Winston Churchill to appear on new Bank of England banknote

May 30, 2013 – The Bank of England Governor, Sir Mervyn King, announced on April 26 that Sir Winston Churchill will appear on the next Bank of England banknote.

Commenting on the choice, the Governor said: ‘Our banknotes acknowledge the life and work of great Britons. Sir Winston Churchill was a truly great British leader, orator and writer. Above that, he remains a hero of the entire free world. His energy, courage, eloquence, wit and public service are an inspiration to us all. I am proud to announce that he will appear on our next banknote.’
The plan is for the Churchill note to be issued as a £5 note, and that it shall be issued during 2016; but those choices may be reviewed as plans for issuing the new note are finalised.

Features of the design on the reverse of the note will include:

  • A portrait of Winston Churchill from a photograph taken in Ottawa by Yousuf Karsh on 30 December 1941. © Yousuf Karsh/Camera Press.
  • A view of Westminster and the Elizabeth Tower from the South Bank looking across Westminster Bridge. © Abi Daker.
  • The image of the Elizabeth Tower with the hands of the Great Clock at 3 o’clock – the approximate time on 13 May 1940 when Sir Winston Churchill declared in a speech to the House of Commons: ‘I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat.’ This declaration is quoted beneath the portrait.
  • A background image of the Nobel Prize medal which he was awarded in 1953 for literature, together with the wording of the prize citation. The trademark Nobel Prize® is reproduced with permission from the Nobel Foundation.


All current banknotes are listed here.

Chris Salmon, the Bank of England Chief Cashier talks about the choice of Churchill and the new banknote here.

Victoria Cleland, Head of Notes Division, explains in another video clip the various stages of how a banknote is produced.

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