In 1953, when Queen Elizabeth II acceded the throne, the President of the French Republic – Vincent Auriol – gifted her a special Coronation present: a pure Gold medal.
There was just one produced worldwide, and it was struck in the workshops of Monnaie de Paris.
And now, in the Coronation year of King Charles III, President Emmanuel Macron has asked that the tradition be continued for His Majesty.
So, over 70 years later, Monnaie de Paris have curated a new special Gold medal as a Coronation present for the King.
A Golden Gift: The Coronation Medal
The Chief General Engraver of Monnaie de Paris, Joaquin Jimenez, was elected to design the medal, turning his hand to what he said to be an “immense honour”.
Conforming to the tradition, Jimenez decided to depict King Charles III’s portrait facing to the left, the opposite side to Elizabeth II.
This unique portrait of King Charles III on the medal’s obverse presents His Majesty wearing his Navy Uniform.
The reverse design innovatively captures the intricacy of Highgrove House, where King Charles III mostly resides. The Royal Cypher also features, thoughtfully set against intertwining ivy which is symbolic of His Majesty’s affiliation for the Gordon Highlanders.
The Royal State Visit
The medal was presented to His Majesty King Charles III by President Emmanuel Macron on the King’s Royal State Visit to France.
The three-day visit began with a ceremony at the Arc de Triomphe where a flypast from the Red Arrows and the French Air Force counterparts marked alliance between the two nations.
The King and President Macron went on to lay a wreath at the Eternal Flame, symbolising the endless sacrifices of French and British troops.
Monnaie de Paris’ Gift to Collectors…
But despite there being just one medal in the possession of King Charles III, Monnaie de Paris also wanted to create a gift for collectors too.
They designed and crafted replicas of the exact medal gifted to His Majesty, struck from solid Bronze and Sterling Silver.
And The Westminster Collection have been given worldwide exclusivity to sell them.
The ‘100 Poppies’ Coin, launched by The Westminster Collection in partnership with The Royal British Legion last October has now raised over £131,000.
Since 2008, The Westminster Collection, has created a unique commemorative poppy-themed coin each year to honour those who have sacrificed their lives in the Armed Forces. However sales of the 2014 centenary edition coin have seen the biggest donation to date, ensuring that the memories of the fallen live on – as well as the care and support offered by The Royal British Legion.
The full amount was presented to The Royal British Legion by The Westminster Collection’s Chairman, Stephen Allen, on Tuesday 14th April at a special event held at The Legion’s pop-in centre in Southampton. The money raised will help The Legion provide financial, social and emotional support to all who have served and are currently serving in the British Armed Forces and their families.
Stephen said, “though we have been working in partnership with The Royal British Legion since 2004, the Poppy Coin came about in 2008 as a way to commemorate the 90th anniversary of the end of the First World War.
“We are delighted that the partnership has continued to grow, and our special Poppy Coins each year are a way of giving back to a charity that has done so much for both the Service community and the national spirit of Remembrance over the past 94 years.”
Charles Byrne, Director of Fundraising at The Royal British Legion, said the coin acts as “poignant reminder” of those who paid the ultimate sacrifice.
“We are so proud of our long-term partnership with The Westminster Collection, a family business which shares our commitment to supporting the entire Service community; whether it’s helping veterans to remain independent in their homes, supporting bereaved families, ensuring people have access to the benefits they deserve or offering employment advice.
“The Poppy Coin is not only a poignant reminder of those who have fought and sacrificed their lives, it also helps the Legion to carry out our vital welfare work, allowing today’s Armed Forces, veterans and their families to live on to a more hopeful future.”
SAVE £10.00 on the new new VE Day Silver Medal
Following the success of last year’s coin, The Royal British Legion have teamed up once again with The Westminster Collection to issue an official VE Day silver medal to mark the 70th anniversary of the end of the Second World War.
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