Britannia has featured on British coins for many years. She appeared on the copper coins of Charles II and the famous cartwheel pennies, and later bronze pennies, of every monarch up until decimalisation. Britannia was subsequently chosen to appear on the definitive 50p coin.
When the Romans subdued these shores, they named the territory Britannia, personifying the province in the form of a female warrior. Conceived as a symbol of strength, this inspiring figure helped establish political unity. And for 2,000 years she’s been a reassuring presence through times of upheaval and change. Dynasties fall but Britannia endures, underpinning our national identity.
A fixture on coins for centuries, Britannia is more than just a symbol – she chronicles the history of the British Isles. Bound up in her garb is the very spirit of a nation. Her strength stems from her poise, her shield offers protection and her gaze is trained on the future, driving progress onward. For 2018, designer David Lawrence takes Britannia in a different direction, returning her to her roots. His take on our national icon is inspired by the trappings of Ancient Rome.