By the time The Queen came to the throne in 1952, Britannia had assumed the status of an immortal having been an enduring feature of British coinage for almost 300 years. How appropriate, then, that she should grace the new gold bullion coins of 1987, coins that were to be immediately identifiable as British. The new coins were released in October 1987 with a new standing figure of Britannia receiving worldwide acclaim.
A Standing Britannia
The new Britannia was created by the sculptor Philip Nathan who, he explained, ‘wanted to make more of Britannia’s links to the sea, personifying as she does the British love of things nautical and great pride in our naval history’. Standing proudly on the shore, hair and gown streaming in the sea breeze, his Britannia is armed with trident and shield, her love of peace symbolised by the olive branch she grasps in her left hand. Her helmet recalls her Roman ancestry, its elongated visor and plume giving her an elegance and grace that in no way detracts from her inherent strength.