Queen Elizabeth’s coat of arms is to be featured on new coins from the Royal Mint.

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The traditional shield design will be placed on the reverse of pound coins as part of the biggest changes to British currency in 40 years to be unveiled tomorrow (02.04.08). Smaller close-up details of the shield will be featured on lower denominations down to one pence pieces.

The design was devised after a public competition which attracted more than 4,000 entries, and has been endorsed by both the queen and Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

A royal source said: “I think it is fair to say the royal family are quite satisfied with the new designs.”

The queen’s coat of arms has evolved over many years, and reflects the history of the monarchy and the country.

The coat of arms featured on the new coins will show royal emblems of different parts of the United Kingdom, with the three lions of England in the first and fourth quarters, the lion of Scotland in the second, and the harp of Ireland in the third.