The Bank of England today unveiled the design of a new USD 5 (6.5 euros, USD 7.2) banknote bearing the image of wartime leader Winston Churchill at an event in his family’s ancestral home of Blenheim Palace.
The note, to be rolled out from September, is the first to be printed on polymer — a thin, flexible plastic film that is seen as more durable and secure and is already used in Australia and Canada.
Bank of England governor Mark Carney paid tribute to Churchill’s “bulldog spirit” and said currency was “memory for a country and its people”.
The banknote carries a famous Churchill quote from a speech to parliament during World War II in 1940 in which he said: “I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat”.
In the background is an image of the Houses of Parliament, its clock tower showing 3 PM — the approximate time he pronounced his speech.
Churchill was born at Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire on November 30, 1874. He died aged 90 on January 24, 1965.
The new note will be 15 per cent smaller than the old one, can be wiped clean and is tear-resistant.
Current USD 5 notes feature prison reformer Elizabeth Fry and the announcement that they would be phased out sparked a public outcry over the lack of female figures on banknotes — except for Queen Elizabeth II.
Following a protest petition, the Bank of England announced the new USD 10 note, which will come out from 2017, will feature novelist Jane Austen.