Princess Elizabeth was born in London on 21 April 1926, the first child of The Duke and Duchess of York. Edward VIII's abdication ten years hence would plunge Britain into a constitutional crisis and alter the line of succession. By a twist of fate, the young princess became heir to the throne, destined to become Queen and Head of the Commonwealth.
In 1926 Australia, New Zealand, Canada and South Africa were recognised as autonomous by the British government, but relations with these former territories would remain close, especially from The Royal Mint's perspective. The First World War saw the end of Sovereign production in London, but coins were still struck at branch mints in Commonwealth countries.
This was the year that saw Sovereigns manufactured in four branch mints: Sydney, Melbourne and Perth in Australia, and Pretoria in South Africa. These were some of the last Sovereigns ever struck and many have been melted down. Distinguished by their own unique mint mark beneath Benedetto Pistrucci's classic St George and the dragon design, they feature the portrait of George V by Bertram Mackennal on the obverse.