The outgoing governor of the Bank of England stated that Jane Austen is 'waiting in the wings' to take her place on UK money.
Will the British be asking their friends to lend them a Jane Austen?
According to Sir Mervyn King, who is retiring as governor of the Bank of England, the famous author is merely “waiting in the wings” to appear on the country’s currency and could be the new face to grace the 10 pound note.
However, King’s replacement Mark Carney will have the final word on the decision. Carney takes up the post July 1.
Some commentators suggest that the idea of featuring Austen on bank notes is being floated in an attempt to placate Brits unhappy with the decision to take Elizabeth Fry, a prison reformer, off the five pound note and replace her with Winston Churchill in 2015. Apart from Queen Elizabeth II, Fry is the only woman currently appearing on the country’s money. (Fry was one of two women who had ever appeared on currency apart from the Queen, the other being Florence Nightingale).
Almost 30,000 people have signed a petition on Change.org asking that a woman besides the Queen appear on bank notes and feminist campaigner Caroline Criado-Perez has threatened to sue the Bank for not upholding the country’s 2010 Equality Act.
Famous British citizens appear for 10 to 20 years on money before being cycled out in favor of another historical figure.