British passports have undergone a number of changes since Brexit but now they’re set to be altered in a new way. The new lettering hasn’t been seen on UK passports for 70 years.
The government announced the change yesterday, July 18, stating that British passports bearing the title of “His Majesty” will start being issued this week. The change is ushered in as King Charles III has taken the throne after the death of Her Majesty the Queen Elizabeth II.
A whopping five million new passports have been issued in the last six months, and from today, any that are printed will bear the wording His Majesty instead.
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The government website states: "For the first time in 70 years, British passports bearing the title of ‘His Majesty’ will start being issued this week in the name of His Majesty King Charles III, the Home Secretary has today (18 July) announced.
"The update to the salutation comes as His Majesty’s Passport Office (HM Passport Office) continues to deliver exceptional service to British citizens as the busy summer period approaches."
Home Secretary Suella Braverman said: "For 70 years, Her Majesty has appeared on British passports and many of us will not remember a time when she did not feature. Today marks a significant moment in UK history, as the first British passports since 1952 start featuring the title of His Majesty, the King.
"As HM Passport Office enters a new era in its history, it is delivering an exceptional service and I am extremely grateful for their outstanding accomplishments and the unwavering dedication of the whole team to meet the needs of the British public. While vast improvements have been made, I continue to urge the public to make sure they apply for passports in good time."
The last time British passports said His Majesty was before Queen Elizabeth’s reign when her father King George VI was the monarch. The first page of British passports contain a representation of the Royal Arms along with the wording that will from now be changed.
Until now, since the Queen's coronation in 1952, it has said: "Her Britannic Majesty's Secretary of State requests and requires in the name of Her Majesty all those whom it may concern to allow the bearer to pass freely without let or hindrance and to afford the bearer such assistance and protection as may be necessary."
Other changes that have come into force in recent years include changing the passports from the EU-member burgundy to the dark blue current model. This was done after Britain left the EU through Brexit.
Now that the UK is no longer a part of the EU British passports must be under 10 years old and have between three and six months validity left to travel to EU states.
Most passports expire after 10 years, but some saw extra months added to their validity a number of years ago. The extra months will no longer be able to be used when travelling to the EU.
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