some days after the Queen’s funeral.

Currencies around the world

The Bank of England declared it will continue to accept all currency bearing the image of the Queen as forms of payment. The bank will soon mint new currency bearing King Charles III, once the Chancellor and the King approve.

The challenge of replacing all notes and coins featuring the Queen is impractical to tackle in any meaningful timescale. The BoE estimates that banks will replace more than 4.7 million banknotes and 29 billion coins. As such, they will not issue a mass recall. Rather, the BoE will phase out old notes and coins over several years (possibly decades).

Queen Elizabeth was the first monarch to feature on Bank of England banknotes. March 1960 saw the first £1 notes showing Elizabeth II made available for everyday use. The Commonwealth, 54 nations that were nearly all once British colonies, also feature the Queen’s picture on banknotes and coins.

No Commonwealth country today has any form of legislature that demands minted currency to be immediately replaced with an image of the new monarch. Replacing notes is costly, and those picturing the Queen will remain in circulation until reserves are depleted.

Sentiment, not law, will dictate the currency policies of Commonwealth nations. Jamaica replaced the Queen on paper notes with portraits of national heroes upon gaining independence. Likewise, notes in Seychelles now feature local wildlife instead of the Queen. It is reasonable to expect that at least a few others will now follow suit, removing images of the Queen and replacing her likeness with more relevant national figures.

British Pound Sterling | British Commonwealth | Queen Elizabeth II

Will this event affect your international payments?

The Pound Sterling lost against the USD on the day the Queen passed away. Meanwhile, the EUR gained 0.1% on the GBP. There is a chance we can expect more volatility on the currency in the coming weeks.

More concerning are the long-term implications of a new public holiday and the break in Parliamentary proceedings, which come at a bad time.

Any repercussions of this event will be weeks, if not months, in the making. The actions of new Prime Minister Liz Truss will be thrust centre stage in the coming days. Keep an eye on our daily market updates for more news. Don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter – it’s the most effective way to stay informed.

Our UK office at CurrencyTransfer will be closed on Monday 19th September 2022, as the British government introduces a new bank holiday this year. As a result, your money transfers might be delayed during that period.

Please get in touch with our team if you have any questions or concerns.

Matthew Swaile


Florence Couëdel