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Queen join Queen on new commemorative £5 coins

By | Published on Monday 20 January 2020

Brian May with Queen £5 coin

In an absolute mockery of the classic game ‘heads or tails’, The Royal Mint has announced that it’s putting the band Queen on a new range of coins. How are any decisions supposed to get made if there’s a queen on both sides of the coin? Irresponsible.

To be fair, the band members’ heads will not actually appear on the coins. Rather each of their instruments will feature. Now, instruments aren’t tails, but then the tails side rarely features actual tails. So maybe The Royal Mint fully considered the flipping requirement before designed its Queen coin collection.

Why instruments you might reasonably ask? Well, maybe they flipped a coin to decide. Maybe everything at the Royal Mint is done on a coin flip. “Can I have a pay rise?” “I don’t know, pass me that 10p over there”.

This is the first in a new series of coins called ‘Music Legends’, which will celebrate various British music legends. So I assume classic 90s girl group Vanilla will be up next. But for now it’s just Queen. You’re spoiled for choice when it comes to buying a Queen coin though. There are four different versions of the standard £5 coin to choose from. They’ll cost you between £13 and £15 each, which seems a bit steep. Especially given most shops will assume you’re taking the piss if you try to spend them.

If you’ve got a little bit more money you have entirely no need for, you can buy silver coins for £60 or £90. Or, if you’re absolutely made of money, you could buy one of two gold coins, for which you’ll be charged either £510 or £2020. Incredible. The sooner we join the Euro the better.

Queen’s Brian May and Roger Taylor are, as you might expect, quite chuffed. May says, with an almost tangible sense of sincerity: “This is a big ‘who could have imagined it?’ moment for us. When we began as Queen, even the first rung of the ladder to recognition seemed remote and unreachable. To have our band recognised and our music celebrated in this way is very touching – a real honour”.

Tough act to follow there in the quoting domain, but I’m sure Taylor can come up with something to match his bandmate’s honourable statement. Here goes: “Marvellous, all this fuss over our band. I feel entirely spent”.

Oh for fuck’s sake, Roger. Why do you always have to ruin everything? You might as well just have said, ‘I coin’t believe it” and left it at that. You’re the absolute worst, Taylor. The absolute worst.

Not even acknowledging Taylor’s terrible pun, Royal Mint Chief Commercial Officer Nicola Howell gives a bit more context: “Queen were one of the most influential bands of their generation, and their timeless classics are still enjoyed by millions of fans around the world. That’s why we’re so pleased to be honouring their great contribution to British music with their very own coin, which will be the first time a British band has been celebrated on UK coinage. British music is one of our greatest contributions to culture around the world, and it’s musicians like Queen who are at the forefront of this”.

Yes, in these most Brexit-y of times, it seems apt to commemorate music’s contribution to exporting British culture around the world with a coin you can’t use abroad and would struggle to use at home too.

The designer of the Queen coin, Chris Facey, also commented on the project, but his quote starts, “My first memory of Queen was hearing ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ in the film ‘Wayne’s World'” and I didn’t get any further than that.

Anyway, you can look at the coins and revel in the absolute futility of human existence here.