New coins for 2016 to feature Shakespeare and Beatrix Potter

New Shakespeare £2 coins Image copyright PA
Image caption A skull and rose, and a crown and sword respectively represent the tragedies and histories of Shakespeare

Images representing Shakespeare plays and Beatrix Potter tales will be among those featuring on coins in 2016, the Royal Mint has said.

The coins are meant to give a snapshot of Britain over the past 1,000 years.

The histories, comedies and tragedies of Shakespeare will be depicted on £2 coins, 400 years after his death.

A 50p coin will honour Beatrix Potter to mark the 150 years since her birth, while another commemorates the Battle of Hastings, 950 years ago.

A picture of the Great Fire of London will be embossed onto a £2 coin to mark the event's 350th anniversary.

'Our history'

The Royal Mint's five-year programme to mark the centenary of World War One will continue with a £2 coin remembering the community pride that fuelled the rise of the "Pals" battalions, and will bear a design reminiscent of the art deco styling of the time.

Each coin bears the fifth definitive portrait of the Queen by Royal Mint engraver Jody Clark.

Image copyright PA
Image caption The latest definitive portrait of the Queen - created to mark her becoming the longest reigning monarch in British history - appears on all seven new coins

Anne Jessopp, director of commemorative coin at the Royal Mint, said: "It is always exciting to see the new year's designs revealed, commemorating the moments that matter, and revisiting some of the great events and stories from our history.

"The British public should start to see these coins appearing in their change from spring 2016."

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