By appointment: royal celebration noted

ITS royal connections stretch all the way back to its origins. Now, almost 300 years after George I signed the charter that sanctioned the creation of the Royal Bank of Scotland, the Queen has given the institution its latest endorsement from Buckingham Palace.

She has approved the bank’s first £10 commemorative note, which features no less than four images of Her Majesty, dating back to her pre-Coronation days.

RBS is the only bank in Britain to be given permission to produce a special note to mark the Diamond Jubilee.

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About two million of the notes are expected to go into circulation from today to coincide with the nationwide Jubilee celebrations.

Philip Hampton, chairman of the bank, said: “RBS has a long connection with royalty and a tradition of issuing notes to commemorate royal celebrations. We felt that this was the most fitting way to honour the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and her long reign as monarch.”

The notes – which will be available in branches and to order from overseas – are expected to be a much sought-after Diamond Jubilee souvenir. A £5 RBS note featuring the golfer Jack Nicklaus was a huge hit with collectors and golf fans seven years ago.

Several of the new £10 notes with special serial numbers have been donated to major commercial partners of RBS, including Scottish Rugby, the Scottish Golf Union, the Prince’s Scottish Youth Business Trust (PSYBT) and the National Museum of Scotland.

Others with serial numbers, with the prefix TQDJ, standing for “The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee”, are expected to be star lots going under the hammer later this year at a charity auction of rare RBS notes, dating back to the 1930s.

Geoff Leask, director of the PSYBT, which helps 18- to 25-year-olds to run their own business, said: “We’re delighted to be given a commemorative Queen’s Diamond Jubilee note by RBS.

“We have been working in partnership with RBS for over 20 years and we’re hoping that auctioning the commemorative note will raise money to help young people in Scotland set up their own business.”

Among the features on the note – which includes pictures of the Queen taken at Epsom Racecourse and Balmoral Castle – are the official crown emblem of the Diamond Jubilee and an engraving of a window in Holyrood Abbey, next to the royal palace in Edinburgh.

Although the current series of RBS notes was launched back in 1987, a number of commemorative notes have had limited runs since then, including some featuring Alexander Graham Bell, Robert Louis Stevenson and the Scottish Parliament building.

The most recent, featuring the new RBS headquarters at Gogarburn, was unveiled to coincide with the complex’s official opening by the Queen in 2005.