Prince George of Cambridge’s first birthday is being marked with a commemorative £5 coin.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s young son is the first member of the royal family to have his first birthday honoured with a new UK coin.
William and Kate, along with George’s great-grandmother the Queen and Chancellor George Osborne approved the design of the sterling silver piece, which bears the heraldic royal arms and the year 2014.
Shane Bissett, director of commemorative coin and bullion at the Royal Mint, said: “As Prince George of Cambridge reaches the significant milestone of turning one year old, we felt there could be no more fitting design to mark the first birthday of our future king than the royal arms - the arms of the monarch - minted in honour of the future heir to the throne.
“The choice of a silver coin is significant too as the precious metal is closely associated with newborn babies, as crossing the palm of a newborn baby with silver is a way to wish them wealth and good health throughout their life, whilst the £5 coin is a favourite for royal celebrations.”
There will be a limited mintage of 7,500 of the birthday coins, which will cost £80 each. The heraldic royal arms – which incorporates the four quarterings of the royal arms each contained in a shield, as well as a rose, thistle, leek, a sprig of shamrock and a crown – was originally created for the Queen and was last used on a coin struck for the British Exhibition in New York in 1960.
Both George’s birth and his christening were marked with commemorative coins.
The £5 birthday coin will be available via www.royalmint.com.
Buckingham Palace’s annual summer exhibition this year is devoted to royal childhoods. Well-loved toys and baby outfits belonging to the royal family over the years will go on display in the state rooms in what the Royal Collection describes as “an unprecedented glimpse into life as a young member of the Royal Family growing up at Buckingham Palace”.
The silver-gilt lily font used for George’s christening, as well as other items connected to the young Prince will be on show.
A number of the Queen’s childhood toys will also be seen, including a pink tea set in the shape of a rabbit, a set of ninepins and a wicker pram she used to push around the garden. Royal Childhood runs from Saturday July 26, 2014 until Sunday September 28.
Meanwhile, the Duchess of Cambridge has shown herself to be a “really natural, hands on, relaxed mum” during her first year of motherhood, a parenting editor has said.
Claire Irvin, editor-in-chief of Mother & Baby magazine, said Kate seemed at ease with her new role. Ms Irvin said: “Kate seems like a really natural, hands on, relaxed mum. Of course it’s impossible to know what’s going on behind the scenes, but you do get the sense that her insistence that she didn’t want too much outside help – other than the nanny – is still the case.”
She said Kate has had a massive impact on the baby paraphernalia.
Yorkshire firm Silver Cross has had a long association with the royals.
Kate opted for a navy Silver Cross Sleepover Elegance, which costs about £650.