Frantic letter sent to Palace as no warning of Australia note change

King Charles III coin portrait unveiled by the Royal Mint

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A decision to wipe a picture of the reigning monarch from the $5 note in Australia was not run by the royal representative in Canberra before it was publicly announced, reports suggest. Paul Singer, the Governor-General’s secretary, told a Senate estimates hearing on Monday that he was surprised that Government House was not told of the change ahead of time. He said: “The first time I became aware of the decision was the media release from the Reserve Bank”.

The RBA confirmed that King Charles III would not replace his late mother on the note.

A design honouring the culture and history of Aboriginal Australians will instead feature on the pink note.

Mr Singer penned a letter to Buckingham Palace that afternoon with a copy of the media release, reports Mail Online.

“So to ensure they didn’t wake up to the news not having been forewarned,” he added.

Asked about the Governor-General’s response, Mr Singer declined to speak for him but did say David Hurley “probably shared my surprise”.

“We were only made aware of the decision as a consequence of reading the media statement,” the secretary said.

Liberal senator Dean Smith quizzed Mr Singer if he would describe the lack of consultation as “a gross lack of courtesy”.

“That’s for others to comment,” Mr Singer responded.

The finished design is not expected to be finalised for years.

The bank notes featuring the portrait of Queen Elizabeth will continue to be issued and operate as legal tender for some time before the change comes into place.

Although he has been cut off the pink note, King Charles’s profile will feature on Australian coins from the second half of this year.

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