The sixth 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 Lion of Mortimer. The White Lion of Mortimer’s relation to The Queen comes from Edward IV through Anne de Mortimer. The Lion’s history extends over 500 years and unlike the Lion of England, this beast is uncrowned. The design on the coin shows the face of the White Lion of Mortimer alongside the ‘white rose en soleil’, a combination of two badges showing a white rose encircled by a golden sun. Both symbols were used as part of the Great Seals of King Edward IV and King Richard III as well as the Duke of York who later became King George VI.
Anne de Mortimer was a medieval English noblewoman who became an ancestress to the royal House of York, one of the parties in the fifteenth-century dynastic Wars of the Roses. It was her line of descent which gave the Yorkist dynasty its first claim to the throne and therefore passing along the heraldic beast known as the The White Lion of Mortimer. 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.