The Queens Head

Discussion in 'Medals' started by Wobblyhead, Nov 27, 2011.

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  1. I was looking at a display of various medals in the entrance to Army HQ at Andover, showing campaign medals and stars from over a century ago up to present day and noticed that Queen Elizabeth II is looking in the opposite direction to all the previous monarchs. (That were displayed).
    Is there a historical precedent/reason for this, or is it just one of those things?
  2. Same thing with coins, each change of monarch has a change in direction. British tradition and all that.
    • Like Like x 1
  3. It's because it's her best side.
  4. Anorak moment coming up.......

    The sequence has always gone with a succeeding monarch facing the opposite way to their predecessor until 1936 when the following scandal happened.

    George V had his head facing toward the left but when he died his son Edward VIII decided that his left profile was the best because he was a vain twat, consequently Edward ordered his image to face the left like his father.
    When Edward abdicated, George VI had his image facing left so it would appear that the left/right sequence was uninterrupted.

    Startlingly boring I know but totally true.

    I'm getting back in the box right now.........
    • Like Like x 1
  5. seaweed

    seaweed LE Book Reviewer

    Ditto postage stamps; plenty of E VIII stamps about.

    Has anyone ever seen, for instance, a GSM with E VIII on it? Must be very rare.

    Main Post Offices have a Royal Cypher on them. Ours has E VIII's in terracotta and is supposed to be one of only two in the country. meanwhile I don't think I've ever seen an E VIII pillar box. Any pillar box anoraks out there?

    As quoted to me by the previous generation, from Christmas 1936:

    "Hark the herald angels sing,
    Wallis Simpson's pinched our King."
  6. I'm not but they do exist apparently

  7. Cheers LPJ, that explains it. Despite myself I enjoy learning (fairly) useless stuff like that, I can sometimes become a full on geek about that sort of thing.
  8. No problem, this goes back to George the First as far as I can ascertain.
    As previously mentioned, it also applies to coinage, stamps etc.

    Although plenty of Edward VIII stamps were issued, no medals or coins went into general circulation as far as I am aware.
    Some Proof coins were struck by the Royal Mint but remain as patterns in their museum.

    If by any chance you have a 1936-37 (UK currency) coin with Edward's head on it, it is either a fake or you are now a very wealthy person.
  9. So the lucky coin, my granddad kept in his xmas tin is worth a pint or two then.
  10. Tripe. They face whichever way the accepted design faces. Victoria, Edward VII, George V and VI all faced left and right. Auntie Betty also faces both left and right depending which effigy is used on which medal.
  11. Perhaps you would like to show us EIIR (or other monarchs) coins and medals with the head facing in both left and right directions then.

    Edited to add : I got the info about stamps wrong but the direction on coins and medals is Kosher.
  12. If it is a UK currency coin dated 1936-37 with Edward's head on it you could probably buy your own brewery.
  13. RP578

    RP578 LE Book Reviewer

    LPJ is right, there were no medals struck with Edward VIII's head on them. The GSM 1918 had six different Obverses, two for George V, George VI and Elizabeth II each. Examples can be seen here: The British General Service Medal 1918 - 1962
  14. I could have sworn Betty's head faced left on at least one of the designs. Oh well. In any case, I thought this thread was about my local.