• 1 Crown 1965, KM# 910, United Kingdom (Great Britain), Elizabeth II, Death of Sir Winston Churchill
  • 1 Crown 1965, KM# 910, United Kingdom (Great Britain), Elizabeth II, Death of Sir Winston Churchill
Description

The British crown, the successor to the English crown and the Scottish dollar, came into being with the Union of the kingdoms of England and Scotland in 1707. As with the English coin, its value was five shillings.

Following the death of the great man, Sir Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill, in 1965, a commemorative crown was issued in his honour and memory. This issue carried the image of Winston Churchill on the reverse, the first time a non-monarch or commoner was ever placed on a British coin.

Obverse

First portrait of HM Queen Elizabeth II facing right, wearing a wreath. It was introduced in 1953, one year after the Queen acceded to the throne. It captures the grace and youth of the 26 year old new Queen. Her hair is brushed off her face and is rolled at the back of her head. Her hair is restrained by a laureate crown which is tied with ribbons at the back of her head. The Queen's shoulders are bare and the truncation follows the curve of the coin. The engravers initials M.G. are incuse, generally faint, and are located on the raised edge found at the base of the bust above the “BR” of BRITT.

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

Engraver: Mary Gillick

ELIZABETH II DEI GRATIA REGINA F·D· 1965
M.G.

Reverse

A sombre-looking portrait of Sir Winston Churchill, in a siren suit facing right.

Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill (1874–1965) was a British statesman who was the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1940 to 1945 and again from 1951 to 1955. Churchill was also an officer in the British Army, a non-academic historian, and a writer (as Winston S. Churchill). He won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1953 for his overall, lifetime body of work.

At the forefront of politics for fifty years, he held many political and cabinet positions. Following the resignation of Neville Chamberlain on 10 May 1940, Churchill became Prime Minister. His speeches and radio broadcasts helped inspire British resistance, especially during the difficult days of 1940–41 when the British Commonwealth and Empire stood almost alone in its active opposition to Adolf Hitler. He led Britain as Prime Minister until victory over Nazi Germany had been secured.

After the Conservative Party suffered an unexpected defeat in the 1945 general election, he became Leader of the Opposition to the Labour Government. He publicly warned of an "Iron Curtain" of Soviet influence in Europe and promoted European unity. After winning the 1951 election, Churchill again became Prime Minister. His second term was preoccupied by foreign affairs, including the Malayan Emergency, Mau Mau Uprising, Korean War, and a UK-backed coup d'état in Iran. Upon his death aged ninety in 1965, Elizabeth II granted him the honour of a state funeral, which saw one of the largest assemblies of world statesmen in history.

Engraver: Oscar Nemon

CHURCHILL

Edge
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Characteristics
Type Commemorative Issue (Circulating)
Material Cupronickel
Weight 28.28 g
Diameter 38.5 mm
Thickness 3 mm
Shape round
Alignment Medal
Mint
Royal Mint

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