ELIZABETH & LION – 2012 – FRACTIONAL SOVEREIGN SET OF 3
In 2012 Britain will celebrate an event that has happened just once in our history before, the Diamond Jubilee of our beloved monarch. Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II will reach the 60th anniversary of her reign, a milestone that has only ever been celebrated for one other monarch – her great-great-grandmother Queen Victoria.
As part of the joyous celebrations of this grand occasion, a gold set comprised of sovereign, half sovereign, and quarter sovereign has been released. The design on all three coins in this gold set features Elizabeth II and the Lion, a link to the tale of Una and the Lion. The tale of Una and the Lion has its origins in the epic poem ‘The Faerie Queene’ by Edmund Spenser. It is the longest poem in English literature. It was written as a tribute to another of our greatest monarchs – Queen Elizabeth I – whose reign spanned over 44 years.
The figure of Una, graceful and vulnerable, was used as an allegorical suggestion to those critics who regarded with dismay the accession of a young inexperienced girl to the helm of a flourishing kingdom with a far flung empire – Victoria was just 18 when she became queen. The coin suggests that Victoria will triumph, just as Una does in the poem, by virtue of her goodness. The reign of our own Queen, Elizabeth II, has also been a triumph and Her Majesty has been a calming and steadfast influence through six decades of change. When you consider she came to the throne in the 1950’s and the substantial change Britain has gone through since that time, her Diamond Jubilee is a cause for the whole nation to celebrate.