Description of obverse and reverse
Obverse: the Royal Mint is delighted to be able to mark such a historic year for The Queen with a new obverse portrait which shows an effigy of Her Majesty The Queen in the present wearing her Garter Robes. The Queen wears the Garter Robes when she attends the ‘Order of the Garter.’ This is the most senior and the oldest British order of Chivalry which honours those who have held public office, who have contributed in a particular way to national life or who have served the sovereign personally. He describes this portrait as having dignity, gravitas and bearing. Ian Rank-Broadley took his inspiration from a portrait relief of The Queen which he recently created and is displayed in the Garter Room of the Supreme Court.
Reverse: for the reverse portrait Ian Rank-Broadley was inspired by Mary Gillick’s portrait of The Queen which was the first portrait of The Queen that appeared on UK circulating coins from 1953 until 1968. He has used his own interpretation of this portrait in order to add other elements to the design including foliage, which is a specific reference to Queen Victoria – the only other monarch to achieve her Diamond Jubilee in 1897 as her medal also included foliage. The reverse contains the words DIRIGE DEVS GRESSVS MEOS – may God guide my steps. An edge inscription also appears on all precious metal coins except fine Gold-Plated Silver of A VOW MADE GOOD – a reference to The Queen’s promise of 21st April 1947: ‘I declare before you all that my whole life, whether it be long or short, shall be devoted to your service and the service of our great imperial family to which we all belong’.
A brief annotation
Inspired partly by Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee commemorative medal designs, it spans The Queen’s reign with two royal portraits created by one of Britain’s foremost sculptors, Ian Rank Broadley – one recalling the portrait prepared by Mary Gillick for the coins at the start of The Queen’s reign from 1953 and one inspired by the magnificent sculpture he created for the new Supreme Court building in London’s Parliament Square.
The Royal Mint has been at the heart of Royal events for over 1,000 years. Every key milestone in the life of Her Majesty The Queen has been marked from her Coronation in 1953, Silver and Golden Jubilees to her Golden and Diamond Wedding anniversaries.
The coins struck to celebrate major Royal celebrations are extremely popular both in the UK and around the world. This Diamond Jubilee UK £5 coin became one of the most popular ever issued by the Royal Mint in the long history.