• 50 Pence 2003-2009, KM# 1036, United Kingdom (Great Britain), Elizabeth II, 100th Anniversary of the Women's Social and Political Union
  • 50 Pence 2003-2009, KM# 1036, United Kingdom (Great Britain), Elizabeth II, 100th Anniversary of the Women's Social and Political Union
Description

The Women's Social and Political Union (WSPU) was the leading militant organisation campaigning for Women's suffrage in the United Kingdom, 1903–1917. It was founded at the Pankhurst family home in Manchester on 10 October 1903 by six women, including Emmeline and Christabel Pankhurst, who soon emerged as the group's leaders. It was best known for hunger strikes (and forced feeding), for breaking windows in prominent buildings, and for night-time arson of unoccupied houses and churches.

The 2009 Proof strike was issued in sets to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the 50 pence denomination.

Obverse

Fourth crowned portrait of HM Queen Elizabeth II facing right, wearing the Girls of Great Britain and Ireland tiara.

The Girls of Great Britain and Ireland tiara was a wedding present in 1947 from her grandmother, Queen Mary, who received it as a gift from the Girls of Great Britain and Ireland in 1893 on the occasion of her marriage to the Duke of York, later George V. Made by E. Wolfe & Co., it was purchased from Garrard & Co. by a committee organised by Lady Eve Greville. In 1914, Mary adapted the tiara to take 13 diamonds in place of the large oriental pearls surmounting the tiara. At first, Elizabeth wore the tiara without its base and pearls but the base was reattached in 1969. The Girls of Great Britain and Ireland Tiara is one of Elizabeth's most recognisable pieces of jewellery due to its widespread use on British banknotes and coinage.

ELIZABETH II DEI GRATIA REGINA FIDEI DEFENSATRIX means Elizabeth II, by the grace of God, Queen and Defender of the Faith.

Engraver: Ian Rank-Broadley

ELIZABETH·II·D·G REG·F·D·2003
IRB

Reverse

The figure of a suffragette chained to railings and holding a banner on which appear the letters WSPU, to the right a ballot paper marked with a cross and the words GIVE WOMEN THE VOTE, to the left the value 50 PENCE, and below and to the far right the Anniversary dates 1903 and 2003

Engraver: Mary Milner-Dickens

WS
PU
50
PENCE
GIVE
WOMEN
THE
VOTE
1903
2003

Edge
Characteristics
Type Commemorative Issue (Circulating)
Material Cupronickel
Weight 8 g
Diameter 27.3 mm
Thickness 1.78 mm
Shape polygon
Sides 7
Alignment Medal

Related coins

4th portrait, Silver Proof

100th Anniversary of the Women's Social and Political Union

Silver, 16 g, ⌀ 27.3 mm