• 2 Pounds 1989, KM# 960, United Kingdom (Great Britain), Elizabeth II, 300th Anniversary of the Bill of Rights
  • 2 Pounds 1989, KM# 960, United Kingdom (Great Britain), Elizabeth II, 300th Anniversary of the Bill of Rights
Description

The Bill of Rights is an Act of the Parliament of England that deals with constitutional matters and sets out certain basic civil rights. Passed on 16 December 1689, it is a restatement in statutory form of the Declaration of Right, 1689 presented by the Convention Parliament to William and Mary in February 1689, inviting them to become joint sovereigns of England. The Bill of Rights lays down limits on the powers of the monarch and sets out the rights of Parliament, including the requirement for regular parliaments, free elections, and freedom of speech in Parliament. It sets out certain rights of individuals including the prohibition of cruel and unusual punishment and reestablished the liberty of Protestants to have arms for their defence within the rule of law. Furthermore, the Bill of Rights described and condemned several misdeeds of James II of England.

These ideas reflected those of the political thinker John Locke and they quickly became popular in England. It also sets out—or, in the view of its drafters, restates—certain constitutional requirements of the Crown to seek the consent of the people, as represented in Parliament.

In the United Kingdom, the Bill of Rights is further accompanied by Magna Carta, the Petition of Right, the Habeas Corpus Act 1679 and the Parliament Acts 1911 and 1949 as some of the basic documents of the uncodified British constitution. The Bill of Rights 1689 was one of the inspirations for the United States Bill of Rights.

Obverse

Third crowned portrait of HM Queen Elizabeth II facing right, wearing the George IV State Diadem.

The George IV State Diadem, officially the Diamond Diadem, is a type of crown that was made in 1820 for King George IV. The diadem is worn by queens and queens consort in procession to coronations and State Openings of Parliament. The piece of jewellery has been featured in paintings and on stamps and currency. It can be seen in the Queen's Gallery at Buckingham Palace.

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

From 1985 to 1991 the head of Queen Elizabeth II was a slightly smaller size. From 1993 to 1997 the head was a slightly larger size. The change over was made part way through 1992 so there are two versions in this year. 1997 has small varieties in design of the portrait.

Engraver: Raphael David Maklouf

ELIZABETH·II·DEI·GRATIA·REGINA·F·D
· TWO POUNDS ·
RDM

Reverse

Cypher of 'W&M' (King William and Queen Mary) interlaced surmounting a horizontal Parliamentary Mace and representation of the Royal Crown above and the dates 1689 and 1989 below, all within the inscription 'Tercentenary of the Bill of Rights'.

A ceremonial mace is a highly ornamented staff of metal or wood, carried before a sovereign or other high official in civic ceremonies by a mace-bearer, intended to represent the official's authority. The monarch is referred to as the "third part of Parliament" and signs into law the Bills which are voted on and passed in Parliament. Parliament cannot lawfully meet without the Mace, representing the monarch's authority, being present in the chambers. The maces are carried into, and out of, the two chambers in procession at the beginning and end of each day.

St Edward's Crown is one of the oldest Crown Jewels of the United Kingdom and the centrepiece of the coronation regalia. Named after Edward the Confessor, it has traditionally been used to crown English and British monarchs at their coronation ceremonies. The current version was made for the coronation of Charles II in 1661.

Engraver: John Lobban

TERCENTENARY OF THE BILL OF RIGHTS
WM
1689
1989

Edge
Characteristics
Type Commemorative Issue (Circulating)
Material Nickel Brass
Weight 15.98 g
Diameter 28.4 mm
Thickness -
Shape round
Alignment Medal
Mint
Royal Mint

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