The Queen’s Beasts: A Royal Tradition

In 1953, a young princess took center stage to begin the longest reign of any British monarch. To welcome her were 10 statues representing 10 majestic creatures, all standing guard to ensure no harm befell her. Each animal represented a piece of the new queen’s lineage which resulted in her accession to the throne.

The Queen’s Beasts came years after King Henry VIII commissioned 10 statues to be created for his wedding celebration to Jane Seymour. These were aptly named the King’s Beasts, and they honored the ancestry of King Henry VIII as well as Jane Seymour.

Sadly, these statues were destroyed in the 17th century, but because King Henry VIII and Queen Elizabeth II have common ancestry, some of the animals made a second appearance for the lavish celebration for the new Queen. After her coronation, the Queen’s Beasts were relocated to the Canadian Museum of History in Gatineau.

To celebrate these dutiful beasts, the Royal Mint coin designer Jody Clark created a series of 10 coins, each with one of the animals featured on the reverse. The obverse displays the traditional effigy of the reigning monarch, Her Majesty the Queen, Elizabeth II.

James Woodford RA carves the Lion of England

The 10 beasts protecting Queen Elizabeth II were:

  • the lion of England
  • the griffin of Edward III
  • the falcon of the Plantagenets
  • the black bull of Clarence
  • the yale of Beaufort
  • the white lion of Mortimer
  • the White Greyhound of Richmond
  • the red dragon of Wales
  • the unicorn of Scotland
  • the white horse of Hanover

The Royal Mint has released the 2016 2 oz British Silver Queen’s Beast Coin – The Lion as the first design in the series. Each coin is composed of .9999 fine silver and holds a face value of £5. Provident Metals proudly offers this round to customers looking to add a bit of regal history to their precious metals investment.

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