Britannia has represented the nation for almost 2,000 years and has become part of Britain’s identity; a cultural symbol of strength and pride. The figure has evolved through the centuries, just like the nation she represents, and has been depicted in many forms. She is always powerful and strong, yet composed and peaceful – a watchful guardian.
In 1987, Philip Nathan emerged as the winner of a competition to find a design for a new bullion coin. The coin was called Britannia, a powerful name that would instantly stand out in an international market.
The artist was inspired by Britannia’s past, but not confined by it. Many interpretations of Britannia reflect ancient Greek mythology, but Philip Nathan hoped to create a more realistic and raw character inspired by Boudicca, commonly known as Boadicea. His reimagining of Britannia places her on the shore, windswept, in a classical gown, with a trident in hand and the waves at her feet.