Prince Charles is the eldest child of Queen Elizabeth II, first in line to the throne and potentially the next King of England and the Commonwealth. Nuptials between Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer took place on 29th July 1981 (which was named a national holiday in celebration) in front of a worldwide TV audience of 750 million people. It was labelled a fairytale wedding as Diana was the first British commoner to marry an heir to the throne since the 1500’s. The couple were dominant public figures constantly under scrutiny from royal watchers. They later had 2 children, 2nd in line to the throne Prince William and 3rd in line Prince Harry.
In Australia up until as close to the event as June 1981 it wasn’t clear that a commemorative issue was even going to be released with industrial action at the Royal Australian Mint affecting coin issues and the minting process. However, after keeping their plans under wraps the RAM finally announced that to celebrate this royal marriage the Royal Mint in Wales was to strike a commemorative 50c piece to circulate in Australia. Designed by Stuart Devlin the reverse of this coin features profiles of Charles and Diana (known as jugate) facing left with the legends reading “HRH The Prince of Wales and Lady Diana Spencer Fifty Cents”. This was an official design given the Royal seal of approval by the Queen but is affectionately known to collectors as the Chuck and Di 50c.
The obverse bears the Arnold Machin portrait of a young Queen Elizabeth II (used from 1966 through to 1984). 20 million of these 15.5 gram cupro-nickel coins entered circulation but they are not that easy to find in your change as a lot have been hoarded in money boxes and jars. It’s not uncommon to find high grade coins because if this hoarding and they don’t gain much premium if any over their face value of 50c.
These coins were restruck in Canberra as a silver proof version which was included in the 1989 Masterpieces in Silver Sets.