Australia is getting a new $5 note, full of new colour and animals and security features, but it also features a rather unflattering portrait of Queen Elizabeth.
The Reserve Bank of Australia released images of the new note on Tuesday. It has a new strip running down the centre, with yellow wattle and a colourful native bird. The pale pink of the old $5 note remains, but there's also a new security window, a new image of Parliament House, a new ‘tactile’ feature to help the vision-impaired distinguish between different banknotes, and some other minor updates.
"Innovative new security features have been incorporated to help keep Australia’s banknotes secure from counterfeiting into the future," said RBA Governor, Glenn Stevens.
"As can be seen in the images, these include a distinctive top-to-bottom window. Each banknote in the new series will depict a different species of Australian wattle and a native bird within a number of the elements. On the $5 banknote, these are the Prickly Moses wattle and the Eastern Spinebill."
But the most striking change is the image of Queen Elizabeth, which appears to be digitally altered and aged from the previous note -- and not very flattering to the monarch. She's wearing the same clothes as the previous notes, with a dark shirt and white pearl necklace, the wattle brooch on her left side -- while faded almost out of existence -- is still visible, and her hair is the same.
However, her face has been altered heavily, with new wrinkles, more pouchy eyes, and a plumper face all over. Compare the old and the new:
And yes, we've checked, you can still do the rude whale thing with the new $5 note...