Prince William set to appear on £5 coin to mark his 40th birthday this year

Prince William is set to appear on a limited edition £5 coin to celebrate his 40th birthday, which he'll celebrate on 21 June.

The Royal Mint, the UK’s official coin producer, made the announcement on Monday (May 23).

It will be the first time the Duke of Cambridge, 39, will appear alone on an official coin.

The coin was created and designed by Thomas T Docherty, who said his design struck a "balance between the fresh energy of His Royal Highness being a young dad with the ceremonial nature of his royal position".

Laser technology was used to create William’s portrait and gives the coin an enhanced 3D appearance.

Speaking to Press Association, Thomas added: "A three-quarter angle of the portrait creates a more dynamic portrait rather than a traditional side-on profile.

"I used certain clay sculpting techniques on a digital platform to achieve the style needed for the design, to translate effectively from two to three dimensions.

"Using technology, we can now produce designs and sculptures with better efficiency compared to when I began my career 17 years ago.

"There’s a high level of skills and craftsmanship needed to sculpt designs – the tools are different but the principles remain the same."

The design will feature William's portrait set amid his royal cypher – his initial W – and the number 40.

And as is tradition, Queen Elizabeth II's image will also feature on the other side of the coin.

As well as the new limited edition £5 coin, a two-coin set will also be released alongside.

Within this set will be a 0.25oz gold celebration coin, a 1982 sovereign coin, marking the year the duke was born and a limited edition coin made of 5oz of fine gold quality to mark the special occasion.

Speaking to PA, Clare Maclennan, director of commemorative coin at the Royal Mint, said: "The elegant design features a portrait of HRH alongside his royal cypher and the number 40, which pays homage to the maturity and grace of the prince who has become a senior member of the royal family, a devoted husband and a loving father of three, through the eyes of the world.

"Marking this extra special occasion, we have also struck a limited edition gold coin made with 5oz of fine gold and struck in high relief to elevate the artistry of the design.

"Our limited edition precious metal coins combine fine craftsmanship and rarity, making them an attractive keepsake for collectors and investors."

As well as a new coin, the Duke also appears to have a new bestie in the form of Tom Cruise.

While attending the premiere of Top Gun: Maverick, the Hollywood actor, 59, revealed he has "a lot in common" with Prince William.

William and his wife Kate Middleton, 40, appeared at the premiere of the movie sequel in London last week.

Prior to the screening of the highly-anticipated film, the headline star gushed about the things he had in common with William, such as their love for "flying".

Talking on the red carpet, Tom said: "We have a lot in common. We both love England and we’re both aviators. We both love flying.”

He also noted how "incredibly special" it felt to have the premiere for his film in Leicester square "after what we have all come through".

At one point during the red carpet parade, Tom could be seen helping the Duchess of Cambridge up a pair of steps by offering her his hand.

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