- By Sean Coughlan
- royal reporter
The Home Office says the first British passports issued in the name of King Charles will be issued this week.
Passports will now use the word “His Majesty”, with the era finally ending for passports using “Her Majesty”, for the late Queen Elizabeth II.
The last time “His Majesty” appeared on a passport was during the reign of King George VI, whose reign ended in 1952.
Five million passports have been issued this year in the name of the late Queen.
The only person who doesn’t need a passport is the King himself. By convention, the monarch does not have to carry a passport when traveling, as it is a document issued in his own name.
The updated passports are the latest in a gradual transition of dynasties, with stamps and some coins now featuring the King’s head. Banknotes will start to change next year.
Since the death of the late Queen last September, there has been a steady transition to the image and insignia of the new King, with a focus on using up existing stock rather than making a sudden change. .
The same goes for passports, with any existing supplies that say “Her Majesty” will be used until they run out, along with the arrival of a new version.
The new passports will now bear the words: “His Majesty Britannic’s Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs requests and requests on His Majesty’s behalf…”
But the previous “Her Majesty” passport will also continue to be valid until it expires.
Home Secretary Suella Braverman said: “For 70 years, the Queen has appeared on British passports and many of us will not remember a moment when she did not appear. Today marks a moment. important in British history.”
Following problems with passport issuance delays last year and industrial action this year, the Home Office says 99% of passports are issued within 10 weeks of application.
The UK passport in its modern form, with photo and signature, has been in circulation since 1915, with the first security watermark added in 1972 and machine-readable passports introduced in 1988.
In 2020, after leaving the European Union, the UK’s passport changes from burgundy, used since 1988, to dark blue.
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