Prince William favourite with Brits to feature on banknotes

Royals Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, and Prince William at Wimbledon this year. Photo: Andrew Couldridge/Reuters

The royals are as popular as ever with the British public with a latest survey showing Prince William as a favourite choice to feature on banknotes.

The second in line to become the UK sovereign and inherit the crown is in fact more popular than his father Prince Charles.

In a survey, almost a quarter (23%) of Brits voted for William to feature on UK banknotes ahead of his father.

The Duchess of Cambridge was also popular in the Money Guru survey which asked people who they would want on Britain’s banknotes as the new £20 polymer is set to be released in 2020.

Kate was also voted ahead of Meghan, Duchess of Sussex. However, male respondents in the survey prefered to have Meghan’s image on banknotes with 13% choosing her compared with 8% for Kate.

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Cash accounts for over a third (34%) of all UK payments, but 61% of Brits don’t know who is featured on banknotes, or why they are chosen.

Monarchs have been mainstay of British banknotes. Queen Elizabeth II first appeared on a £1 note issued in 1960, followed by a 10 shilling note in 1961. Later that year, she featured on new £5 and £10 notes, before becoming the face of all British money in the 1970s.

The current trend of polymer notes introduced by the Bank of England governor Mark Carney is another landmark in the Bank’s rich history of issuing ‘promise to pay’ banknotes that dates back to the late 1600s.

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In July, the Bank announced Alan Turing as the face of the latest £50 note. “Alan Turing was an outstanding mathematician whose work has had an enormous impact on how we live today,” Carney said in a statement at the time.

Alan Turing to be the face of new £50 note. Photo: Bank of England

“As the father of computer science and artificial intelligence, as well as war hero, Alan Turing’s contributions were far ranging and path breaking. Turing is a giant on whose shoulders so many now stand.”

The Bank has also announced JMW Turner, one of the greatest English painter, as the new face of £20 polymer note to be released in 2020.

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The survey, meanwhile, also revealed Margaret Thatcher as a favourite to replace Winston Churchill on the £5 note. Almost half (45%) of Brits surveyed would like to see the UK’s first female prime minister on the £5 note.

By comparison, just 11% of Brits voted for UK’s current prime minister Boris Johnson.

Over a quarter of Brits (28%) would also like to see Harry Potter author JK Rowling featured on the £10 note. And despite the anonymity of Banksy an overwhelming 52% of Brits want him to be on the £20 note!