The eighth coin in the stunning new series of £2 Bi-Metal Coins featuring the Queen’s Beasts. The coin, issued on behalf of the British Indian Ocean Territory, features the Griffin of Edward III. The Griffin of Edward III’s relation to the Queen come from Edward III, founder of the Order of the Garter who engraved the Griffin on his private seal. Edward III, also known as Edward Windsor, used the seal bearing the image of the griffin for 20 years. It is said that he had bed linen and robes embroidered with the beasts. His private seal used to be the most powerful and authoritative symbol of royal identity.
The griffin is a mythical creature with the body, tail and back legs of a lion and the head and wings of an eagle. It is said that it represents a combination of courage, strength, guardianship and leadership and it’s meant to have the natural keen vision and swiftness of the mighty eagle. The design on the coin shows a griffin’s head with a shield at the centre showing the Round Tower of Windsor with the Royal Standard flying from the turret, enclosed by two branches of oak surmounted by the royal crown. The Queen’s Beasts are ten heraldic statues representing the genealogy of Queen Elizabeth II which are depicted as the Royal supporters of England with each one consisting of a heraldic beast supporting a shield bearing the badge or arms of a family associated with the ancestry of Queen Elizabeth II. The original statues were commissioned to stand at an entrance of Westminster Abbey for Her Majesty’s Coronation in 1953. Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II celebrated her 95th Birthday in 2021 and we therefore felt that a series of coins featuring the Queen’s Beasts would be a perfect tribute to celebrate this event, a milestone that no other Monarch has reached. The obverse of the coin features the Pobjoy Mint exclusive effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.