Who was King Canute and why is he on the new UK £5?

Today marks 1,000 years since the coronation of King Canute and to mark the anniversary, The Royal Mint have issued a brand new UK £5 coin. But who was King Canute?

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The Royal Mint have issued this brand new UK £5 coin to celebrate the 1,000th anniversary of the coronation of King Canute

Hailed the ‘king of all England’

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50 years before the Norman Invasion of 1066, Canute crossed the North Sea and won the throne of England.

Recognised as one of the most prominent kings of the Anglo-Saxon era, Canute is widely remembered for conquering kingdoms across northern Europe including England, Denmark, Norway, and areas of Sweden.

Born in Denmark, King Canute’s exact birth year is unknown, although it is thought to be between 985–995 AD.  Canute grew up at a time when the crown of England was being ferociously fought over by the Anglo-Saxons and the Vikings.

Canute became the undisputed successor to the English throne in 1016 after months of warfare between Canute and Edmund Ironside (son of Æthelred ‘The Unready’) and his coronation took place on the 6th January 1017 at the Old St Paul’s cathedral.

Canute or Cnut the Great?

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Canute was originally known as Knútr (which means ‘Knot’) in Old Norse and in Denmark he is still known as Knud den Store (‘Cnut the Great’).

Anglo-Saxons rarely used the letter K and the letter combination ‘CN’ was quite normal in Old English, so his name was spelt CNUT in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle and, importantly, on coins issued in his name in England and Denmark.

Later medieval writers turned this into ‘Canutus’ which became the spelling ‘Canute’, often seen in modern English as a more familiar modern day spelling.

A historical coin

King Canute’s achievements and influence paved the way for the nation we recognise today. He strengthened the currency, initiating a series of coins of equal weight to those being used in Denmark, so it’s only fitting that the design of this brand new £5 coin has been inspired by the original currency of King Canute.

This is the first time ever The Royal Mint has commemorated a 1,000-year anniversary on a coin – an occasion of real significance.


Own Britain’s new £5 coin – the first release of 2017

king-canute-coin-and-coin-packThe 2017 UK King Canute £5

Today you can own the brand new 2017 UK £5 coin issued to mark the 1,000th anniversary of the coronation of King Canute – an anniversary never before celebrated on a UK coin.

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The New 12-sided £1 Coin: All the facts

It has been confirmed that the new 12-sided £1 coin will enter circulation in less than 12 weeks time.

28th March 2017 is sure to become a historic day as we welcome the new coin which has been billed to become the most secure circulating coin in the world.

This will be the first specification change to our £1 coin in more than 3 decades, since the pound was first introduced in 1983.

What’s new?

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Formally named ‘The Nations of the Crown 2017 UK £1‘ the coin was designed by 15-year-old David Pearce following a public competition in 2015. The new design is made up of the English rose, the Welsh leek, the Scottish thistle and the Northern Irish shamrock emerging from one stem within a royal coronet to represent the four constituent countries of the United Kingdom.

Important dates:

28th March 2017:  The new 12-sided £1 coin will enter circulation.  It may take a little while for people to start seeing it in their change as it gradually filters into general use.

28th March – 15th October 2017: During these six months the co-circulation period will take place. You will be able to use both coins as normal in this time in preparation for demonetisation.

16th October 2017: The Round £1 will cease to be legal tender from this day onwards.

We’re really looking forward to finding them in our change when they’re released in 83 days time. And remember, pound coins with the 2017 date are likely to be more sought after – especially in good condition or uncirculated.


Be one of the FIRST people to own the new £1 Coin.

Today you can own all 13 of the United Kingdom’s 2017 coins including the brand new ‘Nations of the Crown’ 12-sided £1 within the latest annual coin pack.

The 2017 United Kingdom Annual Coin Set

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First look: New Royal Mint UK coin designs for 2017

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Every year The Royal Mint mark the year’s memorable events and anniversaries that capture the nation’s striking stories on circulating coins, and 2017 is no different.

Today The Royal Mint have unveiled the new themes and designs for all the 2017 commemorative coins, and Change Checkers can look forward to some very significant British anniversaries being commemorated.

£5 –  King Canute 

2017 marks the 1000th anniversary of the coronation of King Canute and this £5 coin designed by Lee R. Jones has been issued.

This brand new £5 coin depicts King Canute, the Viking conqueror hailed the first ‘king of all England’.

£5 – House of Windsor Centenary 

To mark the 100th anniversary of the creation of the House of Windsor this £5 coin has been designed by John Bergdahl.

A centenary of royal service is commemorated on this £5 coin marking the 100th anniversary of the creation of the House of Windsor – when King George V changed the name of the British Royal Family from the German Saxe-Coburg and Gotha to the English Windsor.

£2 – Jane Austen

Designed by Dominique Evans, a portrait of Jane Austen features on this brand new £2 coin to mark 200 years since her death.

To mark the 200th anniversary of the death of Jane Austen, one of the best-loved English novelists, this £2 coin featuring her portrait has been issued.

£2 – WW1 Aviation 

This £2 coin has been designed by the agency ‘tangerine’ and pays tribute to the aviators of the First World War.

In commemoration of the Centenary of the First World War, The Royal Mint has issued a series of specially commissioned £2 coins. This coin pays tribute to the aviators of the First World War and their sacrifices in the race for supremacy of the skies.

50p – Sir Isaac Newton

This 50p coin has been issued to commemorate the achievements of Sir Isaac Newton and has been designed by Aaron West.

This 50p coin remembers the legacy of Sir Isaac Newton, genius of the Scientific Revolution and one of the most famous men in history. 

The announcement of next year’s coins is always an exciting moment for Change Checkers, particularly when the anniversaries are as significant as these.

And now we can now start looking forward to finding these new designs in our change throughout the year! 


change-checker-2017-commemorative-coinsThe 2017 Change Checker Commemorative Coin Set

If you can’t wait to find these coins in your change you can add the 2017 Change Checker Commemorative Coin Set to your collection today>>

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