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Ten years on...Some thoughts on the past and future Royals

Well, today is the 10th anniversary of the death of Princess Diana.

Her sons Prince William and Prince Harry developed two distinct memorials this summer. First was the very public rock concert on her birthday, and today a splendid service of Thanksgiving. You can read the New York Times presentation of the Associated Press story here. And Prince Harry's talk here. For the official Royal Family site, and schedule, click here.

Diana has been commemorated on plenty of postage stamps which make use of the extensive photographic library available. Coinage memorials need to be sculptural, and thus usually require good artistic imput. We have 257 different types listed in the Standard Catalog of World Coins, between the 20th and 21st Century editions. It was easy to do a design/type search using the on-line version of the catalog, called Numismaster.

Some of those commemorative coins have been successful and dignified. The official 5 pound coin of Great Britain is at right. It is a Royal Mint product and depicts her in the often-seen "Shy Di" pose with a modest, ever-so-slight downward glance. Some postraits have been just unidentifiable, and one is glad that her name is part of the legend as an aid to identify the portrait. The Liberia 5 dollar coin is below. It is a Pobjoy Mint Product, and a sad example of poor sculptural work.

She appears on at least one "fantasy" 5 pound bank note producted some years ago. There are no official government issue commemorative bank notes, and I do not know of any other formal intaglio portrait engravings. Not even on postage stamps, as the trend is to have photos used for that medium. Intaglio engraving is expensive and has gone out of fashion on stamp production.

However, the thought I came away with after watching the memorial service today is how tall and handsome the two young princes are, and that one day, we will have engraved bank notes with a nice formal portrait of King William, perhaps in the robes of the Garter, or the robes of state, as we had with King George V on the notes of Canada, or in a sharp business suit, as we had with King George VI, in Malta and Canada among others.