King Charles will not replace his mother on Australia’s $5 bill, interesting

Last October, King Charles’s court was on a briefing spree about the Windsors’ 2023 travel plans. Charles still hasn’t left the UK since becoming king, but sources assured the British media that post-coronation, Charles planned to do a two-year travel blitz of commonwealth countries, and that visiting Australia was one of the biggest priorities. The Windsors were telegraphing the fact that they’re desperate to hold onto countries like Australia and Canada, even if the Caribbean and African commonwealth countries leave them. We actually haven’t heard much about those post-coronation travel plans, so a vacuum has been created – especially in Oz. Now it looks like Australia is making moves to remove the British monarch from their currency? At least in some small way.

King Charles III will not feature on Australia’s $5 note after a decision by the Reserve Bank to replace Queen Elizabeth II’s portrait with a design “that honours the culture and history of the First Australians”. With the Australian government backing the decision, the move to balk at the presumed tradition of having Australia’s head of state on the note has already generated fierce debate.

Australia’s opposition leader, Peter Dutton, weighed in shortly after the announcement on Thursday on Sydney radio station 2GB, saying the prime minister, Anthony Albanese, would “have been central” to not placing King Charles on the note and should “own” the decision.

“I think it’s another attack on our systems, on our society and our institutions,” he said. Once the change is made, there will be no portraits of UK monarchs on any current Australian banknote.

The Australian Monarchist League also disapproved, accusing Albanese – who is a long time supporter of Australia becoming a republic – of “trouncing Australian democracy”. “It is virtually neo-communism in action,” said Philip Benwell, chair of the league.

However, Australian Greens party senator and Gunnai, Gunditjmara and Djab Wurrung woman Lidia Thorpe called the change a “massive win for the grassroots, First Nations people who have been fighting to decolonise this country”. Thorpe has previously called for the Aboriginal actor and activist Uncle Jack Charles, who died in September, to feature on the note.

The Australian treasurer, Jim Chalmers, told reporters on Thursday the change to the $5 note was the right decision. “This is a good opportunity to strike a good balance between the monarch on the coins and a First Nations design on the fiver,” he said.

The Australian Republic Movement chairman, Craig Foster, said Australians should only see themselves in national symbols.

“To think that an unelected king should be on our currency in place of First Nations leaders and elders and eminent Australians is no longer justifiable at a time of truth telling,” he said. According to polling in October by the Sydney Morning Herald, voters preferred the $5 note to feature an Australian, with 43% voting as such and 34% saying King Charles was their choice.

[From The Guardian]

LOL, this is the kind of dumb “culture war” which I generally associate with American politics. God, remember the Harriet-Tubman-on-the-$20-bill arguments? We still don’t have Tubman on the $20! (President Biden says she’s coming.) But sure, I’m glad that Australians are moving away from British monarchs on their currency. In this case, Charles will still be on their change, just not on their bills? It’s a small step, but it definitely feels like Australia is gradually moving towards republicanism.

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, Buckingham Palace.

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49 Responses to “King Charles will not replace his mother on Australia’s $5 bill, interesting”

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  1. C-Shell says:

    It’s archaic and offensive to have a monarch on the currency of a modern democracy, so good for them! It’s definitely a move closer to republicanism. Watching the Commonwealth flake out from under CIII is vastly entertaining.

    • Mabs A'Mabbin says:

      My schaden is so freuded right now.

    • Isabella says:

      I was just in Canada and was surprised to see QE on the bills. I never noticed that before the whole Sussex thing. No decision has been made to replace QE with Charles (same in Australia, New Zealand and the Caribbean).

      Here’s a bigger question: Why have a monarch of another country on the bills at all? Think of all the great Canadians, for instance, who could be honored. People who’ve actually done something for their own country.

    • Elizabeth Phillips says:

      I think Wilma Mankiller should be on the $20 bill in place of Indian killer Andrew Jackson, and Harriet Tubman should be on the $1 bill in place of slave owner George Washington.

  2. Seaflower says:

    Peter Dutton and his LNP cohort can sit this one out given Mr Potato Head (Dutton) and his ilk spent today at the funeral of a convicted pedophile* cardinals funeral and is undermining the “Voice” for our indigenous people in parliament. Grubs.

    *convicted, spent 12 months in jail, freed on legal technicality and escape to live out his life in Vatican City where he couldn’t be extradited from for retrial. That’s before we even talk about said Cardinal’s treatment of children abused by the church.

    • SAS says:

      THANK YOU for highlighting that grub Dutton and all of Pell’s cronies. This was a damn good news story to cleanse the palate imo.

      Quick language note; I’ve moved on from saying “our” Indigenous Australians after it was pointed out to me to be somewhat paternalistic and conveying an ownership. Even though I always used it as a mark of pride of national association, I just say *the* Indigenous/First Nations/Aboriginal community now, and my pride and admiration for the remains inherent.

    • AnnaKist says:

      2GB announcers, and those from the monarchist league are a bunch of right wing pricks.
      They will never support the Voice to Parliament referendum, or anything else, our current government wants to introduce in order to improve the lives of the most impoverished, the downtrodden, the marginalised, the powerless, and the needy. The LNP just wants everybody out working to pay more taxes that never get distributed to the people that really need the services that tax dollars provide.

      The LNP is still not over the fact that they got a trounced on May 31, 2022. All they ever do is whinge and denigrate, anyone who does not agree with them. And that is apart from the fact that they are all like a jilted lover who just can’t let go.

      And how about the lovely Craig Foster? I hope we see and hear lots more of him in the years to come..

      Anthony Albanese drew a line in the sand today by not attending Pell’s funeral. I had every faith in him, even though a few of my friends thought he might cave in at the last minute. Of course Spud, Abbott and Jones were there, aligning themselves with someone who committed the worst of crimes, and proud to be mourners at that maggot’s funeral. What about the other rabid right wing buddies – Peta Credlin, Paul, Murray, Andrew Bolt and the other twats from Sky – did they attend? I suggested throwing his carcass into the sea, but then I thought about the fish… Maybe a disused mine shaft, where it could rot all alone.

      • The Old Chick says:

        I firmly believe pell was sent to hell if one believes in the concept. Fiery damnation is all he deserves.. Abbott was typically appalling. Mr Potato Head can kick rocks. It’s bad enough on coins, but not on notes. His ‘woke’ bs can be shoved very far up his you know where.

    • Carrie says:

      Totally agree with you re George Pell. Peter Dutton’s presence at the funeral was reprehensible. And as for Tony Abbot – what a sorry excuse for a human being that man is.
      This news about not having the tampon king on the $5 note is definitely a step in the right direction.

    • SenseOfTheAbsurd says:

      Dutton’s the kind of person who ends up being tried for war crimes. Also, he appears to be a Neanderthal with alopecia.

  3. Steph says:

    Australian CBers: this makes it seem like the monarchy is already only on one bill of Australian money, the $5, already. Are there any other bills? Who is on them?

    • Seaflower says:

      yes other bills which have Australians on them. The $5 is the smallest domination of note.

      Coins have Betty (soon to be Chuck) on the back and Australian symbols on the front.

      • AnnaKist says:

        Seaflower, I have about $100 in five dollar notes in my cash stash. I’m hanging on to them because I still love, folding the note around the Queen’s portrait in such a way that you can make bum cheeks!

      • Seaflower says:

        @AnnaKist Bwahahahaha! I’ve never tried that.

    • SAS says:

      Yes, each Australian note features a man and a woman, except for the $5 which features Parliament House on one side and the queen on the other.

      Only one of our notes includes a First Nation Australian (David Unaipon). I’m surprised 34% voted for Charles, it’s been an incredibly popular move where I am! My vote is for Eddie Koiki Mabo.

      • SenseOfTheAbsurd says:

        New Zealand’s been moving away too, but each note has a bird on one side, and a prominent person on the other ($5 is a penguin and Sir Edmund Hilary), but the Queen is still the prominent person on the $20, so I hope that’ll get a redesign that doesn’t feature Chuckles.

  4. Elaine says:

    God I hope the bank of Canada doesn’t put Chuck on our 20. We should follow the Australian way and focus on something/someone indigenous.

    • LB says:

      I hope so too. Really odd that the Cdn federal government has not made any announcements yet about this issue. Various polls state that the majority of Canadians do not want KC on our currency. Also, a majority do not want a British monarch as our head of state. Trudeau’s government has slipped in the polls, so maybe they don’t want to touch this issue right now.

      • Jay says:

        When the queen died, the bank of Canada had a statement about the issue being “revisited” in 2025 when they redo the twenty. Basically, they punted it down the road and want to see which way the wind will blow. Let’s hope we follow Australia’s lead!

    • Prairiegirl says:

      Odds are, he’ll be put on coins in due course and kept off the bills. The Bank of Canada, Canadian Mint, and department of Finance decided to move the monarch and prime ministers off our bills for ages now, preferring notable Canadians instead.
      (Ref.: )

  5. ThatsNotOkay says:

    A step in the right direction. Now, step it up with the independence movement! We’d like to see Australia Jump ship while Charles is alive to regret it.

  6. Brassy Rebel says:

    With Charles’ image on their coins, it gives a whole new meaning to “chump change”.

    • YVR says:


    • Mary Pester says:

      BRASSY REBEL, here in the UK we have the Royal Mail, and on the front of our red Post boxes we have (at the moment ER2 PO, I Can’t wait till Charlie chinless has been crowned, then we will have C3PO, anyone else love star wars 🤣🤣

  7. Miranda says:

    “…honours the culture and history of the First Australians.”

    Did they use that wording to be deliberately inflammatory and insult the activists pushing for a First Nations person to appear on currency? Because I can’t really imagine any other scenario in which referring to British prisoners and other settlers as “First Australians” would sound like a good idea. FFS.

    • Grace says:


      Aussie here, the term First Australians is referring to Indigenous Australians and is more a mark of respect.

      • Miranda says:

        OMG, I’m an idiot. I saw your comment and was like, “well yeah, obviously, why is this person correcting me?” Which made me return to that excerpt and, sure enough, I totally misread it! I thought they were talking about keeping QEII on the money and referring to the prisoners and settlers as “First Australians”.😵‍💫😵‍💫 This is what I get for commenting so early when I’m running on no sleep and slightly doped up on cough meds, lol. Thanks for prompting me to re-read it!

      • Kath says:

        Ha ha. Yep, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders beat the rest of us here by at least 65,000 years. They are LITERALLY the First Australians by a long shot.

        It also makes you reflect on the absolute GALL of the British claiming to have “discovered” Australia, when it has been continuously occupied for millennia.

  8. Amy Bee says:

    It’s a minor move but a step in the right direction.

  9. OzJennifer says:

    I don’t especially want his horrid face on our coins either, but then again I rarely carry cash so I won’t have to see him too often.

  10. nutella toast says:

    I realize this is a distinctly American (in my case also Brasilian) perspective, but I don’t see how a fully grown man perches themselves on a ridiculous gold chair and expects people to think he’s special. All I see is a five-year old in a pre-k classroom demanding his buddies to play along. Willing to burn it all down for a “gold” chair. I just don’t get it. I don’t think Harry did either.

  11. BUBS says:

    I guess Charles didn’t “earn” the right to be on the bill! Lol

    • JoJo says:

      Oh @BUBS very good, very apt comment 🤣. Every single thing any one of them ever gets from now on, whether it be fake medals, faces on notes, designer clothes or golden coaches, Twitter should be constantly kept trending… ‘but did he/she earn it’

  12. Snuffles says:

    I think removing their faces off of money is a brilliant, doable first step to removing them completely. Something Canada can do as well.

    Other steps they can take is to remove all of the portraits of the Queen in public spaces, schools, government buildings. Take down any royal related statues, etc. Phase these colonizers out.

  13. Eurydice says:

    The problem with basing your importance on how you were born is that you can’t guarantee when you’ll be born. Sorry, Charles (and William) – you were born at the wrong time.

    • Jay says:

      Brilliant, @Eurydice!

    • Roo says:

      @Eurydice, Yes, and the other problem is that everyone else has to buy in to that same belief. KFC’s problem is that fewer and fewer people accept this belief. “Oh you were born first into that family? Good for you. Here’s an egg.” 😆

  14. Stelle says:

    The only Australia Princess is Princess Mary 😌

  15. JennyJazzhands says:

    Not me misreading the headline and thinking that Charles made a move not to replace his mother on the bill out of love or sentimentality or something. lol

  16. Peanut Butter says:

    Looking at the photo of Charles in his fancy chair, I never realized before how utterly stupid thrones look and are.

  17. Northern says:

    There is a great campaign/exhibition called “Change the Bill” in Canada with artist renditions of the $20 bill with indigenous women. Our current $20 has the Queen, I wonder if this move by Australia will push Canada to do the same!

  18. Annalise says:

    I have been saying for a while now that when the British (and commonwealth) citizens think about what it’s going to be like to see William’s sour face and bald head on ALL their money, they will balk.
    Because I could see many tolerating him as king because after all, he doesn’t have “real” power, but when one starts to contemplate all the ways he will pervade British society as king, they will be less ambivalent. I hope.

  19. blunt talker says:

    I think this is a good balance in a small way that does not offend anyone-every country or nation should have the representation of their own local culture and its people-the royals do not live 24/7 in those nations before their arrival in those nations-the culture and the original people from those nations had lives and customs before any royal person stepped foot on it.