Images representing Shakespeare plays and Beatrix Potter tales will be among those featuring on new coins in the UK in 2016 to give a snapshot of the country over the past 1,000 years, the Royal Mint said today.
The histories, comedies and tragedies of Shakespeare will be depicted on 2 pound coins, 400 years after his death.
A 50 pence coin will honour Helen Beatrix Potter to mark the 150 years since her birth, while another commemorates the Battle of Hastings, 950 years ago.
Potter was an English author, illustrator, natural scientist, and conservationist best known for her children’s books featuring animals such as those in The Tale of Peter Rabbit.
A picture of the Great Fire of London will be embossed onto a 2 pound coin to mark the event’s 350th anniversary.
The coins are meant to give a snapshot of Britain over the past 1,000 years, marking key moments, organisations and people that have shaped the nation.
The Royal Mint’s five-year programme to mark the centenary of World War I will continue with a 2 pound coin remembering the community pride that fuelled the rise of the “Pals” battalions, and will bear a design reminiscent of the art deco styling of the time.
Each coin bears the fifth definitive portrait of the Queen by Royal Mint engraver Jody Clark.
Anne Jessopp, director of commemorative coin at the Royal Mint, said: “It is always exciting to see the new year’s designs revealed, commemorating the moments that matter, and revisiting some of the great events and stories from our history.
“The British public should start to see these coins appearing in their change from spring 2016,” Jessopp said.