For the first time in more than 70 years, the language on British passports is going to change.
For the first time since 1952, they will now use the courtesy title “His Majesty.”
From this week, until all passports issued in the name of “Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II” have been issued, new passports will gradually begin to be issued in the name of “His Majesty King Charles III.”
The Home Secretary, Suella Braverman, said: “For 70 years, Her Majesty has appeared on British passports and many of us will not remember a time when she did not feature. Today marks a significant moment in UK history, as the first British passports since 1952 start featuring the title of His Majesty, the King.”
With passport issue times by the HM Passport Office back on track for the summer rush after a chaotic 2022 season of long delays and weeks of staff strikes over pay and pensions this May, five million passports have been issued in the first six months of 2023.
The HM Passport Office reports that 99 per cent of these were issued within the standard UK service of 10 weeks and 90 per cent were delivered within three weeks.
The Home Secretary praised the punctual issue times for passports this year, saying: “As HM Passport Office enters a new era in its history, it is delivering an exceptional service and I am extremely grateful for their outstanding accomplishments and the unwavering dedication of the whole team to meet the needs of the British public. While vast improvements have been made, I continue to urge the public to make sure they apply for passports in good time.”
It is the biggest British passport change since 2020, when Brexit saw the return of the distinctive navy blue passports first issued in 1921.
Current British passports issued in the name of ‘Her Majesty the Queen’ will remain valid travel documents for British travellers until they reach their expiry dates.