Who is on the new £50 note and when is it released?

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  • With a release date given for the new £50 note, many are wondering who is on the front and when will it enter circulation. 

    A new famous face has graced the back of the new £50 note – joining the Queen on the latest polymer note addition to our British currency.

    The circulation of the new £50 note will coincide with an expiry date for old £50 notes – much like the old £20 note expiry date that the public has been told to prepare for next year.

    Who is on the new £50 bank note?

    British mathematician and scientist Alan Turing is the face of the new £50 bank note.

    Mr Turing is best-known for leading a group of codebreakers that helped crack the German’s enigma code during WWII. His work on this has been credited by historians as having helped shorten the war by 2 years – helping to save millions of lives. 

    Turing is also considered the father of early computer science and artificial intelligence. Providing a lot of the theory behind modern computers in use today.

    a portrait of mathematician Alan Turing

    Mathematician and codebreaker Alan Turing will appear on the new £50 bank note (Credit: Alamy)

    The mathematician was unveiled as the new face of the £50 note on 19 July 2019.

    Certain details of the new Bank of England note contain design elements that pay tribute to Turing’s life. This include his date of birth (23 June 1912) in binary code. And a formulae from his 1936 paper looking into Computable numbers.

    Turing was a homosexual who was convicted for his relationship with a man. This was when same-sex relationships were illegal by state law.

    He was posthumously pardoned by the Queen in 2013 and the subsequent ‘Alan Turing law’ came into effect in England in 2017. This retroactively pardoned other men that were cautioned or convicted under historical legislation that condemned homosexual acts.

    When is the new £50 bank note released?

    The new £50 note was released on Wednesday 23 June 2021. The release date coincided on what would have been Alan Turing’s 109th birthday.

    To celebrate the note going into circulation, Governor Andrew Bailey of the Bank of England appeared at Bletchley Park, Milton Keynes. This is the iconic place where Turing cracked the enigma code.

    “Placing Alan Turing on this new banknote is a recognition of his contributions to our society, and a celebration of his remarkable life,” said Mr Bailey. 

    With the new £50 in circulation, a cut-off date for using old £50 notes has been shared for next year.

    How do you know if your £50 note is genuine?

    There are a number of ways you can confirm if your £50 note is real.

    First is the portrait of the Queen printed on the window with ‘£50 Bank of England’ printed twice around the circle’s edge.

    Second is the silver foil patch at the top on the front of the note. This should contain a 3D image of the coronation crown.

    On the back (in the same position as the crown on the front) should be a red foil flower mark which has ‘AT’ in it.

    A more advanced method is to shine an ultraviolet light on the ‘Bank of England’ typography on the first page. This should show a red and green colour ‘£50’ sign against a dark background.

    An infographic showing how a £50 note is genuine

    Credit: Bank of England/Canva

    Other tell-tale signs of a fake £50 is poor printing quality. Plus a lack of ridge or texture felt on the ‘Bank of England’ text on the front.

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