Britannia has been a fixture on British coinage for centuries. She first appeared on the coins of the emperor Hadrian 2,000 years ago during the Roman invasion and, hence, the establishment of the province of Britannia which she came to personify. In her early depictions, she wears a helmet of a centurion, armed with a spear and shield. Over time, she began to be portrayed at the water’s edge clutching Poseidon’s Trident, representing British sea power. Then, in modern times, she was reinvented once more as Britain entered the 1990s.
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