Karsh Signature

Yousuf Karsh, master photographer of the 20th century

Bank of Canada Honours the Historic Reign of Queen Elizabeth II with Commemorative Note

Canada $20 Bill Karsh

The Bank of Canada honored the historic reign of Queen Elizabeth II on September 9th, 2015, with the launch of a commemorative bank note. The note is a variation of the existing $20, and features this portrait from 1951 of then-Princess Elizabeth, by Yousuf Karsh.

“The commemorative note features a full colour metallic portrait of the Queen in the large window. This is the first and only time she is shown wearing any type of crown on a Canadian bank note. It is accompanied by a depiction of her Royal Cypher, a garland of maple leaves and the inscription “A Historic Reign • Un règne historique.

“The portrait is based on a 1951 picture by renowned Canadian photographer Yousuf Karsh. It was taken within six months of the Queen’s accession to the throne, which makes it a compelling choice for commemorating her historic reign. The same photo, with her tiara removed, was previously used for the 1954 Canadian Landscape series as well as for a commemorative note in 1967 marking Canada’s centennial.

“The Karsh photograph was originally commissioned for a Canadian postage stamp and then modified for use by the Bank of Canada.”

Read more on the Bank of Canada Website.

Princess, and Queen, Elizabeth by Yousuf Karsh.