The earliest known Royal Mint portrait of Queen Elizabeth II
Upon the death of George VI on February 6, 1952, Queen Elizabeth II ascended to the throne. Among the gold prize medals bestowed, the King's Medal underwent a renaming to "Her Majesty the Queen's Medal." Flight Cadet Sergeant R.J. Bannard, a graduate of the Royal Air Force College Cranwell, received this medal on April 9, 1952, just 63 days after Elizabeth II's accession to the throne. There were a few other Queen's Medals awarded in 1952 for military achievement but I believe this to be the earliest.
This is where I hit a roadblock...
I am trying to research when the design was approved by the Royal Mint, or is this perhaps an earlier version of the final design. Is there any reference indicating when Mary Gillick completed her earliest plaster models featuring the effigy of Queen Elizabeth II or when the Royal Mint first produced Die Trial pieces? I would love to solve this mystery. Regardless, I'm grateful to be the custodian of this numismatic piece of history.