Britain unveils royal wedding coin

3rd March 2011, Comments 0 comments

The official coin for Prince William and Kate Middleton's wedding on April 29 was unveiled Thursday, showing the couple's profiles on one side with Queen Elizabeth II's image on the reverse.

The £5 ($8, five-euro) commemorative coin published by the Royal Mint bears a simple text, "William and Catherine, 29 April 2011", and shows the couple looking at each other in profile.

According to the artist's impression of the coin, which the prince has approved, Kate, 29, is smiling naturally, showing her teeth, with her long hair covering her ears, while William, 28, has his mouth slightly open.

In December when it issued a commemorative coin for the couple's engagement, the Royal Mint attracted criticism that it was unflattering to Kate. One commentator suggested she had the "flattened features of a pugilist."

"The official UK royal wedding coin has been designed by Mark Richards, a fellow of the Royal Society of British Sculptors," said a spokeswoman, adding that he had been chosen after an invitation-only tender process.

The Royal Mint advisory committee, which is made up of experts in art, design, history and heraldry, selected the design and it was then sent to William for approval.

"With Prince William's full approval received, the coin design was submitted to the chancellor (finance minister) and finally to Her Majesty The Queen for approval," she said.

Although the coin has a value of £5 it costs £9.99 to buy and is available to pre-order from the Royal Mint website. It will receive final legal approval on March 16, at which point it will pass into production.

"Public interest in this great event is already huge, and building every day, so we are anticipating massive demand for these official commemorative coins," said a statement on the Royal Mint's website.

© 2011 AFP

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