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The Royal Mint pays a historic visit to Britannia


Hot on the heels of the launch of the new P&O Cruises ship Britannia, The Royal Mint presents Captain Paul Brown with a commemorative cast of the new £2 coin featuring a welcome return of our national figurehead Britannia to Britain’s coinage

The Royal Mint’s Shane Bissett with Britannia’s Captain Paul Brown

The Royal Mint’s Shane Bissett with Britannia’s Captain Paul Brown

Rule Britannia! On Tuesday 10 March 2015, P&O Cruises launched Britannia, Great Britain’s largest ever cruise ship, named by Her Majesty The Queen at a spectacular ceremony in Southampton. On Saturday 11 April 2015, The Royal Mint paid a visit to Britannia to present Britannia’s Captain Paul Brown with a commemorative casting of the new £2 coin.


This significant and historic ceremony with The Royal Mint heralds the return of Britannia to Britain’s coinage after an absence of many years.


On a glorious spring day, The Royal Mint’s Head of Commemorative Coin and Medals, Shane Bissett, presented Captain Paul Brown with a specially framed cast of the coin, together with a special edition of the coin itself, to be displayed on board.


‘The birth of two iconic Britannias almost simultaneously is an important event which The Royal Mint and P&O Cruises wanted to mark in an appropriate manner,’ said Mr Bissett. ‘It gives me great pleasure to visit our coin’s namesake, and it is an honour to have the opportunity to commemorate the launch of the cruise ship Britannia.’


Captain Paul Brown was thrilled to receive the historic gift: ‘It is a great honour to receive this special commemorative coin and very fitting that we are on board Britannia, which is "the nation's ship". The name Britannia has great historical resonance with P&O Cruises long and famous heritage and, most importantly, both the ship and new £2 coin pay homage to our past and celebrate the forward-looking Britain of today and the future.’


Britannia first appeared on British coins during the 17th century. Until the introduction of decimalisation in 1971, Britannia featured on pennies. She was most recently represented on 50p coins, until new designs for all British coinage were introduced in 2008.


Her return to a larger coin, which also features a new portrait of Her Majesty The Queen on the reverse, is a noteworthy event, and Prime Minister David Cameron visited the Royal Mint to strike one of the new £2 coins himself, stating: ‘It is great to see Britannia’s welcome return to our currency. Making her first appearance on our coins in the 17th Century, Britannia is an enduring symbol of our national identity, ideal to help reinforce the strong sense of shared purpose and history for modern Britons.’


Find out more about Britannia >