Many Australians are calling for the late Steve Irwin to replace King Charles III on Aussie money in the wake of the death of Queen Elizabeth II. The United Kingdom’s longest-reigning monarch passed away on Thursday, September 8, leaving eldest son Charles as the new king. While that means replacing the Queen on the face of banknotes and coins throughout the Commonwealth, not everyone welcomes the face of Charles.
Only in Australia 🤣🤣🤣
— Valkyrie’s Vigil (@valkyrie_vigil) September 9, 2022
- Steve Irwin is a national hero. The zookeeper, conservationist, and wildlife expert sadly died in 2006 after an accidental attack by a stingray. His fans and fellow countrymen have worked to keep his memory and his work alive in the years since, so placing him on Australia’s currency seems a natural move to many.
- The so-called campaign began on social media. The somewhat tongue-in-cheek idea of placing Steve Irwin on currency in place of Charles began online after one woman tweeted: “Time to replace Queen Elizabeth’s face on cash with Steve Irwin or Heath Ledger, I reckon.” Another added: “Can we get a petition to get Steve Irwin’s face on money in place of the queen going? It’s what we all want.” A third chimed in: “The $5 note will explode in value if we put him on that note.”
- Steve Irwin is only one of the suggestions. Those who would rather anyone but Charles be placed on Australian banknotes and coins. One man on Reddit questioned: “Who we gonna put on all our money? Because I can’t see that Charles on there. Maybe Steve Irwin, or Russell Coight? Throw us some ideas.” Suggestions ranged from the bird known as a “bin chicken,” the Ibis. “Considering the cultural history of Straya taking the p*** out of itself I completely support putting bin chickens on coins,” one person replied.” Others suggested pavlova or lamingtons, popular Aussie desserts.
- King Charles III won’t replace Queen Elizabeth II on currency for a while. And even when it does switch over, King Charles III will only appear on $5 notes, with a Reserve Bank of Australia spokesperson noting: “The reigning monarch has traditionally appeared on the lowest denomination of Australian banknote.” That being said, the change isn’t due to happen for a while, and fivers featuring Queen Elizabeth II won’t be taken out of circulation.