The fifth 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 White Horse of Hanover. The White Horse of Hanover was introduced into the Royal Arms in 1714 when the crown of Great Britain was passed from the last Sovereign of the House of Stuart to George of Hanover, who became George I, King of Great Britain and Ireland. The design on the coin shows a side profile of the White Horse of Hanover alongside the shield showing the leopards of England and the lion of Scotland in the first quarter, the fleur-de-lis of France in the second and the Irish harp in the third quarter. The fourth quarter shows the arms of Hanover, complete with the White Horse of Hanover.
The House of Hanover controlled the throne of England for nearly 200 years from 1714 to 1901. For 85 years, the Royal Arms of England carried by King George I went unchanged. This included the entire reign of King George I, the entire reign of his son King George II, and the first 40 years of the reign of King George III. It was only changed in 1801 after the British monarchy relinquished claims to the throne of France. 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.