Queen Reacts to Being 1st Band Ever Commemorated on British Money

Queen are one of the most beloved bands in British history – and that’s saying a lot! Queen made history by becoming the first band in Britain‘s history to be commemorated on a coin. Here’s what some of the band’s original members had to say.

Queen circa 1970 | Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Queen makes British coins more awesome

One of the interesting things about British currency is how it sometimes honors great British artists. For example, the BBC reports that one of Britain’s most popular novelists, Jane Austen, is depicted on 10 pound notes. The U.K. is now looking to celebrate its musical heritage on its money.

The Chief Commercial Officer at The Royal Mint, Nicola Howell, discussed this historic event. According to Business Insider, Howell said “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.”

Howell continued “British music is one of our greatest contributions to culture around the world…We’re looking forward to announcing other coins in our new ‘Music Legends’ collection later this year, marking the work of other exceptional British musicians.” They certainly picked a good band to start off the series!

The Queen coins

Original members of the band are stunned

According to Billboard, Brain May, an original member of the band, was enthused by this honor. “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 recognized and our music celebrated in this way is very touching – a real honor.”

An original member of the band, Roger Taylor, was also happy. According to Business Insider, he said “Marvellous, all this fuss over our band. I feel entirely spent.” Freddie Mercury is no longer with us, but he undoubtedly would have been pleased with this development.

The origins of the Queen coins

Queen’s original lineup: Brian May, Roger Taylor, Freddie Mercury, and bassist John Deacon | Dave Hogan/Getty Images

Chris Facey, the designer of the coin, was elated. “My first memory of Queen was hearing ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ in the film Wayne’s World, and I’ve been a big fan ever since. It’s therefore such an honour to be asked to commemorate such an extraordinary band on a UK coin, and even more exciting as it’s the first coin I’ve designed.” He added “I hope that fans will enjoy seeing each of their contributions paid tribute to on this coin.”

Members of the band are not depicted on the coins. However, their signature instruments are, specifically Mercury’s piano, May’s guitar – Taylor’s bass drum, and John Deacon’s bass. A portion of the band’s logo can also be seen on the coins.

These coins are both a great honor for the band and a great marketing opportunity. According to Billboard, Universal Music Group’s merchandise and brand management company, Bravado, helped orchestrate the creation of these coins alongside The Royal Mint. It will be fascinating to see which bands are similarly honored in the future. Britain certainly has many great bands to choose from.

Also see: Why Did ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ Upset Freddie Mercury’s Mother?