Description

When Her Majesty The Queen was crowned in 1953, the entrance to Westminster Abbey was guarded by 10 fantastical creatures – The Queen’s Beasts – created by sculptor James Woodford RA. First sculpted in plaster, the Queen's Beasts have had several homes since their debut, now residing in the Canadian Museum of History in Quebec. However, James Woodford RA also sculpted replicas of the beasts in Portland stone that now sit outside the Kew Gardens in London.

The Queen’s Beasts are issued since 2016 in commemorative coin form, launched one beast at a time. The coins are available in a range of finishes, from mint-condition Brilliant Uncirculated cupro-nickel to Proof editions in silver and gold, struck from 1-ounce to 1-kilo sizes.

The White Lion of Mortimer (sometimes known as the White Lion of March) is the seventh creature to appear on the Royal Mint’s commemorative “Queen’s Beasts” range following the launch of the Lion of England, Unicorn of Scotland, Red Dragon of Wales, Black Bull of Clarence, Falcon of the Plantagenets and Yale of Beaufort.

The entire series' designs are created by engraver Jody Clark.

Obverse

The fifth crowned portrait of HM Queen Elizabeth II facing right, wearing the George IV State Diadem and drop earrings.

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 jewelry 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.

ELIZABETH II·D·G·REG·FID·DEF·5 POUNDS·
JC

Reverse

Depicts the White Lion of Mortimer standing proudly beside a Yorkist shield dividing date and surrounded by the inscription below.

The White Lion of Mortimer descends to the Queen through Edward IV. The shield shows a white rose encircled by a golden sun, known heraldically as a ‘white rose en soleil’ which is really a combination of two distinct badges. Both of these appear on the Great Seals of Edward IV and Richard III, and were used by George VI when Duke of York. This beast is usually shown sitting with its tail between its legs, characterising traits of loyalty and discipline. Unlike the Lion of England, the White Lion is uncrowned, and its tongue and claws are blue as opposed to red.

Anne Mortimer (1388–1411) was a medieval English noblewoman who became an ancestress to the royal House of York, one of the parties in the fifteenth-century dynastic Wars of the Roses. It was her line of descent which gave the Yorkist dynasty its claim to the throne. Anne was the mother of Richard, Duke of York, and thus grandmother of kings Edward IV and Richard III.

· 2020 ·
JC
WHITE LION OF MORTIMER

Edge

5 Pounds (Crown)

5th portrait

Queen's Beasts
White Lion of Mortimer

Subscribe series
KM#
Characteristics
Type Commemorative Issue (Non-circulating)
Material Cupronickel
Weight 28.2 g
Diameter 38.6 mm
Thickness -
Shape round
Alignment Medal
Mint
Royal Mint

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